Radio 1 Stories, ‘Florence + The Machine’
Radio 1 continues to tell the stories of some of our most popular and successful artists around today. This week, it was the story of the brilliant Florence + The Machine, taking us through her childhood, her influences, and her life since her break-through. At only 23, Florence has gone from playing in dingey pubs to Glastonbury in the space of merely one year. Her quirky musical style and personality made this story an interesting listen, as she explains how her music has been influenced by her life and vice versa. The presentation of this programme is an intriguing listen; it combines interviews with Florence, alongside a ‘Florence Time Machine’, an ‘imaginary fairy bodyguard’, and snippets of her old and new music. This is certainly one of the more bizarre Radio 1 stories that I have heard, however, I realised that this sort of presentation fits perfectly with Florence’s off-beat style. As a Florence fan, it grabbed my attention immediately, although I have to admit that after half way through, I felt I knew more about her childhood than I did about any of her music; maybe this sort of interview should be kept for Piers Morgan, and Radio 1 can keep the music? Either way, it was a interesting and refreshing change for the Radio 1 Stories.
The idea of Radio 4 covering Glastonbury Festival is not what anyone would initially expect from the station. This year, Glastonbury celebrated its 40th birthday, and so Radio 4 sent five poets along to record their experiences of this year’s festival, and their memories from previous years. It is interesting to hear the opinions of some older festival-goers, considering Glastonbury is becoming increasingly popular with younger people. Each poet records their experiences, from pitching a tent, to queueing for the loo, and watching the crowds. And surprisingly, it is quite interesting to see Glastonbury in a completely different light; the atmosphere is key to each poem, which arguably makes Glastonbury so different from every other festival. The poetry diaries provide an opportunity for those who perhaps do not know so much about festival culture to experience it in a much cleaner and cheaper way. However, if you’re familiar with Glastonbury, then this programme is what I can only describe as a bit patronising; as though your Mum and Dad have come along with you to help you pitch your tent and watch Muse and Gorillaz. Despite this, the poetry itself is excellent, as it shows a comical side to the whole experience, and I’m sure brings back many memories for listeners of all ages.