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iTunes Festival: London

(iTunes; UK: 21 Jul 2010)

For someone so venerated for the individuality and supposed quality of her singing voice as Florence Welch, she really has very little technique to speak of. The natural counter to this argument is that the authenticity comes from the passion she puts into her live performances. Sadly, on the evidence of this recording (an EP recorded live at London’s iTunes Festival), Florence and small sections of her Machine allow us to fall squarely on the side of the first argument. With material as strongly and intricately melodic as her songs, it is essential to perform it accurately (a point proved by Florence herself when she attempted Beyonce’s “Halo” for a BBC session), and the veering in an out of tonality on “Rabbit Heart” in particular nullify her attempts to do the songs justice. Her two dynamic levels of ‘whisper’ and ‘bellow’, as exemplified on opener “Ghosts”, supplies nowhere near enough sensitivity for a successful performance, and the whole show is over-hyped and ill-judged. Florence’s voice simply doesn’t cut it live.

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