‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ by Florence + The Machine
From the album Lungs (2009)
Firstly let me apologise to you all for the lateness of this article… I originally drafted it this morning, whilst sat in the driver’s seat of my car in a static queue waiting to leave Glastonbury Festival. We got to the car at 10am, got off site at about 12.15 and finally arrived back in Oxford at 5pm; so that is seven hours for a two-hour journey. You know what? I don’t care. Glastonbury was an amazing experience and one I want to do again and again. My body is burnt and broken but I had one of the best weekends of my life. If you haven’t been, just go.
Over the course of the five days I saw, in no particular order; Death From Above 1979, Everything Everything, Wilko Johnson, Lionel Ritchie, Mary J Blige, Alvvays; Courtney Barnett, The Who, Motorhead, Kanye West, Death Cab For Cutie, and many more. However, one of my highlights for the weekend came from an act with large and somewhat unexpected pressure to deliver in their performance hanging over them; Florence + The Machine, who had to step up and deliver the first headline set of the weekend on the Pyramid stage after Dave Grohl’s injury a couple of weeks back forced the Foo Fighters to pull out of their performance.
When the news that the Foos would not be able to make Glastonbury and that, subsequently, Florence + The Machine would be stepping up into the headline slot came through there seemed to be no sense of trepidation or the feeling that she didn’t deserve the slot; it was all a matter of everything being ready in time.
She killed it.
The set was high-energy and spanned all three of the band’s albums, coming up pretty evenly across the board, and including a cover of ‘Times Like These’ by the Foo Fighters as another get well message to Dave Grohl. The song that I most wanted to hear in the set was the song that got me into Florence about five/six years ago – ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’, co-written with and produced by one-man hit-factory Paul Epworth. The song (and the set as a whole) delivered all I wanted, from shimmering harps to powerful drums playing off Florence Welch’s impeccable vocals as she alternately sung, screamed and shouted her way through the aforementioned song and the rest of the set – mesmerising. (btw, for the next 27 or so days you can watch F+TM’s Glastonbury performance in full here, ‘Rabbit Heart’ starts around minute 17).
I’m going to finish this article with an apology too; I would love to do a write-up about Glastonbury but I have to move house, play a gig and visit old friends over the next week and by the time I get a chance to sit down and write something the hype machine will have taken a shit and died. Maybe next year hey? In the mean time, The Guardian did a pretty good roundup.