Florence and the Machine starts Edinburgh's Summer Sessions with a bang - Review

Is it really a year since the last Edinburgh Summer Sessions in the gardens? Apparently.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 11:26 am
Florence and the Machine at Edinburgh's Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens

This year’s smorgasbord of gigs was kicked off on Wednesday night by Florence + the Machine, and a superb starter to the two weeks it was too.

The name of the band was originally Florence Robot/Isa Machine but this was, rightly, decided to be a bit clunky hence the current moniker.

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Florence and the Machine at Edinburgh's Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens

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As with all outdoor gigs in Scotland, the weather can play its part but thankfully the earlier biblical weather took a respite and it stayed dry the whole night. That said, the gardens were in parts a tad muddy after the deluge and I’m guessing a lot of revellers regretted wearing white trainers.

Bedecked in a billowing white number, Florence Welch strode out to predictably a rapturous welcome and got straight down to business with June and Hunger from last year’s High As Hope album.

She broke off to say hello properly a few songs in to give a lengthy dedication to Patti Smith before playing Patricia from the same album. At one point in the monologue describing Patti as a “witch”. Presumably one of the nice ones.

I may be the millionth journalist to point this out but here goes. What. A. Voice.

Florence and the Machine at Edinburgh's Summer Sessions in Princes Street Gardens

You may recall the Tattoo folk were a bit irked by the decibel levels drifting out of the gardens last year?

Well, they must have been delighted to see who was first up in 2019.

Even without the PA, she could probably be heard in Fife.

Oddly though, her spoken voice wouldn’t sound out of place coming out of a librarian.

Prior to outing their 2nd single, Dog Days Are Over from the debut album Lungs, Florence encouraged the crowd to both “tell the folk behind you love them” which is nice and maybeless nice, followed this up with “put your f*****g phones away!” as “this is your moment”.

Amazingly, pretty much everyone obeyed and the bouncing crowd did indeed have their moment during the song.

Not scared to get in about the throng, Delilah saw Flo wander into the crowd, and at one point being held aloft, still belting the vocals out like a trouper.

A very short break, presumably to gargle something and a three-song encore finale. Unusually, the fan favourite You’ve Got The Love wasn’t given an outing but hey, it’s their gig, their setlist.

Glorious stuff from Flo and co and although tonight's show is listed as being sold out, there will inevitably be returns.

Or just go and stand in Fife, you’ll hear fine.

6 stars out of 7