By Ed Power
Florence and the Machine - Electric Picnic, Main Stage
Headlining the main stage at a major festival is all part of a day's toil for Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch.
At the start of the summer, the English singer was parachuted to top of the bill at Glastonbury as a last minute replacement for the Foo Fighters and made this sudden elevation seem like the easiest thing in the world.
She reprised the feat at Electric Picnic, delivering a punchy, no-frills set that showcased her Wagnerian vocal style as well as her emergence as a songwriter of genuine grace and courage.
Welch was ostensibly plugging new album 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful', an epic break-up record that glazes her heartache and quarter life woe in Old Testament bombast (seldom has the particulars of one's split from a slightly rubbish boyfriend been conveyed with such continent-quaking portentousness).
But, while the record has proved a significant hit, she understands the final night of a festival might not be quite the moment to force the material on a non-partisan audience and thus trimmed her performance so that agnostics in the crowd did not feel taken for granted.
Wearing an eye-catching blue and white jumpsuit, red hair hanging loose, Welch plunged into an efficient greatest hits victory lap, starting with 'What The Water Gave Me', a Meat Loaf-meets-Kate Bush belter inspired by the poetry of Virginia Woolf (full marks for originality then).
A tambourine-shaking live-wire she next stepped into gale-force new track 'Ship To Wreck', another romantic dirge steeped in metaphor (love is like a sinking galleon, we gather) before veering into favourites 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)' and the yearning, uplifting 'Dog Days Are Over' – a song about pushing through your pain and finding joy in the everyday.
Through it all, Welch was confident, emotive and majestic – a star who understands her hour is at hand and is determined to undertake her coronation with all the humility she can muster.
For even casual admirers, it was a stunning turn.