I’m back with our new feature B-Side Bios, a quick introduction to some of the maybe unknown facts about some of our favourite musicians. It’s about time we brought a female into the mix and who better to lead off with then the uber-talented frontwoman of Florence and the Machine, Florence Welch. This vocal powerhouse knows how to tear up a stage, and her ankle [like that time we witnessed her falling off the stage at Coachella].
Florence was born on August 28, 1986 in Camberwell, England. She was the oldest of three children, and was raised by academics - her dad, an ad exec, and her mom a Harvard-graduate, who is still a professor of renaissance studies at King’s College in London.
She honed her talents at an early age and by the age of 7 was the go-to performer at familyfunerals… yes, funerals. Also in her early years, Florence adopted her fiery red look. At the age of 9, Florence, a natural brunette, began dying her hair red. Once she began performing, particularly when she was slated to open on an early MGMT tour, she opted to make her red hair part of her signature look.
Shortly after her parents divorced at age 11, Florence began drinking, which sadly continued after her grandmother committed suicide right in front of her at age 13. She continued her drinking into her professional career, claiming that as a shy person, she needed to booze to get up on stage. This included her dive off-stage at 2015’s Coachella festival performance where she broke her ankle. Claiming that was her wake-up call, she has sobered up and realized her talents don’t require alcohol as fuel. She also claims to have snagged her first major gig while drunk, corning her now-manager in a club bathroom and singing some Etta James for him.
In 2006, Florence teamed up with her sister’s former babysitter Isabella Summer creating the duo known as Florence Robot/Isa Machine. They played small venues in England before tightening up the band name and recruiting bandmates. Their debut release came in 2009 with the album Lungs and now have 4 albums out, with the latest release being 2018’s High as Hope. Florence has gone on to record with a number of artists including Calvin Harris, Lady Gaga, Rufus Wainwright and Fatboy Slim, and has earned writing credits on both Rihanna and Sia tracks.
Beginning this B-Side Bio with Florence singing at funerals, she’s also performed at weddings. Most famously likely, singing 3 songs at Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ wedding. What a party that would have been!
Did ya learn something?
I’m going to cut this one off here, but man this girl has lead quite the life. For a fun Pull the Plug added bonus, check out this week’s acoustic track honouring Florence Welch in our PTP Spotify playlist. This week, we’ve added an awesome acoustic cover of Ship to Wreck.