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A Quietus Interview

Florence Welch Interviewed: Rage Against The Machine
Laura Snapes , October 21st, 2009 09:56

We'd tell you Florence & The Machine were this year's T'Pau if it wasn't such a disservice to Carol Decker. Laura Snapes dons her iron shod wellies

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"At times he got on my nerves, like all artists who think themselves loftier or more profound simply because they didn't know what electricity is."

Observed through the eyes of Max Frisch's tirelessly theoretical Walter Faber in 1957, some things never change. Though when referring to Florence Welch, perhaps switch "at times" for "every bloody time her sub-Evanescence squawl blares from the radio". Queen of all that's supposedly hip and ethereal, and so unrestrainedly passionate that she just can't help but scale speaker stacks because "flight is what I aspire to!", Florence listens to music through a Walkman. Well of course she bloody does.

"I can show it to you," she says, digging through a gaping handbag to find a battered CD player. "Not like a tape player, but a Walkman. This is how I listen to music." Surely that means you have to carry around a lot of CDs? "Yeah," she says, producing Sonic Youth's Goo and a still shrink-wrapped Nina Simone compilation. "But I can't fucking work iPods, any kind of technology past the 90s seems to break on me."

A couple of observations: firstly, how stupid do you have to be to not be able to work an iPod? It'd be nice to be able to somehow justify that she's clearly not an idiot, but what's still to come might seem to negate that. However, it seems that Welch is a willing victim of the post-MySpace obsession with fetishizing technical ineptitude, thus somehow proving that your unbridled creativity knows no quantifiable or rational bounds. Cynicism aside though, willingly embracing this attitude to the modern age leaves her in a dangerous position with regard to the trials facing music this century.

A few days before we spoke, Lily Allen had attacked the FAC, saying that "emerging artists don't have [the] luxury" of a lucrative back catalogue to rely on in the wake of illegal downloading, so it seemed sensible to ask Florence her thoughts on the matter. Given that groups of talking heads, international government commissions and the musicians themselves can't come up with a workable solution, it would've been unreasonable to expect her to find a cure for the multi-million pound industry plague in the boxy grey dressing room of an O2 Academy. But as the conversation turns from her much-lauded aesthetic to a serious issue, she's uneasy, if not incoherent.

"Um . . . I don't know. I mean, I think . . . It's definitely like . . . It's just hard isn't it, it's like, I mean, I completely understand, but it's a struggle if it's an unknown band, it's kind of like, a bit shitty to go and download their music, you're really like, wouldn't be helping to support them and stuff, but if massive, massive bands are making… but I suppose they're the ones who get affected the most, because most people… It's a very complicated issue. I'm not really sure.

"I just think that music is to be shared . . . It's to be . . . The reason you play music is to . . . is for people to hear it, you know what I mean? I'm not like, endorsing it, I dunno."

Maybe she was having an off day. Perhaps the tribulations of perpetual touring, skipping barefoot across stages and clambering up the speakers of Europe's many festivals had left her feeling a little deflated by the end of the summer. Also, it's possible that rigorous major label media training would leave her up shit creek if she were to voice an unscripted opinion on a contentious issue like this, if she actually has one. It's equally possible that you think me callous or pedantic for nit-picking at the inconsistencies and contradictions of her self-projection, but in person, she's undeniably at odds with the apparently vivacious, individualistic spark portrayed in the press.

Whether or not the stories about her belting out songs in bar lavvies and being a generally arty kook about town in her pre-Island, starving artist days are label/journalistic construction shouldn't matter — the fact that she's happy to indulge what certainly appears to be the public's false image and preconceptions of her indicates a phoniness that's supposedly the antithesis of what Florence and, although I bite on my tongue hard as I write this, Little Boots, La Roux and this apparent new wave of honest, empowered and creative female popstars supposedly embody. But even if La Roux's music is total bobbins, at least she's entertaining in person. Elly Jackson recently joked to the Guardian about wanting gak for breakfast, obviously disliking Lady Gaga and deriding the notion that "the only way to sell records is to be in Closer every week." For all Florence's onstage bolshiness, you'd expect her to take any opportunity to be outspoken and prove her mettle. The Heidelberg phenomenon this ain't.

One of the Spice Girls once said that until she was in the music business it seemed as though popstars lived in a box and were taken out and spruced up for a ten minute spot on Live and Kicking, then put away again. That's exactly how it seemed when I was a young pop fan in the 90s: girl power was groundbreaking, and there seemed little concept of the pop star as anything than a commodity (though that's very much retrospective analysis) - certainly not a proper person with any emotional capacity or function outside of their work. Florence seems to agree.

"I think now the boundaries between popstar and musician are becoming blurred, and I think that's a really good thing because it allows you to experiment with like, a look, or a style of performance, but still retain your musical integrity. You don't have to have one or the other now, you can have both."

It's amazing isn't it, these liberal cultural conditions in which we live that permit credible musicians such as Florence to carve out a niche look to accompany their music? Vanguard even. Harking back to those darkest of eras, the 80s, and possibly even the 70s and the 60s too, it's almost unfathomable how those celebrated musicians plied their wares in coats of practically Amish modesty. Oh, wait. There's Ringo Starr in a neon military jacket on the front of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, circa ‘68. And a chap called Bowie with a lightning bolt interrupting his pale stare.

The artists Florence cites as evidence for the unlikely meeting of style and creativity? La Roux, Glasvegas, The XX and The Horrors. All pretty unique and ahead of their game.

And defining herself as a popstar, she thinks she exemplifies the point where style meets talent? Her total lack of cultural awareness makes it seem all the more probable that she's a spoilt posh girl with a host of "yes" men at her disposal who's been allowed to put the metaphorical interest pony up for sale when she inevitably gets bored of it. When asked what her albums of this decade are (she's been primed for this), she mentions Pulp's This Is Hardcore [1997] and Green Day's Nimrod [1997] amongst the debuts from The XX, Arcade Fire, Beirut and Klaxons, and can't say much about them other than dancing around their "haunting emotions". Being a former student of Camberwell College of Arts and the recipient of some serious art historian lineage doesn't stop her from bumbling about Ed Ruscha, Tracy Emin, "trawling markets . . . finding interesting objects . . . walking, and like, collecting things like old dresses and old paintings" when given the opportunity to talk at length on the non-musical subject of her choosing for The Quietus' 'Things I Have Learned' feature.

Still searching aloud for a strong love of anything to articulate, of her magpie-like tendencies to accumulate interesting trinkets on tour she says: "There's a Chinese dressing gown, a shawl, a chintzy lamp that we take around with a picture of the Virgin Mary [on it]." Suddenly animated, a temperament flares through. "None of this stuff is here though! Which I'm cross about, we've got to find it. At art college, I was obsessed with making my environment like home. I think you should always surround yourself with beautiful things, and have beautiful things to look at. I'm really obsessed with the way things look, and the positioning of stuff, like even on the stage and around me, I think you should always create an environment where you feel like, it's beautiful and romantic."

So why bother getting your knickers in a twist over the inarticulate ramblings of a pop star who'll eventually be remembered as little more than a cipher of that laughable period in music where being female developed into its own genre? Of course it doesn't really matter that she can't explain why her favourite albums of the decade mean so much to her, and if you don't want to hear her over-dramatic warbling, she's easy enough to avoid. But it's the pretence that grates, the hollow emptiness and lack of any coherent reasoning behind her ridiculously lauded aesthetic, all these vague allusions to beauty that try to appear weighty but fail. Perhaps a shock of electricity would be just the cure for her listlessness. Ambition should surely be made of sterner stuff.

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Roberts
Oct 21, 2009 3:02pm

good singers don't always make good conversationalists. and more often than not, good conversationalists make terrible singers. Two different forms of expression. it doesn't mean that she's stupid.

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Paul
Oct 21, 2009 3:05pm

God I'm surpised she didn't gut and perform some kind of debauched predator 2 style act to Florence. Is she still alive?

That aside, strongly written article I quite enjoyed reading.

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Luke Turner
Oct 21, 2009 3:09pm

In reply to Roberts:

A fair point in the general scheme of things. But Flo is often portrayed as a wonderful conversationalist, spouting magical words of fairy wisdom, when in actual fact she never says much more than "I fell out of a tree. It felt amazing when it hit the ground". And so on.

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Fixitgirl
Oct 21, 2009 3:17pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

It's not Florence's fault if journalists take a certain angle and portray her as a wonderful conversationalist, though, is it? I'm not a fan of Florence's music, but this interview just seems petty, vindictive and spiteful. Why does it matter if she uses a Discman instead of an Ipod? It doesn't necessarily make her stupid. You don't get to her level without having a bit of nous.

It's a shame, cos I've always liked Laura Snapes' reviews and other writing of hers I've read, but this just makes me think the interview was a massive waste of both her time and Florence's.

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Tim Burrows
Oct 21, 2009 3:18pm

Tis a bit like sending Roger Cook to Pan's People's dressing room, circa '74. 'COME ON, WE KNOW YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY WRITE THOSE SONGS, PAN'S. OPEN UP!'

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Angie
Oct 21, 2009 3:31pm

Many of the acts broken via the NME or other "cool" outlets scream The Emperor's New Clothes

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MrLukowski
Oct 21, 2009 3:31pm

Her music's horrible, but I think skewering a musician for inarticulacy is pretty redundant. I mean, there's a higher truth that a lot of music journalism tends to flatter people we regard as talented, regardless of articulacy, and maybe it makes perfect sense that it should cut the other way, but even so, the fact Florence wasn't taken to task for any of this at the time makes for a pretty nasty read. Then again, Florence has had way more than her fair share of fawning profiles, so fair enough, cosmic balance etc.

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SW
Oct 21, 2009 3:36pm

This doesn't seem too fair. I was under the pretense that interviewing a musician involved discovering their attitudes and opinions about music, instead of providing the opportunity for their personalities to be held to critique.

Perhaps this is meant to be an attack on bad journalists who bypass fully fleshing out their subject in an interview, instead of an interview proper with the subject herself, who spared a few minutes in a busy schedule to talk to someone who doesn't even respect her talents. Or maybe, just maybe, it's an unfortunate example of the former.

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SW
Oct 21, 2009 3:36pm

This doesn't seem too fair. I was under the pretense that interviewing a musician involved discovering their attitudes and opinions about music, instead of providing the opportunity for their personalities to be held to critique.

Perhaps this is meant to be an attack on bad journalists who bypass fully fleshing out their subject in an interview, instead of an interview proper with the subject herself, who spared a few minutes in a busy schedule to talk to someone who doesn't even respect her talents. Or maybe, just maybe, it's an unfortunate example of the former.

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Laura Snapes
Oct 21, 2009 3:40pm

In reply to MrLukowski:

But I think there's a difference between being inarticulate and genuinely having nothing to say for yourself - even the biggest mumbler in the world might be bursting with ideas and creativity. And the inarticulacy aside, there are things that she does say which are quite revealing - that you can now mix image and talent, for example.

