Florence And The Machine kick off Bestival with a lavish headline set

The xx play their first and only 2012 UK festival slot at the Isle Of Wight bash

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Florence And The Machine played an headline set at Bestival in Isle Of Wight last night (September 7)./

The show was a massive production, with her band, a mini-orchestra, backing singers, a piano and a harp. Wearing an elegant green tunic with a floral headdress, Florence opened with 'Only If For A Night', followed quickly by 'What The Water Gave Me'.

During 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)' she ran out to the crowd, flanked by security, performing for those down at the front. When she climbed back on stage she joked she feared she might not be able to make it, having to use all of her upper arm strength to climb up after a bout of flu.

Welch thanked Bestival throughout, an event she says was there for the band from the start. "We started in such a small way," she smiled to massive cheers. Later she would comment on what an "honour" it was to be headlining the Main Stage. For 'You've Got The Love' she said: "Because it's Bestival we have to play this song!"

The stage itself was lavishly decorated with mirror balls and three busts of foliage as the backdrop which would turn into stainglass windows. Welch got into the spirit of the occasion and sported party dresses throughout the set.

During the encore Florence dedicated a cover of Drake's 'Take Care' to her friends The xx, who also played the event yesterday, and said that she loved, honoured and admired them. You can watch a video of Florence And The Machine performing set-closer 'Dog Days Are Over' below.

Chloe Byrnes, 24, from Nuneaton said: "I've seen them quite a few times now but that was mega. I was worried that on such a big stage the intimacy might be lost, but Flo has a way of communicating with everyone in the crowd. Just amazing."

Neil Jones, 22, from the Isle of Wight, said: "I really enjoyed it. I'm not usually a fan of Florence and the Machine but I might have to revise that now. That was one of the best gigs I've seen. And there's still Saturday and Sunday to come and more sun!"

Janette Fielder Wolverhampton, 26, was less effusive in her praise: "I thought it was a good show," she said, "but I don't like Florence's voice. She just belts it out."

Florence And The Machine played:

'Only If For A Night'
'What The Water Gave Me'
'Drumming Song'
'Cosmic Love'
'All This And Heaven Too'
'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)'
'Lover To Lover'
'You've Got The Love'
'Shake It Out'
'No Light, No Light'
'Spectrum'
'Never Let Me Go'
'Take Care'
'Dog Days Are Over'


The xx themselves drew Bestival's biggest crowd, with many struggling to get into the field to see the band play their only UK festival date this year. T It was an intimate set drawing mostly from their debut, and second album 'Coexist', out on Monday (September 10).

Though they spoke rarely during the set, Romy Madley Croft thanked the crowd for their support and Oliver Sim asked the crowd if somebody would like their shoe back, after a shoe had been chucked onstage.

The xx played:

'Angels'
'Heart Skipped a Beat'
'Chained'
'Fiction'
'Crystalised'
'Fantasy'
'Missing'
'Reunion'
'Sunset'
'Night Time'
'Swept Away'
'Shelter'
'VCR'
'Islands'
'Infinity'
'Intro'
'Tides'
'Stars'


The Dewaele brothers kept themselves busy by playing a set on the Main Stage as Soulwax, and later on in the night in the Big Top as 2 Many DJs.

Earlier in the day Warpaint took the opportunity to play nearly all new materialon the Main Stage, and Jake Bugg pulled a massive crowd one of the smaller stages on the Grassy Hill.

Bestival continues today with performances by Azealia Banks, Justice, Two Door Cinema Club and headliners New Order.

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