Florence and the Machine wow crowds at sell-out Westpoint show in Exeter
FROM the moment her elegant silhouette appeared behind a huge art deco screen, to the moment she bounded off stage, Florence Welch had her 8,000-strong audience transfixed.
The gig on Tuesday night at Westpoint was the first of Florence and the Machine's six-date UK England and Ireland Ceremonials arena tour.
All 8,000 tickets sold within a month, and the award-winning quirky indie-rock singer, who has a reputation for her melodic songwriting and strong vocals, attracted fans of all ages to the venue.
All girl three-piece Haim were the support act kicking off the night.
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Dawn Milton, 41, from Exeter who went with her partner and 13-year-old stepson, said: "Florence was brilliant. You hear so much about how good she is live so I wondered if she'd live up to expectations, and she did.
"Westpoint is a fantastic venue, really family orientated. It was brilliant."
Bryony Johnson, 28, from Ashburton, said: "It was brilliant, breathtaking. She was absolutely amazing – it was a privilege that she chose Exeter to perform."
The gig is regarded as a major coup for the venue, which has previously hosted a range of top-name acts including Oasis, the Scissor Sisters, Razorlight and the Kaiser Chiefs.
Florence was the first major act to perform at Westpoint since 2007.
Emily Egan, business manager at the venue, said the team are now in discussion with the promoter to secure more top acts.
"We had an event plan in place and it went perfectly," she said.
"There was a really nice family mix in the audience. We had everyone from children to older adults and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves."
The band's multi-award-winning debut album Lungs was one of the best selling albums of 2009 and 2010 and stayed in the UK's Top 40 for a remarkable 65 successive weeks.
The festival favourites also saw their current album Ceremonials shoot straight to number one in the album chart and the single Spectrum (Say My Name) achieved their first number one in July.
After the Exeter gig the band travelled to the O2 in London and the run of shows ends in the UK in Liverpool on December 10. Heading over to Ireland, Florence & The Machine will play a one-off Dublin date on December 12.