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Richaod
Oct 21, 2009 3:46pm

Roberts is absolutely right - since when do we dismiss musicians on the basis of their interviews? And there's not necessarily anything wrong with interviewing someone whose music you don't like - but when you turn the entire article into a vehicle for your own distaste with barely any music-related commentary, it becomes a whole level of magnitude more self-indulgent than the worst music Florence could make.

(To be fair, I think she's a deeply talented MUSICIAN - though this would be equally useless if it was Elly Jackson or Lady Gaga in a Kermit dress)

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Fixitgirl
Oct 21, 2009 3:51pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

But how do you know the difference? If you'd engaged with her more, and picked up on the things she did say, you might have got more out of her. Isn't it possible that she sensed that you had an agenda and clammed up accordingly? I probably wouldn't have been forthcoming about my opinions if I was talking to someone who patently couldn't stand me and thought I was stupid and vacuous.

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Chloe
Oct 21, 2009 3:55pm

Laura, just imagine when Florence reads this, which she inevitably will. It's gratuitously harsh. Poor form.

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Eleanor
Oct 21, 2009 4:16pm

In reply to Chloe:

I totally agree. And, while it shouldn't be the feelings of the interviewee that are of utmost importance in music journalism, this piece is a long river of venom that ultimately goes absolutely nowhere. Disgraceful.

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Charles Ubaghs
Oct 21, 2009 4:17pm

I'm not sure it's fair to say that Laura approached the actual interview with a negative agenda. I get every impression from the questions included that she approached it from a neutral place.

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Laura Snapes
Oct 21, 2009 4:19pm

Responses in some kind of rough order:

I didn't go into the interview being petty, vindictive or spiteful. We weren't supposed to be talking about her music, but discussing what she thought of music this decade, the questions were all wide open for her to answer honestly and passionately without any prejudices from me.

I did take Florence to task for this at the time, as much as was possible. When she gave really pithy answers, I made suggestions that she could build from, and asked her to explain or develop her thoughts a little bit. Maybe this is bad, but I don't have the balls to say to an interviewee's face, "that's absolute vapid bullshit you're spouting, explain yourself!"

I don't think I was critiquing her personality, just pointing out the inconsistencies and weakness of her views on a lot of things. I could have been a lot more personal about some of what happened in the interview, but didn't mention these things in the piece (and nor will I now) as they're irrelevant to the discussion. I was as engaging with her as I know how to be, smiling and trying to be a bit chatty - totally at ease and with no intention of trying to twist the conversation into some hard hitting critique. I'm absolutely sure that she's sick to the back teeth of doing press, but I probably naively assumed that it might be a nice change to have a non-demanding chat with someone of a similar age.

I really didn't have that much of an opinion on her before interviewing her. I did it out of convenience as term hadn't started and I needed the part of the interview doing for the music section of a student newspaper and I was the only person around at the time (then the Quietus thing came up). I don't like her music but I accept that it's absolutely not for me, I saw her at Camp Bestival and thought she was quite funny, if not necessarily musically interesting - there was no vendetta. My distaste fed off the stupid things she said and feeling that pop fans are being duped with this poor excuse for individuality and creativity.

It would have been an absolute betrayal of everything I believe in to spin her ramblings into a glowing image of her - surely that'd be worse than stating the truth? That's all I have to say on the matter.

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Don Draper
Oct 21, 2009 4:29pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Come on guys, you can do better than a hatchet job interview for an already much-derided artist who no-one reading your site is likely to give two hoots about anyway - why not turning your vitriol on some of The Quietus sacred cows like, say, The Horrors?

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Fed
Oct 21, 2009 4:29pm

MERKED

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Charles Ubaghs
Oct 21, 2009 4:31pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Huzzah!

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Eleanor
Oct 21, 2009 4:34pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

"It would have been an absolute betrayal of everything I believe in to spin her ramblings into a glowing image of her - surely that'd be worse than stating the truth?"

That pretty much sums up everything that's wrong with this piece. There are ways of dismantling someone without backing them into a corner. And really, who gives a fig whether she can't work an iPod or not? This is hardly the sharpest harpoon in the prosecution weaponry. The idea that, in order to create a fine piece of journalism, one has to either write a glowing hagiography of an individual, or make them sound like a cunt is atrocious.

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kicking_k
Oct 21, 2009 4:42pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

i think the problem neutrals might have with the piece comes from the fact the criticisms aren't grounded to the music. as such, it connects as character assassination but not realllly as artistic critique - ok, you cd argue 'that's because she's not an artist' but there's a bunch of singles and an album classed as (good or bad) art over there, and they haven't been touched (this from someone who's generally more a fan of laura's writing than florence's music, by the way).

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Luke Turner
Oct 21, 2009 4:44pm

In reply to Eleanor :

Laura, as she explains, didn't back Flo into a corner. Flo put herself in it.

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Eleanor
Oct 21, 2009 4:51pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

I'm sure she's put herself in lots of corners, with lots of journalists, but I've never seen anything as unbalanced as this.

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Luke Turner
Oct 21, 2009 4:56pm

In reply to Eleanor:

But look at nearly every single review, interview or article about Florence this year all across the media. They've all been ridiculously one-sided and gushing, never questioning the line that she's some kind of wild-hearted creative genius descendent of Kate Bush etc and so on Amen.

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Richaod
Oct 21, 2009 4:58pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Your justification's perfectly fair as far as your conducting of the interview went... but it doesn't really make the article itself a more reasonable read. Her answers may well have been given without prejudice, but their portrayal doesn't exactly let them speak for themselves.

Also, subjectively labelling her "not for me", then calling her "a poor excuse for individuality and creativity" - as if you're doing fans a favour by informing us of some high and mighty objective truth - that seems a little incongruous to me.

All I can say is, though her vapidity is supposedly self-evident, the sheer bias of the running commentary displays more insight into your own opinions than the subject of the interview's - which surely defeats the purpose of an interview happening in the first place.

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Richaod
Oct 21, 2009 5:09pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

I'm sure reviewers are giving their honest reactions, even if wider opinion informs their thoughts. But interviews aren't the place for what a WRITER thinks first and foremost.

And just because an opinion goes against the grain doesn't mean it's at all justified - kicking_k nailed it.

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TL
Oct 21, 2009 5:21pm

This interviewer makes herself seem as clueless as she would like us to believe her subject is. This isn't journalism, it's the print equivalent of "sub-Evanescence squawl blares". I don't even know who this singer is or what this website is supposed to be, but after reading this, i'm more inclined to give the singer the benefit of the doubt than the site.

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Tim
Oct 21, 2009 6:03pm

In reply to Don Draper:

Don-

Why? The Horrors already do it to themselves...

Faris what's-his-tits practically has a hobnail-boot-shaped mouth from all the times he's put his foot in it.

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Tim
Oct 21, 2009 6:13pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Laura-

I'm not offended (or surprised) that Florence Welch is an idiot.

I'm not offended that you wrote an editorial (because it was barely an interview) taking her to the cleaners with little to no regard for journalistic objectivity.

Why am I offended? I don't read the Quietus to watch you lot shoot sleeping fish in a very small barrel. Much more fun to watch you pick on someone who has the mental capacity to tell you're making fun of them and fire back.

If you're going to trash a band on your front page, make it someone who we care about--make it a divisive piece instead of reminding anyone with a brain of what they already know.

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DMH1
Oct 21, 2009 6:21pm

What a load of absolute tripe this article is. Florence's views and opinions are exactly that "hers". If she doesn't want to be forthcoming about her opinions on a subject then perhaps thats because she doesn't want to, and why should she?

The albums she references are ones she has been discussing in interviews for a while especially her love of the xx. Why the hell should she microanalyse those albums. She likes them because she does. Music is art not science and it is musical snobs like the author who believe music is there to be analysed rather than enjoyed.

If I like something I listen to it, if I don't I don't. Its really quite simple. The reason Florence gets praise is because people like her music. They like her album and they like her live. The author clearly doesn't. Which is her right. But why feel the need to try and justify that. Why feel the need to comment at all?

Its this kind of lack of acceptance of things that annoys me. So what if you don't like her. So what? I dare say that plenty you like is disliked in equal measure. But there is no right or wrong, no final "measure" to determine these things.

Of course the positive media she receives must all be some record label management induced conspiracy and the fact her album has gone platinum must be a conspiracy too. Can't be because a large number of people have a different opinion than you do. So instead of taking the view that one man's gold is anothers muck you write an article filled with silly comments and death by overanalysis.

Well done. Bet you feel really big with your fellow "pseuds" down the pub. The rest of us will carry on living in the real world!

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Fixitgirl
Oct 21, 2009 6:31pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

You can be honest and not resort to personal insults, though. Although it sounds as if you went into the interview relatively open-minded and really tried to engage her in easy conversation, it does sound as if something went badly wrong somewhere, and you were rattled. You don't want to say what that was, and fair enough, but to somebody reading your piece with no idea of what went on, it makes you seem like you're being spiteful and petty. Sorry I got the wrong idea, but I still don't think that calling her stupid and a "spoilt rich girl" is justified.

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Eleanor
Oct 21, 2009 7:09pm

In reply to Richaod:

Hear hear Richaod: "...the sheer bias of the running commentary displays more insight into your own opinions than the subject of the interview's - which surely defeats the purpose of an interview happening in the first place."

It's actually pretty rare for decent music journalists to get as personal as Laura did here. In fact, nigh on unheard of. You can be honest/cutting/disparaging without calling someone "stupid" or referring to their financial backgrounds. Furthermore, insulting her fans by saying they've been "duped", just because she didn't come across well in an interview. Because that's <obviously> what people are going to be thinking about when they've got her music playing in their headphones.

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Crooked Vulture
Oct 21, 2009 7:16pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

Um, so what if critics have been singing her praises all year? Regardless of what you think of her/her music (I actually don't like it much), it doesn't mean that, because you've got a gobby student to write a diatribe against Florence, you've offered a valid counteraction to all the positivity? Please. I suspect that nearly 99% of people who read this article will find it offensive rather than enlightening or informative. That's not an achievement, it's bloody pathetic. If you truly believe that this is a decent, objective, mature article, then you've lost one (previously loyal) Quietus reader. Appalling.

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Mark Eglinton
Oct 21, 2009 7:20pm

I actually enjoyed the piece despite not being a particular devotee of the music. I'll tell you what though: why do so many of you post under pseudonyms? It's totally and utterly LAME.

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Samuel Bain
Oct 21, 2009 7:24pm

What a vile article.

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V
Oct 21, 2009 7:36pm

Absolutely have nothing to say on this article. But these comments are the best thing I've read today.

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Olivia
Oct 21, 2009 8:15pm

In reply to DMH1:

I could write a lengthy response to this harsh article but DMH1, you've pretty much said all I want to say!

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Derrin Zikks
Oct 21, 2009 8:21pm

"The Heidelberg phenomenon this ain't."

Googled this. Nada. Way to one-up there.

