With millions of album sales under their belts along with a Glastonbury headline slot, Florence and the Machine are at the top of their game. A position underlined by their gig at the 12,000 capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Monday.
This wasn’t the case when Jonathan, one of the founders of Glasgow Music City Tours, interviewed Florence Welch at the start of 2009. Her debut album Lungs had yet to come out and her previous Scottish gig had been at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh.
She may have been at the start of her career but she had plenty to say. As anyone who knows hers songs might guess, she came over as an intriguing, unusual interviewee…
Florence on werewolves
‘When I was a kid, I was physically afraid of monsters and ghosts, vampires and werewolves. It was a scary couple of years and I don’t know if I am over it yet. I’ve toned it down but I still have to wake up at night and turn the light on. Now I translate it into songs and try to become the werewolf.’
Florence on reality
‘The dream world and the real world are porous.’
Florence on singing in churches
‘You can’t get a better feeling, that sheer gothic power, of singing in a choir in church. It’s euphoric and terrifying and sad all at the same time and that’s something that I always want to come across in my songs.’
Florence on imaginary love lives
‘In my head, I would go straight to the imaginary break-up before I had even had the imaginary relationship. It was imaginary heartbreak. These romances instantly went bad. I would bring up all these feelings of loss and desolation before I had even had a boyfriend.’
Florence on bringing songs to life
‘Performing is what makes songs come alive for me. You can live through songs on stage. You never know how they are going to affect you or other people until you are performing them and they are out there. Being able to convey an emotion onstage and being able to give something is what is important.’
Florence on controlling life
‘Singing and living through songs and stories allows you to control life for that time when you are on stage because you know what is coming next. You can lose yourself in it but you are in control. You can step out of yourself and away from the drudgeries of everyday life. When I do a show, I want everything to be magical.’