Florence and the Machine at Glastonbury 2015, review: Welch more than fills the Foo Fighters' headline slot - she truly puts on a show

That foot has healed well

Emily Jupp
Sunday 28 June 2015 12:57 BST
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Florence and the Machine headline the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury 2015
Florence and the Machine headline the Pyramid Stage during Glastonbury 2015 (Reuters)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Wearing an androgynous silver suit the flame-haired singer makes a confident entrance as the replacement headliner for the Foo Fighters.

She dedicates her set to Dave Grohl and does a beautiful cover of the Foos' hit, belting out “Learn to love again” but she more than fills their shoes and speaking of shoes, she is surprisingly limber after breaking her foot at Coachella festival earlier this year.

Bare-footed and filled with energy she prances across the stage with delight as though feeding from the intense energy of the enormous crowd that's grown around the pyramid stage.

She is clearly having the most amazing time. For “Raise it Up” she climbs into the crowd, sits on a fan's shoulders and borrows someone's flower headdress before skipping down and running light-footed back to the stage. The many flares sent up by the crowd only add to the drama.

In a touching moment she runs to the side of the stage to hug her mum on her hot “You Got the Love” before skipping back to the front to thank the crowd.

There's a slightly more muted reaction at the crowd's periphery, particularly to material from her new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. She has to perform some of her lesser-known songs to fill the 90-minute slot and the long pauses between each song start to feel less like like dramatic devices and more like filler — but even those who don't seem to know who she is are charmed by her sheer exuberance.

She's the first act of the festival to truly put on a show, with wild, flailing dancing, her trademark elegant hand gestures and loads and loads of running. She falls over once but quickly jumps up and runs about some more. That foot has healed well.

“Dog Days” is her parting number accompanied by a spirited sea of claps to match the tune. She invites the crowd to hug and then take all their clothes off before throwing off her shirt and leaving us all gasping for breath as she prances off into the mist.

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