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kicking_k
Oct 21, 2009 8:32pm

In reply to Derrin Zikks:

i think it's a ref to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

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kicking_k
Oct 21, 2009 8:51pm

In reply to kicking_k:

wait - just looked at the context - must be Martin Luther's Heidelberg Disputation. i think..?

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John Doran
Oct 21, 2009 8:52pm

I'd just like to say for the record that we don't go out of our way to stitch people up. I've gone out of my way to do the opposite more times than I can remember.

We set up an interview with Flo-We about a month before the actual date and she was given the choice of "reviewing her ten favourite albums of the 00s or ANY OTHER NON MUSICAL SUBJECT OF HER CHOICE", thus allowing her pretty much free-reign apart from spinning the same old major label yarn she's been touting to all the other mags all year.

She agreed to the former and then when we turned up, she couldn't name ten albums from this decade and two of the ones she did name were from the mid 90s.

We reflected this in the article.

If this article was directed at the lead singer of the Twang, I would have heard nary a whimper of protest. Not one voice would have been raised. I resent the implication that we're going hard on her just because she's a girl, and I find the idea that we should somehow adjust our attitude because of her age and gender beyond belief.

She chose the subject. She had a month to research it. Ten albums she likes from the last ten years. Or something else "non-musical" of her own choosing.

I'm not an unnecessarily cruel person but I don't really feel *that* guilty given the amount of time we put in at our end.

I'm certainly not going to spike it for example just because it seems mean or doesn't fit in with someone's PR schedule.

Laura's conclusion explains exactly how I feel on this matter.

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John Doran
Oct 21, 2009 8:55pm

That should be "time and effort" obviously. And I'm one of the commissioning editors, just in case that wasn't immediately apparent.

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Fixitgirl
Oct 21, 2009 9:20pm

In reply to John Doran:

"I resent the implication that we're going hard on her just because she's a girl, and I find the idea that we should somehow adjust our attitude because of her age and gender beyond belief."

Who do you mean, John? I've been reading the comments, and I don't think anyone has implied this. I'd have objected to the tone of this piece regardless of the gender of the person being criticised, because I don't think a website of the calibre of The Quietus should be resorting to calling people stupid and spoilt just because they didn't prepare themselves for the interview as you would have liked. And "She had a month to research" the subject? She's not a student doing an essay. She doesn't have to spend a month dutifully doing her homework and preparing to speak to your writer. She doesn't owe you anything. And sure, it's disappointing if you can't get anything out of her that you can use for your feature, but that doesn't mean it's right to then resort to cheap jibes at her expense.

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MECHA GODZILLA
Oct 21, 2009 9:21pm

In reply to John Doran:

So... did her behaviour in this interview prompt the picture of people dancing when her trailer burned down in that article a week or so ago or did her PR team just not check this site before they OKed the interview?
I personally thought there was little wrong with this, don't get me wrong it's not brilliant, but a lot of you have been fairly harsh on the journalist, she just supplied the rope.

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John Doran
Oct 21, 2009 9:41pm

In reply to Fixitgirl:

Wrong. She owes my writer who is paid considerably less than her the minimum respect of at least trying to answer some questions, we agreed she'd be asked four weeks in advance.

We've gone into men on this site in much harsher ways on many, many occasions and there hasn't been a murmur of complaint.

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Crooked Vulture
Oct 21, 2009 9:43pm

In reply to John Doran:

NO ONE has implied that Laura was hard on her because she's a girl. Where on earth did you get that from? Also, Fixitgirl has it exactly right - she wasn't writing an essay for school. I also strongly disagree with the idea that Laura simply "reflected" in the article. Is this really what anyone else commonly knows as reflection? I am only so wound up about this because I read and love The Quietus all the time and this piece (I don't even want to call it that) sticks out like a gangrenous thumb.

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Your mum
Oct 21, 2009 9:43pm

In reply to John Doran:

"I resent the implication that we're going hard on her just because she's a girl, and I find the idea that we should somehow adjust our attitude because of her age and gender beyond belief."

I don't think anyone has implied this. Show me another piece that is as vitriolic and venomous in its impugning of someone on such a personal level.

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Lucia Lanigan
Oct 21, 2009 9:44pm

In reply to John Doran:

It's dispiriting that people find this article such an affront - it's completely even-handed, and not remotely "venomous" or personal. I think you're all just unused to reading anything that takes a critical tone, cause there's such a dearth of it about at the moment. Which in itself goes some way to explaining why it's so easy for such a bland, talent- and character-light figure as Florence to get pushed unquestioningly forward as some kind of explosion in a charisma factory.

We're not talking about Pan's People(!) here; we're talking about a Mercury-nominated artist who's been foisted on the Culture Show crowd and who's taken up valuable space more deserving artists could be filling. Someone who's done their bit to keep public life that little bit less satisfying.

This is the site that paid tribute to Steven Wells and got overwhelming approval as its reward, right? And yet this unassuming little piece has got your backs up? Blimey.

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Oct 21, 2009 9:45pm

In reply to John Doran:

"We've gone into men on this site..." Great, that irons it all out.

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Luke Turner
Oct 21, 2009 9:46pm

You might wonder why The Quietus has oft gone in rather hard on Florence. Every year, there's one artist - usually a skewed indie solo type - who goes from NME/web coverage to unquestioning broadsheet acclaim and weird mass hysteria. Last year it was, say, Jack Penate. This year Florence was the latest lucky recipient of a carefully engineered hype balloon that can only eclipse the light that might be shone on other, far more interesting artists.

I actually wrote a Black Sky Thinking about the matter earlier this year, which you can read here: http://thequietus.com/articles/00961-why-florence-the-machine-exemplifies-the-desperation-of-the-annual-tipster-orgy

If you perhaps feel that the article doesn't mention the music, well we've covered that in our album review and elsewhere. And I can't really bothered to talk any more about it all, except to say I'm quite surprised at the volume of the shouting here - we've actually had a lot of communication from people who were right into the article, but as usual on the internet people prefer a whinge.

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blah blah
Oct 21, 2009 9:49pm

In reply to Lucia Lanigan:

Nothing wrong with being critical.

"How stupid do you have to be to not be able to work an iPod?" is just nasty PLUS beside the point. She's a musician/popstar - who cares if she can't work an iPod???

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just sayin'
Oct 21, 2009 9:51pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

So shouldn't you be making your arguments against the NME then? Rather than a personal attack on the artist?

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cyril lesley
Oct 21, 2009 10:04pm

Agreed it's different to the glowing tributes, but I found it rather supercilious and lacking in any warmth. The only person who seems to have got their 'knickers in a twist' is Laura. An interview on PMT!

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Katie.
Oct 21, 2009 10:16pm

This is ridiculous,its the worst journalism ive read in a long time. It doesnt matter if she is a fan of florence as an artist or even as a person, to purposefully write this article with a preconceived negative opinion,which she cleary has, is poor form. This is an interview with a musical artist,how much of her music is mentioned? It is more like a personal attack than anything. Way harsh.

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MECHA GODZILLA
Oct 21, 2009 10:27pm

In reply to Katie.:

No, the words in the quotation marks are what she said then the journalist then wrote her words afterward based on that. As for the music angle which you claim is so absent, well Florence is the one who brought up Green Day as one of her favourite albums, maybe she's just not that into music?

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compassion fatigue
Oct 21, 2009 10:34pm

In reply to Roberts:

can you point out where this good singer is that you speak of, i'm struggling here

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Katie
Oct 21, 2009 10:39pm

That is not the point i was making. Her obvious distaste towards florence feels personal, which is just harsh. She is supposed to be a journalist,using an article to basically voice her personal opinion of florence is not journalism. The reason she has been interviewed is because she is the singer of florence and the machine but there is hardly any reference to her music.

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stevie
Oct 21, 2009 10:47pm

most of the comments above scream STREET TEAM to me, well done to florence's guerilla pr team

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Norman Smith
Oct 21, 2009 10:54pm

The most obvious street-team here is the blokes from The Quietus trying to salvage their reputation.

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Luke Turner
Oct 21, 2009 10:57pm

In reply to Norman Smith:

Oh Norman dear, behave. This is but one of 3024 articles on the site. If people want to get in a tizzy about a pop at Florence rather than reading about Diamanda Galas, The Caretaker, Sunn O))), the music of Africa, The XX, and so on and so on, then they're quite entitled to. We're just helping the discourse along.

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Norman Smith
Oct 21, 2009 11:01pm

Are you clicking "refresh" every three minutes on the Diamanda Galas articles too then?

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Laura Snapes' dead cat which has been kicked to death for not having an eloquent and succinct enough response ready about a complicated issue
Oct 21, 2009 11:20pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

"I could have been a lot more personal about some of what happened in the interview, but didn't mention these things in the piece (and nor will I now) as they're irrelevant to the discussion."

So, you had a little spat with her and thought you'd stitch her up good and proper? Nice, Laura. Nice.

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MrLukowski
Oct 22, 2009 12:08am

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Maybe it's a question of presentation... I suppose it's romantic to think there's an 'our' side that's noble and a 'their' side that might be nasty, vis a vis good music taste and bad music taste, but I think in presenting this in such heavily editorialised prose style, rather than perhaps allowing the quotes room to hang themselves (which they would clearly have done), while clearly not having raised the fact you felt any of this to her face (i.e. I suppose the classic term is knifing her in the back), then to me it's pretty cut and dried that this is classically 'nasty' journalism. But y'know, different people have different sensibilities.

And the fact is that she's received an awful lot of horribly sycophantic press that's vastly flattered her talents, such as they are. This is the exact flipside of that, and maybe it has a place. People who've been positive about this piece seem to generally think she had it coming, and maybe she did, if only for balance.

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Tim Russell
Oct 22, 2009 12:36am

Since the British music press became just another branch of record industry PR, this kind of confrontational hatchet job interview has become virtually extinct. My hat off to The Quietus for reviving it, and I can scarcely think of a more deserving target.

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Tim Russell
Oct 22, 2009 12:46am

In reply to Tim Russell:

Just read all the comments above, and it seems many of the posters have a complete misunderstanding of what real music journalism is - or used to be - about. It's not supposed to be even-handed, objective and just about the facts, ma'am; like music itself it's about emotion, subjectivity, passion, anger, stupidity, self-expression, all that kind of stuff. Pick up an old MM or NME from the 1980s and you'll see interviews like this were par for the course - editors would often send journos out to interview bands they didn't like, as they knew it would make for great writing. No-one cared about PR or the feelings of the poor ickle bands being interviewed, and rightly so.

If a journalist criticises one of my favourite artists, what do I care? Am I going to scream "EUREKA!" and delete that artist's entire back catalogue from my hard drive? No, but I might have a laugh at the writer's piece if it's well-written, and leave it at that. If you Florence fans (inexplicable though I find the concept) are that upset about this piece, I suggest it's because you're so used to this caterwauling harpie being given blanket praise by the media that, in the words of Jack Nicholson, you can't handle the truth.

