The wide range of music gigs on offer in London is one of the great things about living in this city. I managed to get my hands on tickets to Florence and the Machine for the gig at the Alexandra Palace (affectionately known as “Ally Pally”) last Friday. I thought instead of just telling you how amazing she was live (she really was!), I’d tell you a bit about my view of the music venue.
Alexandra Palace is a North London venue, host to a variety of events from music gigs to antique fairs. I’d been before to sit leisurely in its surrounding park and enjoy the impressive views of the city but never for a music gig. From the outside this historic building has a sense of grandeur and resilience, after several fires throughout its hundred year plus history it still stands proud on the hill side.
I had no doubt it could be an interesting music venue from the outset. Its interior reflects its Victorian heritage and subsequent restorations with the grand Palm Court next to Art Deco style arches. The features in the main hall are disguised somewhat by the mechanics for the gig but it was a great setting for Florence and the Machine, the art deco stage and screens fitted right in. Its size enables a good offering of food and drink, so if you arrive at the doors opening you can get something to satisfy your hunger in plenty of time before the music starts. The nearest station is definitely Alexandra Palace rail station but Wood Lane on the Piccadilly line is about a 15 minute walk/ 5 minute bus journey where you can also find plenty of food and drink options.
My top tip for this venue – wear some sensible shoes as it was a standing only venue (there are seating areas provided for those less able to stand for long periods).
As for Florence, for those who may be looking forward to seeing her on tour or at her festival appearances this summer, all I can say is if you like her music you won’t be disappointed! I’ve always loved her haunting lyrics and amazing vocals. I was dubious about how she’d come across after her US success but it turned out a big ego just isn’t her thing. Her performances genuinely show her love of performing and an almost timid personality. She had a great outfit too, not sure anyone else can make a velvet all-in-one and a sequin cape desirable wardrobe items!
In case you’re missing out on Flo this year, check out this live performance at Ally Pally which I found on You Tube.