Miss N

Civil Twilight and Florence & the Machine at Irving Plaza

While Die Antwoord have been shocking their way into the hearts of the international music world, Civil Twilight have opted for a different route, quietly and consistently working on their craft. The trio is signed to Wind-Up Records, the same label as Seether , and has been based in the US – in Nashville particularly – for the past five years. I saw them as a band back in Cape Town, while I was studying at UCT, when they were still called Superfine. They were a promising band back then, and tonight, I saw just how far that promise has developed.

The band supported Florence & the Machine at Irving Plaza. They played a 45-minute set that included songs off their album Civil Twilight, as well as a cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. The audience responded well to the band as they played a set that saw lead singer Steve McKellar hit all those gorgeous high notes. He and brother Andrew have a great stage interaction, kept in time by Richard Wouters’ strong drum beat. The audience became particularly excited when the band played hit single, Letters from the Sky, a beautiful song that was “never made to fall away”. Glad to hear they’ve been getting a lot of airplay – not just on radio but on TV too, in shows like Big Love and One Tree Hill.

Civil Twilight tour South Africa from the 22nd of December – don’t miss out!

I am so thrilled I did not miss out on seeing Florence Welch and her band of merrymen take to New York for the group’s second time. Florence truly is a machine all on her own actually, a force that just can’t be reckoned with. She sang that venue dry!

I’m almost glad the only pictures I have are these that were taken with my iPhone. Their painted-like images, in a sense, conjure up what it was like to be there and get swept up in the singer and her ferocious voice.

On stage she embodies many characters – from a fiesty enchantress to an enraged angel. Some songs peak in shrieks, others end in tender rapture with a single back light shining behind her. She commands the crowd with every note she sings – calling on them to give as much as she does. She leads them – hushing fans before singing Girl With One Eye and then imploring them during Dog Days Are Over to jump up and down ’til they just can’t anymore. Florence gives her absolute right up until the end when she is left on the floor, flat on her back.

Louder than sirens
Louder than bells
Sweeter than heaven
And hotter than hell


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