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kicking_k
Oct 22, 2009 6:16am

i think knowing that the interview was set up around a particular form/theme that florence agreed to a month in advance makes a big difference. i've had similar happen to me and it's a real discourtesy when you've spent time thinking about yr subject, travelling to wherever they want to meet, sorting yr recording media (with transcribing, writing + editing to follow, often nowadays with no payment...) -- had that frame been left in place, the flailing in the void that followed wd seem less a function of laura's attitude to her subject, and more a response to a situation.

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engimp@otenet.gr
Oct 22, 2009 6:29am

What a nasty vindictive little article. So you didn't like her, and don't rate her music - fine, but what does that have to do with such a personal attack - very possibly she wasn't overwhelmed with you either, and that's why you didn't get a wonderful response. Anyway, as far as I know, brilliant interviewing technique is not a requirement for musical success.

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mnemonic999
Oct 22, 2009 7:38am

Cruel and vidictive, you must have had a severe problem with bile the day you wrote that blog.

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Mark
Oct 22, 2009 7:58am

Like myself Florence is dyslexic. One symptom of dyslexia is struggling to put sentences together under pressure, such as during interviews.

So yeah, well done on making fun of a disability.

Bet you feel really big now.

I hope you retract this article as whilst I don't enjoy Florence's music I find it deeply deeply offensive as a dyslexic who struggles to construct my sentences quickly under pressure.

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DMH1
Oct 22, 2009 8:02am

What offends me more than anything is the comments like "caterwauling harpie". Florence being bad or being "contrived" or being unpleasant to listen to is presented as "fact" by some rather than opinion.

People have opinions that differ to yours. Can you not accept that and leave it?

Or is it necessary to present your opinions as the overriding facts of the matter and that is that?

Music is not wrong or right.

If someone thinks Florence is the best artist to have ever stumbled up to a mic stand then THAT is AS VALID as any negative opinion about her.

There is no right or wrong. Why do people feel the need to prove themselves rather than accept different things appeal to different people?

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mnemonic999
Oct 22, 2009 8:05am

In reply to Tim Russell:

Truth or personal attack, it seems as if Laura slipped back from 1936 not 1980.

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Tim
Oct 22, 2009 8:07am

In reply to Luke Turner:

It's true...

Sunn 0))) are the shit, and Quietus has a couple great pieces on them.

This one, however, is way below standard. If there's anything to be learned today, it's that the Quietus needs to raise the bar. If you're going to make a blog about genius bands like Sunn and the Fall and whatnot, and then waste precious server space on Florence and the fucking Machine, there needs to be some staff cuts pronto.

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jenny21
Oct 22, 2009 9:06am

Oh dear. You're trying to paint Florence as an idiot but you're the one coming across as a twonk. Lovely journalism! I'd rather Florence be the way she is in this interview than follow down La Roux's (who you seem to favour) path of saying that victims of domestic violence bring it upon themselves (or words to that effect).
And I'm almost certain that you weren't conveying any of these thoughts (whether verbal or just through body language) during the actual interview. It sounds ridiculous but it's a bit cowardly, coming to work afterwards and then writing all this bile.

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Roland Arad
Oct 22, 2009 9:12am

Laura doth protest too much, methinks: Is there a story within the story, is there more to be uncovered here. Such venom has to have its origin, as no reasonably intelligent person expects our gods of music to be anything other than entertaining and Florence does entertain. Judge her by her live gigs not her interviewing technique.
http://www.youtube.com/user/mnemonic999#p/c/8D05D4D48AF55811/7/Wq7cCFOriys

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Angie
Oct 22, 2009 9:18am

In reply to Mark:

If she is dyslexic then she quite clearly should have used the 4 weeks to prepare herself for the interview and have her list of her 10 favourite albums and supporting notes. Preparation and confidence are two tools that would have helped her overcome any feelings of stress caused by her dyslexia in a pressurised situation. If she was stressed, due to her own lack of preparation, it was a state of her own making

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John Doran
Oct 22, 2009 9:21am

In reply to Mark:

I'm dyslexic. What's that got to do with anything?

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Mark
Oct 22, 2009 9:21am

In reply to Angie:

Angie, in reply, yes she should have prepared. But she is on tour, and I suspect she may have a few more pressing matters than preparing for an interview for a website few people have heard of.

Also had she prepped and written it all down she'd only have been accused of being a prepped and primed puppet of her record company.

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Mark
Oct 22, 2009 9:27am

In reply to John Doran:

John, the interviewer was mocking her for struggling to construct coherent sentences and using "umm and like" a lot. That is a symptom of adult dyslexia, especially when under pressure in interview situations. I found it offensive as I know I do the same in situations where I'm required to supply answers and I know it is a symptom of my disability.

Mind I kind of get the impression that the author would have no shame pointint and laughing and kids in wheelchairs, so I doubt she will feel any shame mocking an embarrassing and difficult disability such as dyslexia!

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Mark Eglinton
Oct 22, 2009 9:43am

" a website few people have heard of" ...hmmmmm

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MECHA GODZILLA
Oct 22, 2009 9:53am

Dont you miss it, dont you miss it.
Some a you people just about missed it!

I thought I'd repeat this as it makes points (well) most of you are willfully avoiding and as a result has been one of the few comments in this worth reading.

"Lucia Lanigan
12 hours ago

In reply to John Doran:

It's dispiriting that people find this article such an affront - it's completely even-handed, and not remotely "venomous" or personal. I think you're all just unused to reading anything that takes a critical tone, cause there's such a dearth of it about at the moment. Which in itself goes some way to explaining why it's so easy for such a bland, talent- and character-light figure as Florence to get pushed unquestioningly forward as some kind of explosion in a charisma factory.

We're not talking about Pan's People(!) here; we're talking about a Mercury-nominated artist who's been foisted on the Culture Show crowd and who's taken up valuable space more deserving artists could be filling. Someone who's done their bit to keep public life that little bit less satisfying.

This is the site that paid tribute to Steven Wells and got overwhelming approval as its reward, right? And yet this unassuming little piece has got your backs up? Blimey."

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ER
Oct 22, 2009 9:55am

it's stretching it to bill this as an interview when it's merely an opinion piece with a couple of quotes. i think florence is dreadful and her 'I'm a fairy, LOL!' schtick is annoying but 'OMG SHE DOESN'T KNOW THAT THIS IS HARDCORE WAS MADE IN 1997' is a bit of a weak attack. the interviewers main criticism is that she doesn't slip up? jesus, go back to the student paper. weak, weak weak.

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Fred Zeppelin
Oct 22, 2009 9:57am

If this article highlights one thing it's those of you who are so offended by it have clearly been weaned on the piss-poor PR-toadying nonsense that's been passed off a music journalism for the last decade.

Haven't any of you ever read any SWells? Nick Kent? Everett True? Pick up some editions of NME, MM, Sounds etc from the 70s,80s and early 90s and see writers taking tedious musicians to task.

If Flo is genuinely passionate about what she does then she'd express that passion with conviction. As it is, she strikes me as a typical product of art school who views fame as an end in itself. The fact that she's managed by the one of the horrendously vile Queens of Noize is enough to send alarm bells ringing.

If you can't hack this kind of feature then go off to the asinine and sterile environs of crap like Gigwise where tongues dispense the kind of deep rimming that you're clearly into. This is precisely why I read and what I expect from The Quietus. All power to 'em!

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Fixitgirl
Oct 22, 2009 10:20am

In reply to Fred Zeppelin:

As a matter of fact, I read Melody Maker and NME religiously between the ages of 13 and 18, until the Maker folded and NME went to shit, and yes, I have read and enjoyed articles by Nick Kent and Everett True who criticise the people they're interviewing. The difference is that those writers would frame their article better, so that the reader would have an idea of what's going on, and what led up to the encounter (the planning, etc) They would have had the guts to gently challenge and probe Flo on her lack of enthusiasm, rather than swallowing it all at the time and write a misleading and nasty diatribe about it afterwards. I'm not offended by the piece and I don't give two hoots about whether Flo's feelings are hurt or not. However, I can't buy the line that it's a great, incisive piece of journalism, when it's full of cheap jibes and insults. Would you really catch Nick Kent calling someone stupid and spoilt?

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Fixitgirl
Oct 22, 2009 10:37am

In reply to kicking_k:

And yeah - I agree with this. If you know the background to the situation, and that there had been a long build up, and a lot of work had gone into it, then you can understand Laura's frustration better and have a little more sympathy for her. And I agree that F should try to answer the questions, but she did answer a few of them, didn't she? It's impossible to tell how things panned out from the piece because of the way the facts are presented, but she does seem to have made an effort to answer some of the questions. Laura even acknowledges that she becomes "suddenly animated" at one point. Why not take advantage of that sudden flash of enthusiasm and try to get more out of it, instead of castigating her for not being more effusive?

Laura really does have some guts to come on here and defend her article, but if you need to come back and explain that you didn't come into the interview biased, and if her commissioning editor needs to point out that there was a lot of planning that went into the piece, and you were cross with Florence for not preparing better, well, then the piece must have failed, cos it's not giving the reader enough of the facts. I think the vast majority of the comments disagreeing with you have been respectful. Nobody's being shouty, except perhaps the people who write for the Quietus.

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Brian Mackness
Oct 22, 2009 11:10am

Snapes said, "Of course it doesn't really matter that she can't explain why her favourite albums of the decade mean so much to her".
Yes, that's right, isn't music supposed to be expressing what words alone cannot? Isn't music instinctive? We respond to music in an emotional way and on an unconscious level (even the idiots who write for this website). I've read very clever analyses of Mozart's Don Giovanni, but none really explain why it affects me like it does and I'm bloody certain I couldn't explain it either.

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DMH1
Oct 22, 2009 11:20am

In reply to Brian Mackness:

Exactly Brian exactly. People like music because they do. Does it really need more analysis than that?

What websites like this don't seem to be able to cope with is, people they don't like finding popular appeal. It seems abhorrent to them.

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MECHA GODZILLA
Oct 22, 2009 11:47am

In reply to DMH1:

Exactly Brian exactly. People don't like musicians because they don't. Does it really need more analysis than that?

What people who read websites like this don't seem to be able to cope with is, people they like being criticised. It seems abhorrent to them.

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Adam
Oct 22, 2009 11:51am

Excellent article and some brilliant comments. The whole "we like her, why can't you leave her alone" line of argument is particularly amusing. Hats of to the Quietus for sparking the debate and also weighing in on the frothy mouthed bile from Flo's supporters.

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DMH1
Oct 22, 2009 12:15pm

In reply to MECHA GODZILLA:

But why bother? Whats the need for such an unpleasant article?

Reviews are fine. They are there for people to review an album and express their opinion.

But why take an intereview and present it in such a way? Why bother in the first place with someone the site has so little respect for? What purpose does it serve other than sitting aloft above people and sneering at them?

The way it comes across is a "crusade" to educate the "morons" on what they should like and what they shouldn't.

Being accepting, positive and fair is surely better than negative, sneering and biased.

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Brian Mackness
Oct 22, 2009 12:16pm

In reply to Laura Snapes:

Snapes: "But I think there's a difference between being inarticulate and genuinely having nothing to say for yourself"

Maybe she just picked up on the fact you didn't like her? That's hardly going to help her open up is it?

