Florence and the Machine announce May 2010 UK dates - Tickets on sale Friday 29th Jan

Posted: 28th January 2010

It is probably fair to say that Florence and the Machine have had an eventful 12 months. And there have been plenty of high points and accolades. The 2009 Critic's Choice Brit award even pre-dated the release of the debut album (by some months). Days after it was released, Lungs was nominated for the Mercury Music prize. It didn't win, the best albums rarely do. Just ask Jamie T.

But the album turned out to be even better than everyone said it was and Florence's live performances on the festival circuit and on a UK tour raised the bar for the current crop of wannabes. Finding yourself in a tent in a field somewhere with 20,000 or so other festival goers to see a 22-year-old ginger girl sing some songs was, if you were there, one of the highlights of your year.

Glamorous, dramatic, commanding and a little bit kitsch, comparisons were being made with Kate Bush and there are certainly similarities in style, even if Florence lacks some of Kate's irresistible vulnerability.

In these times of meteoric and virtually instantaneous rises to fame, second years can be as tricky to negotiate as second albums but few who have witnessed Florence in full flow will foresee any difficulties in her sophomore year. Sure, a new guard is already at the gates with Ellie Goulding making a fist of replicating Florence's efforts (in more ways than one, some might say), but a new set of dates at some iconic venues promises much.

After a February appearance at the Brits and the Meteor Ireland Music Awards, May brings promises of sunshine and - if you can make it to Edinburgh, Blackpool, London or, er, Wolverhampton - the sight and sound of Florence casting her spells.

The short tour opens on May 5 at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange, closing with three dates at London's Hammersmith Apollo ten days later. In between, Flo's disciples will be testing out the sprung floor at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool.

Tickets on sale Friday at 9AM, priced at £18.50 for all but the London shows which are £20 + booking fee.

Stewart Darkin