The high-priestess of the centre-stage retains a focus impervious to media intoxication, and a molten delivery, but while Raise It Up was bewitching, all incantation, jutting arms and robes aflow, there was something stylised about the performance that flirted with contrivance. Having seen her climb the tent scaffold in platform heels at Reading and free-form howl at Lovebox, there’s a professionalism that, while admirable, negates the wild abandon of old.
What The Water Gave Me hypnotises, but its séance-like mechanics leave one floundering, wondering “Is anybody there?” Set against an art deco hotel lobby backdrop, there’s a sense of juxtaposition that disturbs. When she starts thrashing around, it’s like a scene from The Shining. It could be that Flo’s ceaseless touring has led to stasis, though some newer material, such as encore Never Let Me Go, shows sparks of the spectral, incendiary goddess; a burning Bush. And when she ignites, we’re all a flock receiving instruction from on high. The Machine may be rusty, but Florence retains more than enough magic to see her through.