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Muckrel
Oct 22, 2009 12:19pm

In reply to MECHA GODZILLA:

"What people who read websites like this don't seem to be able to cope with is, people they like being criticised. It seems abhorrent to them."

Ha. Because people who ENJOY something and DON'T HAVE TO THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT IT, BECAUSE MUSIC, YEAH? are clearly so secure in their enjoyment that they can ignore people with different opinions.

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Brian Mackness
Oct 22, 2009 12:27pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

Luke Turner: " Every year, there's one artist - usually a skewed indie solo type - who goes from NME/web coverage to unquestioning broadsheet acclaim and weird mass hysteria."

Yes I was already aware that the people on this website have a massive chip on their shoulders.

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MECHA GODZILLA
Oct 22, 2009 12:42pm

In reply to DMH1:

I see your point, I do, but personally I'd much rather read a website that is going to go all out and say what it thinks good or bad, all this 'if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all' just results in dull reading.

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DMH1
Oct 22, 2009 12:58pm

In reply to MECHA GODZILLA:

I agree to an extent but as ever there is a line and like I said before reviewing a piece of work and saying what you think is fair.

Reviewing someones character (which is fairly irrelevant anyhow) using this kind of half baked interview approach is quite frankly not on. It goes beyond poking a bit of "mild fun" or expressing an opinion on the quality of the music and breaks into the "she's shit and stupid and you better all listen and agree because we ARE THE authority on everything" territory. Which is not a good place to be IMO.

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Nate Schwab
Oct 22, 2009 1:22pm

Whatever anyone thinks of this piece, it's hard to deny that Florence spews forth a lot of rubbish in pretty much every interview.

Case in point.
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/104733/Wild-thing/

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David McNamee
Oct 22, 2009 1:25pm

In reply to DMH1:

It's been interesting reading, but short of Flo appearing on this comments thread and giving her own opinion (which would actually be pretty cool) I think everything that could have ever been said about this piece has already been discussed.

Would be interesting to see if John's mooted follow-up piece happens, and what the salacious backstory is(!), but my fear is that it could inflame tensions further.

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Kev Kharas
Oct 22, 2009 1:32pm

In reply to DMH1:

'Fair'? It's not war reporting you prick. It's pop music.

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LRH
Oct 22, 2009 1:53pm

This is hilarious.
A bunch of people up in arms over "Florence" from "Florence and the Machine" being called boring or empty headed.
Either it's true and the interviewer told you so or she's not and the interviewer is wrong.
Neither of those conculsions have any effect on your life nor should they have any effect on your enjoyment (or otherwise) of her music.

Also, anyone who is complaining in the comments of this website that the Interviewer only wrote this because she didn't like the artist and wants to inflict her own view as fact and doesn't see the irony in what they're doing only adds to the "funny".

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LRH
Oct 22, 2009 1:55pm

In reply to LRH:

or conclusions even ...

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JJ
Oct 22, 2009 2:38pm

i hope the quietus won't persist in this cheap spite-for-spite's sake journalism. this wasn't even particularly well done (it takes some impressively unpleasant leaps of thought to assume technical inability equates to someone wishing to prove how creative they are). you're better than that. (the quietus that is, snape clearly isn't.)

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Alex Denney
Oct 22, 2009 2:39pm

In reply to LRH:

can everyone just shut the fuck up now yeah? i've got stuff to do.

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Da5e Grimm
Oct 22, 2009 3:39pm

We Love Life was far, far superior to This Is Hardcore anyway.

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Dev
Oct 22, 2009 3:51pm

Hmmm. Well I'm firmly in the camp of enjoying Florence's music but seeing the portrayed image is maybe not as natural as it might be but who is stupid in this situation? The artist who 'can't work an iPod (Worst diss ever) or the fans hwo can't see past the most basic of marketing schemes?

This all sniffs of a hatchet job with preconceived intentions. Is it really fair to criticise how someone responds in an interview? A press interview is a bizarre and false atmosphere, the results of which are very unlikely to be indicative of a persons true personality.

I think TQ have every right to attack what they see as sacred cows but is the fact the BBC/ broadsheet media love her really reason enough for the vitriol displayed here?

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Manish
Oct 22, 2009 3:51pm

Ridicule, as a wise man once sang, is nothing to be scared of. If Florence really is the peacock-pop avatar her supporters claim, then surely the odd questioning piece is par for the course?

The people who think this one ranks as a hatchet job must be soft in the head. Kate Bush and Bjork (to name the two reference points that pro-Flo brigade often invoke) both endured crueller barbs at various points in their ascendancy (the vagaries of the weekly music press when it was still powerful, Spitting Image puppets, French & Saunders sketches, etc).

The difference being that they both had fully formed aesthetics with epochal tuneage, integrated visuals and thematic cogency, whereas Florence just strikes me as the musical equivalent of Colin Hunt from The Fast Show: "I'm mad, I am! Look, i'm climbing up the speakers in a paisley burka! I can sing that Candi Staton song! No shoes! Someone tell Edith Bowman!"

In summary, i enjoyed the article.

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Fred Zeppelin
Oct 22, 2009 4:50pm

In reply to Manish:

Manish - your comments are so spot on they ache. Well done that man!

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Brian Mackness
Oct 22, 2009 5:01pm

In reply to Fred Zeppelin:

Fred Zeppelin: "Manish - your comments are so spot on they ache. Well done that man!"

I hope that was sarcasm.

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Angie
Oct 22, 2009 5:36pm

In reply to Mark:

"Angie, in reply, yes she should have prepared. But she is on tour, and I suspect she may have a few more pressing matters than preparing for an interview for a website few people have heard of.

If she does not have time (or deem a website too unimportant) to prepare for an interview (in the 4 weeks given) then she should not do it

"Also had she prepped and written it all down she'd only have been accused of being a prepped and primed puppet of her record company."

If she does, as you say, have dyslexia, and this was the cause o her inability to communicate in an eloquent manner then it would have been prudent to prepare and explain to the journalist why she had written the notes. This is far more likely to a) let the journalist know that she was taking the interview seriously and giving due consideration and b) flag up her dyslexia and the issues that causes her...and actually could have become the "non-music-related" topic that she could talk about

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Lindsay
Oct 22, 2009 5:42pm

Maybe if your journalist had done a little more research into her subject instead of conducting a character assassination, she would have seen that there are many reasons why Florence isn't as articulate as she should be. Florence suffers from dyslexia and dyspraxia, which are not always noticeable to the untrained eye, but never the less cause problems for the sufferer. These conditions usually have a detriment effect to their education and their confidence. Florence Welch has one of the best voices I have ever had the pleasure of hearing and just because she doesn't fit into one particular box, your narrow minded and at times just spiteful journalist decide it was easier to just right an article with a very negative point of view. Maybe it was too much like hard work to take time and actually try to see how a young woman who is not that articulate feels about being thrown into the lions den we call "Fame"

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Norman Smith
Oct 22, 2009 6:03pm

Jeez people. She thought an eleven year old album was a nine year old album! That's more than enough rope. (PS. "This Is Hardcore" came out in 1998 not 1997 as everyone knows except for stupid people and Laura Snapes).

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Fred Zeppelin
Oct 22, 2009 6:07pm

In reply to Brian Mackness:

No, Brian - that was a heartfelt endorsement of Manish's point of view. From where I'm sitting, it's the most succinct and accurate summing of the feature, the furore surrounding it and the dubious aesthetic of the singer in question.

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Chuck Norris
Oct 22, 2009 6:41pm

In reply to Lindsay:

Lindsay one thing : THANK YOU SO MUCH ! Strongly Agree .

Actually , I'm sad.. I really don't get the aim of Laura Snapes here . Why does she write this ? Maybe she thought : " Oh well , the whole journalistic world quite likes Florence Welch, and I don't want to be like them, i want to be different, so Let's literarly kill Miss Welch."
And what does she write ?
She harshly says that Florence can't work Ipod, and adds she is so stupid, dumb and stuff ... Well done Laura Snapes, this is the article of your life .

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Bailey
Oct 22, 2009 6:54pm

I can't quite see why you bothered to write the piece when, after the interview, you clearly felt unable to reveal anything interesting about her.

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Chris Ackroyd
Oct 22, 2009 8:17pm

please see me after class Snape, you can do better than this. 4/10

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Brother Grimm
Oct 22, 2009 8:18pm

am too daft for this shit. but tomorrow's friday yo

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caroline
Oct 22, 2009 9:49pm

Im exhausted after reading that interview.Its so angry-which is fine. But its not entertaining or informative, or even funny.just unrelenting.

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Boris
Oct 23, 2009 12:26am

At first I thought you were a seasoned journalist coming down off a coke binge but obviously this isn't the case. No one said Florence Welch was Einstein, she just make music that a lot of people like. As you know when breaking through you take what ever interview and publicity is going because you are not probably making any money yet, so don't have the time or probably the inclination to go off and do your homework on the best 10 albums and give a balanced in depth report. You would probably be better off asking Bono. I'm not adverse to hearing Florence & the machine put down, there are plenty of artist I don't like and do the same. This just came across as unprofessional and personal.

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Corzine
Oct 23, 2009 3:09am

In reply to John Doran:

Attempting to defend this kind of petty and vindictive attack on any artist demeans your ability as an editor. You really can't tell the difference between a dialogue and a fit of pique? OK, Laura was annoyed that Florence, who has been singing in a different city every day for weeks now, didn't stop to spend the enter 4 weeks attending to her questions. But her response was to use her platform to vent not to inform. Last I heard, spitefulness was not a definition of journalism.

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vincent
Oct 23, 2009 7:52am

you would think that any decent interviewer would at least do a background check, something as simple as a google/wiki search, on their interviewee before writing this article. surely that is the hallmark of an amateur...otherwise they would know that Florence is admittedly diagnosed with dyslexia and dysmetria, dysmetria specifically influencing her ability to coherently spit out a reply at your command. clearly the woman deals in emotions and not words, hence the appeal in her music and her the soul in her voice. you seem so clearly bent on knocking her off some imagined pedestal you just come across haughty and ignorant.

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Daniel Copeman
Oct 23, 2009 10:40am

In reply to blah blah:

correct me if I am wrong however the issues it would appear are;

of course she can work an ipod, it has one of the most user freindly interfaces on the planet. This comment reminds me of when Yannis from foals claimed on the culture show that he did not know what an e minor chrod was. Its someone playing dumb to appear "hip" or "cool" its pathetic.

If you are an "artist" who takes themselves seriously you do not just do every interview thrown your way and if you get an interview with an agenda in advance then research it properly for christ sake.

