Florence And The Machine headline first ever festival at Latitude

Florence Welch invites family members on opening day of event

Florence And The Machine played an emotional set at Latitude last night (July 16) – her first ever headline appearance at a festival.

Taking to the Obelisk stage in a white wedding-style dress and headband, Florence turned the gig into a family affair, calling on the crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her younger sister Gracie, who then appeared on stage with her 15-year-old brother JJ. Both youngsters were dressed in animal costumes for the occasion.

“She is the love of my life,” Florence told the crowd as Gracie left the stage to affectionate cheers.

During a set mostly made up of material from her debut album ‘Lungs’, Florence played extended versions of her best-known hits, prefacing ‘You’ve Got The Love’ with an atmospheric, orchestral intro, and teasing out ‘Dog Days Are Over’ – the final song in the set – for over six minutes.

As she did at Glastonbury, Welch also aired the recently released ‘Heavy In Your Arms’, which was recorded for the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack.

The singer was clearly in celebratory mood, as after the show she jumped on stage in the comedy tent, where she danced to classic disco tunes spun by her manager Mairead Nash and Nash‘s Queens Of Noize DJ partner Tabitha Denholm.

Earlier in the day, Laura Marling had played to one of the biggest crowds of her career, receiving huge cheers in particular for her song ‘Blackberry Stone’.

Clearly Marling was well-loved by the Latitude crowd, who built up to her set by chanting “Laura! Laura!” Later, a male fan held up a sign saying “I want to be your lover!”, a reference to her song, ‘Your Only Doll (Dora)’.

Earlier Manchester‘s Everything Everything played a well-received evening set on the smaller Lake Stage, sparking a tentative singalong with their song ‘Schoolin”, while Dublin‘s Villagers were the word-of-mouth hit of the day thanks to an emotive set in the Word Arena.

Meanwhile, comedy writer Chris Morris drew a giant crowd in the Film And Music tent for a screening of his film ‘Four Lions’, which was followed by a Q&A session.

Latitude continues today (July 17) with performances from Belle & Sebastian, Crystal Castles, The Horrors and The Maccabees.