She has been portrayed as an intelligent bohemian heir to kate bush and has done nothign to quell this,lets not play silly buggers and call kate bush 100% articulate, she has some batty mometnts, but she is at least intriguing and interesting.

there were some moments in the article which were a little rich in their personal tone and manner however if you are looking to create an image of yourself you should be able to back it up. if she does not know these things she should say so and any article written by someone who has taken the time to go and interview someone, done their research and prepared questions and is then given a lifeless flacid interview from someone who is portrayed and as "one of the most interesting pop stars of our generation" or whatever the pr line is can write what they like.

rant over. I think she seems talented but the pr bullshit that surrounds her undermines my faith in the ability for truly intriguing and great pop acts to become succesful.

phew....

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Thomas A. Ward
Oct 23, 2009 2:58pm

So we are all shocked that the music industry has popped out another vacuum formed pop star with nothing of interest to say.

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mclovin
Oct 23, 2009 5:24pm

Have you ever considered writing for the Daily Mail?

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Andy
Oct 23, 2009 6:45pm

In reply to mclovin:

For Christ's sake get a life & recognise that the truth is sometimes painful - Florence is clearly another confused & troubled soul trapped on her own perpetual Magic Roundabout - "time for bed" said Zebedee!
Why are people so surprised when so called "celebs" present such a juicy target; this article is not a cheap shot, more a mercy killing - play with fire & expect to get burnt - Encore!

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Boris
Oct 23, 2009 7:30pm

In reply to Andy:

I don't have a life at the moment so will take the time to reply to your comment.
Absolutely no problem with the truth, its how its presented that is the problem.
Confused and troubled, at times we all are but I very much doubt if she was during the interview as to a perpetual roundabout..... Aaah you are refering to her name, very clever. So called celebs! She is a celeb at the moment because she heads Florence & the machine and they are riding high on their breakthrough and other journos, who I have heard of have written about her.

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Jez
Oct 23, 2009 7:50pm

One only needs to watch Florence's mesmeric performance at the Electric Proms to realise the immense talent this girl posesses. It may not be "your thing". But to dismiss a voice and talent as strong and vibrant as this as "rubbish" or "talentless" really smacks of desperation. What a voice and what a performance.

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Steve
Oct 24, 2009 1:43pm

Did anyone read the interview in the Sunday Times Magazine a few weeks ago with Florence? The writer came to almost the same realization as Laura - and most of us plebs who couldn't hear what all the fuss was about/what we were supposedly missing - but, sadly, did not comment upon it. Fact is, a musician does not have to be articulate, sane, nice, good at cooking, to make good music. But when, in at least a few articles a week, said musician is quoted, lauded and adored for being unique, being an artist, having wonderful off beat qualities and tastes, yet cannot even communicate what she likes other than basically saying 'I like...stuff', makes one wonder why on earth we are reading about this person in the first place? I say well done Laura for saying what a lot of other people are thinking, even when reading interviews with Florence with an exact opposite agenda from yours. Simple rule is, if you don't know what you are talking about, don't talk. Add to that that it is not a bad thing to not know something, it is first step along the road to learning it. I think Florence will find that the triangle on an Ipod performs the same function as the one on her portable CD player (don't Sony call everything 'Walkman' - even their MP3 players?), video recorder and Youtube.

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Joe Muggs
Oct 25, 2009 3:43pm

n.b. those poor sensitive who think these comments unnecessarily harsh obviously haven't heard Ms Welch herself in full spiteful flow...

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Joe Muggs
Oct 25, 2009 3:43pm

In reply to Joe Muggs:

"sensitive souls" that should say, obviously...

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Sean
Oct 26, 2009 3:45am

I think it should be obvious to most anyone (whether you care for the subject's musical output or not) that this is, in fact, an interview with a nasty bite. In fact, to call it an interview seems completely misleading, as the subject's own words are used sparingly, at best.

I'm hardly against a more balanced approach to an interview. Obviously, a great many consist of regurgitated bullet points from a one sheet, and that's about as thrilling as watching paint dry, but this is far from the even-handed piece you seem to be defending it as.

The main problem here is that you show nearly as much disdain for the reader as you do for Welch. You can frame an interview and present a perspective without the need to spell it out for us every few sentences, as if subtlety were a foreign concept. It's possible to draw attention to her ineptitude with technology without blatantly pointing out that she's stupid. That's the kind of thing that all those NME, MM and Rolling Stone articles from the 70s really excelled at - they offered up an unpolished image of an artist at a particular moment in time but allowed you to form your own opinion. This articles begins with an opinion, furthers the opinion throughout and ends by restating the opinion again, for good measure.

Personally, that's why I bristled as I read it.

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The Bunk
Oct 26, 2009 3:21pm

This article is on the front page of Google News UK. Mad.

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Ben McCormick
Oct 26, 2009 4:38pm

In no way is the original article a hatchet job.

Not even close.

Perhaps if it had delved a bit deeper into why Flo-We appears to think sounding like a Happy Shopper Jennifer Rush is a good idea, it may have come close. But it didn't.

The author should be applauded for at least giving the perma-falling inflectioned screecher the chance to redeem herself by talking about a subject you'd expect she'd be able to comment on with some authority. It's to Laura Snapes' eternal credit she didn't wield those iron-shod wellies with a little more vehemence.

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Oct 26, 2009 7:26pm

In reply to SW:

Since when did a journalist to respect someone's talent in order to interview someone? And surely the question about illegal downloading was an attempt - futile as it turned out - to enquire into Florence's 'attitudes and opinions about music'. I think it is important that these highly paid performers be called upon to justify their opinions - and themselves - from time to time.

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The Truth
Oct 27, 2009 1:29am

Most musicians / artists are dyslexic - check out this list to see hundreds of them who have absolutely no problem in interviews, it's a terrible excuse.

http://www.dyslexiaresources.com/famous-people-with-dyslexia/

Florence is really terrible too. She is an average singer who belts, anyone who's seen her obnoxiously forcing her way onto stage before she was famous would attest to this, what she has isn't a gift, she's absolutely full of herself. She had plenty of songwriters working with her for a long time to try and come up with her music, she's got the queens of noize as her manager, and it's the most horrible hyped rubbish that's come out in music in a long time, and because it's a "WOMAN" in the business, apparently no one is allowed to say nasty things about it.

To compare her to Bjork and Kate Bush is offensive - she has little say in her song writing, and she's a nasty marketed load of tripe, wrapped up in a crappy little 'indie' package which seems to have been prepared by someone saying "GET HER LEGS OUT, THEY'RE HER BEST FEATURE!". Her latest music video is her doing a horrible X Factor version of "You've Got the Love", in an american apparel leotard, stripping the song neatly of all its soul, and instead replacing it with a painful whiny nauseating whine. Alexandra Burke could do better.

I think the interviewer could have been a lot harsher. There is better music out there, there are much better female singers, some of whom write their own music, some of whom don't need a huge team of song writers / producers to get big. Go find it, stop finding music just because it's been spoon fed to you in a perfectly manufactered package, carefully prepared by a bunch of nepotistic pricks who used to bang Pete Doherty.

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Jez
Oct 27, 2009 2:51pm

In reply to The Truth:

Oh dear oh dear.

Firstly there are a LOT of Flo fans including myself who have followed her music before she signed a deal before anyone knew who she was. Have we been "spoonfed" too?

Now your post is an opinion and thats fine. Its your opinion and you don't like her.

But why try and convince people who do that they are "wrong".

Its not wrong its personal taste. And I'll tell you this, yours isn't any better, more right, more intelligent or more correct than mine. Just different.

I'd like you to tell us who these "songwriters" are who have worked with Flo and what songs they have written that are on her album. You may have a libel case here. She has worked with "big" producers because it gave her a chance to create the sound she wanted with studio experience in there.

But beyond that it really honestly does come down to personal opinion.

I think her voice is the best thing music has seen for a long long long time. A fantastic range, with a hint of gravelly blues at the bottom and beautiful purity at the top.

Her sound has been evolving quite naturally over the last 18 months or so and well well before she made the album she was talking about what sort of sound she wanted and her vision for it. She has already spelled out some thoughts on her next album.

Your venom and obvious upset at the fact she has sold records and done well is actually quite funny. I can imagine you sitting there red faced typing furiously with one hand......I'll leave the other hands function to your imagination. But I'm not trying to convince you to like her, whats the point. But equally why spout a load of opinions like you have and dress them up as "facts"?

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Luke Turner
Oct 27, 2009 3:20pm

In reply to Jez:

You must have missed her 22 months ago when she was a screeching blues musician being managed by Queens Of Noize and courted by all the major labels and big indies, then. Her evolution to what she is today is really quite remarkable.

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The Truth
Oct 27, 2009 6:20pm

In reply to Jez:

If you like her because you think she's some ethereal wishy washy / new kate bush / etc, then you are wrong. I'd like to see you try and sue a commenter on a website for saying Florence doesn't write her own music but pretends that she does. Her voice isn't the best thing music has seen for a long time, her voice is x factor wailing rubbish, and I'd say most on X Factor could do better. Nicely styled up, put together with the right writing team etc, anyone can do it, but most would prefer to be honest.

It's also interesting you assume I am a man. I'm not upset she's selling records, I'm profoundly irritated by her presence in music, especially as like most other people in the music industry, I can see where she actually comes from, and the myth that has been built up around her.

Here's an interview with one of the many songwriters who tried (but didn't work out.. ). There are plenty more where he came from. Including old Johnny Borrell. Interesting how her team went for the famous song writers approach, before realising she'd sell far more if they went for the "oh yeah! she writes her own music and stuff yeah!". She can't even play an instrument for gods sake.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/alex-james/alex-james-the-great-escape-461657.html

Austin at EMI was very excited about Florence. I went to meet him, in the poetry section at Foyles. "She's 20 and she's fit," he said, "and she needs someone to write with. She hasn't got a deal or anything. She's definitely got something, but we don't know what it is yet." I hadn't seen his eyes this big since Lilly Allen, or even the Arctic Monkeys sent him their demos.

We went to a smoky studio to meet Florence. I said, "Do you like ukeleles and stuff?" She said, "Yes." I said, "OK. Let's do it!" and we booked a session.

I saw her out and about a couple of weeks later, before we were due to reconvene. She had a very nice, friendly chap called Johnny in tow and I took him to be her guitarist. He wasn't quite tall enough to be her boyfriend or a bass player. I asked him if he wanted to come and play guitar, but he said he had his own band called "Razorlight". I took this to be an encouraging sign."

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Jez
Oct 27, 2009 7:53pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

Umm funnily enough I didn't. And throughout that time Flo said that she hadn't discovered the "sound" she wanted and hadn't evolved yet.

I don't see why changing a style is such a crime. She is a young girl going through the early stages of a music career. Is there an element of stylisation? Of course. But the image only comes from the songs Flo has been writing. Many of which existed well before she was signed.

I think the whole stylistic change crticism is a bit redundant now and has been since 1966 "Judas" and all that.

But actually Flo hasn't changed an awful lot, she's gone from singing fairly raw blues with little accompaniment to a "bigger sound" something she's been talking about for years.

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Jez
Oct 27, 2009 8:05pm

In reply to The Truth:

And? Florence was what 20 at the time? She hadn't signed a record deal and she was looking to build her material. So what? Most singers especially young ones work with people. Fact is she has developed her own material most of it over a few years. But I doubt you'll find a Flo fan who claims she is some brilliant songwriter. Because she isn't. What she is is an amazing performer who has made an album that has a very rich sound that matches her incredible voice. She tours that album and puts on shows that really do blow peoples minds. Not yours obviously.

Oh and I like the way you've cut the quote before Alex James proclaims Florence to be "One of a kind". You wouldn't want that in there would you with all your anti Flo propaganda. No surrrreeeee.

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John Doran
Oct 28, 2009 8:24am

In reply to Jez:

When Florence was 20 she wasn't a blues singer, she was stood round in a local arcade bemoaning her inability to complete the Rubik's Cube and how unfair it was that Joe Dolce had kept Ultravox off the number one spot.

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Richy
Oct 29, 2009 7:28pm

I like the way that some folks on here are slagging Florence (who is average at best but does have a good voice and a few ok tunes) yet are seemingly fans of Sun O)))....

Good god, I've heard dishwashers make a more pleasant noise.

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John Doran
Oct 29, 2009 11:32pm

In reply to Richy:

Pleasant noise? Pleasant fucking noise? What are you? A member of the fucking View? The manager of Nizlopi?

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Ricky
Oct 30, 2009 8:51am

In reply to John Doran:

Music is meant to be enjoyable. Not some fucking chore. Why would you listen to something that isn't pleasant? Apart from because you're some pretentious prick?

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John Doran
Oct 30, 2009 9:04am

In reply to Ricky:

Ah, accusations of pretentiousness, the last refuge of the doltish and imagination-free . . . There's no such thing as pretentious in this context, just stuff you don't understand or dislike. Music to me is spiritually uplifting, exciting, terrifying, sexual, pulverising, draining, upsetting, meditative, profound, utterly stupid, hilarious, psychically dislocating, disorientating, offensive or berserkly unhinged. It's never just 'pleasant' however. Perhaps you'd be better suited to getting your music information from the Daily Express or your local paper if you want pleasant. I believe there's a best of Enya coming out soon.

(I'll happily admit I'm a prick, if that makes you feel better.)

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Ricky
Oct 30, 2009 11:17am

In reply to John Doran:

Quite simply something being pleasant, as opposed to "unpleasant" does not preclude it from being any of the things you have listed.

So do you listen to only unpleasant music? In other words you listen to things that don't please you?

I can't understand why. Oh and if you think there is no "pretention" then why are you defending an article about an artist that is a clear attempt to discredit them when nobody really gives a shit either way?

Thats the ultimate in pretention. We are right. We are. No really we are. We are we are we are. Listen to us. Listen. We're the knowledge.

Keep producing that boring dull drone. You might even sound as boring as SunnO))) one day if you work hard at it!

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Lucinda
Nov 1, 2009 12:25pm

In today’s music culture society I find this whole idea that as soon as something is known amongst a mass of people it is suddenly deemed un-cool.
I am sure to believe that if Florence was still performing in tiny venues on the corners of London this whole argument wouldn't have begun.
I am not a particular fan of Florence and the Machine but after going to her show at the John Peel Tent at Glastonbury this year I think that we shouldn't be moaning and moaning about the success she has achieved, she deserves it with the huge amount of talent her voice has.
Too be quite honest, I don't care about her personality.

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Lucinda
Nov 1, 2009 12:28pm

In reply to Lucinda:

Sorry, I meant to say, In today’s music culture society I find this whole idea that as soon as something is known amongst a mass of people it is suddenly deemed un-cool throughly annoying.

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David M
Nov 2, 2009 1:23pm

In reply to Lucinda:

trouble with that Lucinda is that your theory doesn't account for those of us who dislike bands who have not yet received a massive industry push... and if they were to receive such a push our continued (and potentially magnified) dislike isn't exactly something we'd feel inclined to provide, all alibi like, on a forum eh?

I doubt many of Florence's detractors would discount many of the names that much of the press link This Girl and her Machine to on the basis of record sales. Personally I haven't heard this girls music, and despite an affinity for portable cd players (which I could elaborate upon, but won't) I'm not sure that I care to. what goes on a hook everyone?

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Julia Indelicate
Nov 3, 2009 5:29pm

I enjoyed this Laura, Nice one.

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Fraser McAlpine
Nov 3, 2009 6:31pm

In reply to Norman Smith:

So, this thing being all about facts people get wrong and therefore them being stupid...

Sgt. Pepper? 1968? Really?

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Ronald Ginley
Nov 6, 2009 12:01am

In reply to Fraser McAlpine:

no-one picked-up on Laura's claim to (I paraphrase) "not having the balls to confront her in the interview" that's my only problem with this - if you're going out for someone with so much venom in print, at least have the dignity to tell them to their face. Otherwise it really is just cowardly journalism, right?

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Ranger Gainstage
Nov 10, 2009 10:24am

Great article, perceptive, intelligent and fair.

Fuck 'em, if they think otherwise.

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smackcrumplebang
Nov 13, 2009 12:31pm

Jesus - talk about writing an inflammatory article to get some attention for Quietus - this stinks of pathetic.

Im an ex art student, I live near Florence in South East London - I know London art students and trust me she could have wound up a whole lot more pretentious than just using a CD player instead of an ipod.

I have a friend who a couple of years ago (before this all began) saw Florence perform live in a bar in London - at the time her guitarist ended up having a massive hissy fit and storming off the stage at the start of the gig. Despite this (and to her credit) Florence then proceeded to do the entire gig a cappella - apparently it was blinding.

And as for her supposed incoherence? Think about it logically - the girl wanted to be an artist to start with, an artist is someone who translates their viewpoint on the world into an abstract (or non abstract) re-presentation - an attempt to illustrate to a viewer/listener/someone else how they think. Tracey Emin is rude, Damien Hirst is arrogant and the Chapman Brothers are reclusive - but none of them are considered to be bad artists (not to everyone anyway)

It is only in this decade that we have the ability to examine artists of all types from every angle - just because we push and push and find something we don't like, does that mean they are worthless? Florences music and performance is what we should judge her on - you don't like it? Then turn it off.

For gods sake look at Kate Bush - the woman is a musical pioneer who has created some of the most interesting pop ever, but she is also a recluse and in interviews comes across as a pretty normal person - does that make hounds of love a shit song? not particularly no.

This article says nothing constructive about her music or about her live performances - both of which (hype or no) are extraordinarily eloquent.

Direct your bile at an act like Little Boots, Pixie Lott or La Roux and you've hit the nail on the head. A far more savvy journalist would note that La Roux is far more like TPau than Florence and the Machine.

Sorry - what a rant, but what a cynical, ignorant article.

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Sykes
Nov 14, 2009 9:49pm

I'm not a fan of Florence's music, nor am I a fan of the current scene of female musicians who apparently have personality because they dress a bit kookily (in fact I think both are pretty shit), but this article is a spiteful and incredibly nasty attack that bears even less relevance to pop music at the moment than the musician Lucy Snapes is 'interviewing'. Why so hateful? What does it prove, exactly? That the writer is clever and witty because she's providing a biting commentary on the state of society or some bullshit? All it does is express a lack of any real insight. I wonder if she was breezily nice and polite to Florence throughout the interview.

I don't think Snapes really has much to say except 'I am a boring, cynical, hateful snob'. Or is she just jealous?

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Sykes
Nov 14, 2009 9:51pm

In fact there isn't much of an interview going on at all, it's more just 'Florence Welch, what a cunt' innit?

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Aideen
Nov 16, 2009 8:36pm

I didn't like this interview at all, it's appears as though you went in with an agenda to berate Florence before you even talked to her.

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Neil Kulkarni
Nov 19, 2009 11:41am

This article was great and anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly a twat. Hope that helps unmuddy the issue.

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HP
Nov 19, 2009 11:48pm

Ha this truly is laughable! what makes this interviewer think people will want to read this clearly vindictive article. Like someone else said its not her fault the media have built her up to be profound and articulate and she is only making music for god sake and shouldnt have her personaly scrutinised by people who have "met" her once. Why should she be judged for putting music out there that is a bit different and has become popular, i bet she herself never thought people would take this much notice of every word she says and expecting something spectacular to come out of her mouth. It seems to be written by a very negative, judgemental person. Its a shame people feel the need to put bad out there when there's so much already!

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James Dray
Dec 9, 2009 4:33pm

This is the funniest interview I've read in a long time. Brilliant. Can't see why anybody could have a problem with it.

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Baby Jebus
Dec 11, 2009 1:39pm

This is fucking hilarious- a feisty student hack versus an upper class pot smoker who hasn't done her homework. Not least because I only came across it after entering the question 'how old is man-jawed ultra posh ex-blues crooner Florence Welch really?' on google. (It's for a bet- my mate says 35, I say 30). Incidentally, top Flo google search is 'florence welch age'- no shit.
Dyspraxic = middle class for 'clumsy'. They aren't allowed in antique shops, which is hard for them.

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Sarah
Dec 11, 2009 5:44pm

This is a riduculously harsh review. She's not Lily fucking Allen.

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Vincent Nifigance
Dec 18, 2009 1:08pm

In reply to Sarah:

This article is right on the money. I empathise with the writer. she clearly wouldn't have been able to live with herself if she hadn't been able to call collossal bull-pucky after the affectation festival she was confronted with. Personality aside, Welch is clearly YET A-FUVKING-NOTHER cognoscenti-placenta! Hipster-fodder, leaked from the loins of a professor and an advertising exec respectively. Are these the 'Artists' you want?! Just say 'No' kids!

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Who cares?
Dec 20, 2009 4:09pm

Obviously the journalist is very closed minded – easy to tell that she didn’t like Florence in the first place… so this interview was quite pointless.
Emphasizing on the “um”s and “I dunno”s is redundant and can make anyone sound “incoherent” (sorry but not everyone has a degree in eloquence). “Um”s, “err”s, and “ah”s are just a few examples of phonemes. In linguistics, they’re the smallest meaningless speech sounds most humans make: everything we humans say is either meaningless or meaningful … Inevitably there are/will be short periods of silence, as people pause to let the other person speak, so adding the ellipsis’ isn’t fair, making the, if-we-can-really-call-her-a “journalist”(in the kindest words), childish.
“I just think that music is to be shared . . . It's to be . . . The reason you play music is to . . . is for people to hear it, you know what I mean? I'm not like, endorsing it, I dunno." Maybe she was having an off day.” – is this because she doesn’t agree with her? Or is this an attempt of humor? Since when does critiquing artist’s personality go under music interviews? Or pointing out the fact that someone uses a CD player rather than an iPod make you clever, or even interest anyone?
“It would have been an absolute betrayal of everything I believe in to spin her ramblings into a glowing image of her - surely that'd be worse than stating the truth?” I admirer Ms. Snapes honesty… the fact that she’s so serious makes this interview funny. Well written, but hey that not only what journalism is about(yay Snape got it!!! You’ve got to be a bully as well).

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Luana
Dec 23, 2009 2:49am

What poor tactic Laura. I shall never read anything you write again.
What, at the end of the reading this article, have I learned? That YOU think people are stupid for not being able to use i-pods? That YOU think that Florence is not opinionated enough? I certainly learnt nothing about Florence because your aggresive style left me so cold, I can't even recall any facts.....just your bad attitude.
Maybe this is what left Florence cold too-I know I would not respond well to being painted into a corner.
What obligation does she have to be clever, articulate and witty anyway?

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Oliver Thompson
Dec 27, 2009 8:56pm

From the moment you described her songs as "sub-Evanescence", I realised you must know pathetically little about music. And the thorougly nasty tone of your article is incredibly childish. Don't think I'll be reading this website again.

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Lucy
Dec 28, 2009 12:02pm

How hurtful. Nobody would like to read any of those things about themselves. The review was purely based on oposing everything about her. Sad.

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caveboar
Dec 29, 2009 11:16pm

"Um...I don't know. I mean, I think...It's definitely like...It's just hard isn't it...I completely understand, but it's a struggle if you're an unknown journalist, but it's kind of like, a bit shitty to go and publish such a piss poor apology for...Um... an interview...but I suppose you'ld be helping to support yourself and stuff...I dunno...maybe make a name...It's a very complicated issue. I'm not really sure if the public gives a toss."

At least, the next time Florence performs GWOE she may, supposedly,have a new dedicatee in clear focus...But Hey it's all about the Music...isn't it??

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Charlotte
Jan 5, 2010 1:15am

This is one of the worst interviews I have ever read, conducted by one of the most irritatingly intrusive "journalists" I have had the misfortune to come across. It was so cloddingly, brutishly stupid and insensitive that there seems little point in delineating its exact failings; rather I would like simply to register a lingering note of distaste on here at the vindictive foulness of the unpleasant Miss Snapes, whose deep lack of charm can only be paralleled by the profundity of her witlessness. At least she should be able to grasp the concept of an unexplained character assassination from a stranger - seems to be her sole forté, after all...

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joe
Jan 17, 2010 5:06pm

Its nice to see bertram scudder's still around.

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Jan 26, 2010 1:17pm

Artist, singer, whatever. I have bumped into her around town a number of times at different clubs. I'm glad to read it isn't just me that finds her useless.

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Klaus
Feb 19, 2010 12:29pm

Amazing article; i think i love you!

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The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Mar 8, 2010 2:16am

I don't care what you say Laura Snopes, that was an example of just plain BAD journalism, period. You criticize Florence for not being deep enough, that is rich coming from you. If this is how you write articles, then you're not going very far in the field of journalism, unless of course you're aiming for FOX News, then in that case you're just about perfect. Nobody's asking you to fawn over her, but attacking her is just as bad, not to mention worse. If you have a problem with her popularity, then take it out on the PRESS. It's not Florence herself going around saying "I'm brilliant, I'm brilliant, worship me!". She's an entertainer, not a politician or a literary figure, and she has never attempted to pass herself as such. Plenty of great artists suck at interviews, that doesn't mean they're dumb. There's a difference between making a fair observation that isn't positive about someone, and writing a diatribe. You clearly did the latter. The next time you are assigned to interview or cover an artist that you dislike too much to put aside your personal feelings for, pass that job off to someone who can be professional and mature enough to do so. But seeing as this website makes Pitchfork look too cuddly in comparison, I don't think anyone around here is capable of not being an asshole. You think you're being cool and cutting edge by going against the grain and trashing anything that's remotely popular and well-liked, but instead you just look like you're full of yourself. Which you are. Freddie Mercury had good reason to look his nose down on music critics ("journalist" is term idiots like you don't deserve, because what you're doing doesn't even remotely resemble journalism), and it's so nice to see that he's still right after all these years... unfortunately.

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The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Mar 8, 2010 2:24am

In reply to The Barretts of Wimpole Street:

And for the record, I think Consequence of Sounds is everything this website isn't. Well-written, balanced music coverage that neither gushes nor trashes. Even when it criticizes something, I can respect it regardless if I personally disagree with it or not, because it's not written as if the writer has a chip on his shoulder. Take a cue from them, and you may attract more readers.

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James
Mar 13, 2010 7:03pm

What a disgusting article. It would have been better to just leave your personal opinions out of it. On the few occasions I have met Florence, she has been perfectly friendly if a bit shy. You really shouldn't judge a persons intelligence on they're ability to work an iPod. Have you ever thought of the reason she was nervous? Being famous takes a while to get used you know. - Jim

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Mavis and the Combine Harvester
Mar 23, 2010 2:43pm

In reply to James:

I landed upon this article by searching 'Florence Welch, Idiot'.

Someone once said that an idiot shared is a wonderful thing, but an idiot suffered alone is torment. I was relieved to find someone else that thinks Florence is a pretentious phoney.

And it's not a cruel article- I'd find all that Walkman shit to be an insult to my intelligence too. Florence's whole schtick is based on the arrogant assumption that her audience is not as intelligent, discerning or effortlessly creative as her. I'm glad someone's exploding it. As far as her feelings are concerned, she is always exulted and praised, and I'm sure that will mitigate against this article. She'll be alright.

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New Musical Excrement
Mar 25, 2010 6:15pm

Apparently, the journalist and the editor have got axes to grind (read this http://thequietus.com/articles/00961-why-florence-the-machine-exemplifies-the-desperation-of-the-annual-tipster-orgy as quoted by Luke Turner in one of his comments, Mister 'thebigmanjournalist and rock veteran" got a bit irked by the behaviour of a drunk wannabee not-yet-20 something singer called "Florence").
I gave up reading the music press when I was 15 because of all the contrived, pseudo-intellectual posturing and the more-in-than-in masturbation. Another quote from the comments, someone who tried working with her, "Songwriting is an inexplicable process. You can talk about chords and microphones, but it's like trying to explain a sunny day. It's enough that it happens. I played the guitar and she sang and it was brilliant. I couldn't analyse what I was doing beyond the fact that it felt good."
So would all of you wanker music journalists just f-off and stop telling people about your poncy pseudo-post Kantian analysis of music. Music is music, it doesn't come from an intellectual process, music journalists are always explaining irrelevant shit to people when all that matters is "does it do it to you?".
This is an astonishing piece of drivel, a pure hatchet job, you get the impression that half of the things that were said were left out, there is no information apart from the fact that Florence is stupid because she can't operate an i-pod. Sorry, but I'm sure that my father, and millions of people around the world who can't (or don't want to learn how to) operate an i-pod are not candidates for "total stupidity".
Laura, your article smacks of all the "god-don't-we-know-it-all-superciliousness" that has made the human race the current laughing stock it is, maybe she did have a great experience falling out of a tree and maybe it's difficult to convey in words, all you expect is witty, incisive or deep commentary according to your own standards.
I would just like to add that I live in France, I grew up in the late seventies/eighties and was big into new wave and experimental music (after my first love ABBA!) and it's quite interesting to see how people's opinions are influenced by the press and general media reaction to groups. Myself, and my teenage daughters, love Dido, Snow Patrol, Kasabian and Florence, which are all groups that have taken a massive slagging from the "serious" music press as far as I can make out, but as we are cut off from this we just listen to the music, WHICH WE LIKE.
Oh and I love breakbeat which is pure visceral, balls-to-the-wall (sorry ladies), spaceman coming of age music...
And I entirely agree with Ricky "Music is meant to be enjoyable. Not some fucking chore. Why would you listen to something that isn't pleasant? Apart from because you're some pretentious prick?".
Ha ha ha @ the reply, I just looked through the top 40 albums of 2009 on this site, I think i would rather have nails driven into my ears than listen to most of the pretentious, painful to listen to shit that is being touted as a must-have.
Oh, and i like Enya's "Orinoco flow", so f-off.

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Luke Turner
Mar 25, 2010 6:21pm

In reply to New Musical Excrement:

"I gave up reading the music press when I was 15"

Liar! You're here! Hello!

With you on Enya, though I'd say Orinoco Flow is the one weak spot on one of my favourite albums.

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Alisha Ahmed
Mar 27, 2010 1:26pm

In reply to Tim:

"Much more fun to watch you pick on someone who has the mental capacity to tell you're making fun of them and fire back"

uhm, I feel the whole point is exactly that. If she was mentally capable enough to keep up there would've been no need to "make fun of her", which I don't think Laura did anyway. Most of the media have been so busy in exaggerating the unique amazingness of Florence that, had Laura not written this article in such strong way, this view, completely opposite to the one already fed to the masses, would have been easily overlooked and lost among the rest (which I am personally happy it didn't)

I don't think this is the usual way to write a "negative" article, but I do understand why in this specific case such an impact was necessary, because between the hard words of Laura, and the industrial well-crafted persona (lies) Flo has been made around, I pick the first, which at least speaks to me honestly, whereas this does not seem the case for Flo, as they so harshly try to make us believe her something she's completely not.

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Chegwin
Apr 6, 2010 10:42pm

I loved it, i cant stand the twat! She seems stupid and she's got horrible hair. Ugly and talentless loser!!!!

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Florence Belch
Apr 6, 2010 10:53pm

It's not that she like.... can't like... use an ipod.... she just doesn't WANT to because it's like... really cool to be retro, and stuff... don't you know? Also, she's way overrated anyway, she's only famous for a cover song, which she ruined!!!!

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Janssen
Apr 30, 2010 7:46pm

In reply to John Doran:

When Florence was 20 it was 2007.

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Jonathan
Jun 3, 2010 1:54pm

In reply to Janssen:

You believe she was 20 in 2007? Ha.

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da house
Sep 9, 2010 8:32am

Wow, I'm betting this Laura Snapes character drank some Haterade before doing this interview, eh? I get not liking someone's music, but I'm interested in knowing just exactly what Flo did to Laura prior to this interview to warrant such nastiness. Because I've seen many Flo interviews, and she always comes off as a nice, friendly and humble person, and unless Laura had a previous encounter with Flo that would prove otherwise, I don't think she knows her anymore than I do, so I can't understand WHAT would prompt such vitriol on Laura's part. I mean, are you just plain angry at the fact that someone who makes music you hate gets so much praise and adoration? Because I can relate to that feeling, I can't stand Lady Gaga, and I have to go everywhere not only hearing her music, but hearing about how "great" she is as well. But still, if I had to interview the chick, and then write about it afterward, I would be as neutral as possible. If I found Gaga to be a warm and engaging person, I wouldn't try and downplay her good qualities and highlight trivial flaws about her to make her seem horrible and ignorant when I know she isn't, just like you're doing with Flo. But then again, you share the same surname as Severus Snape from Harry Potter, and Lord knows he was just as bitter as you are.

Also, @ Jez, don't think you speak on behalf of all FloMac fans, I happen to think Flo is a brilliant songwriter, and so do many others.

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Nicko
Oct 5, 2010 10:34am

Just a silly one from me: Gotta say I'm not too fond of iPods myself, simply because there's not enough space on them to put my music (yet). I'd need at least three of them to carry my collection around. If I like a song or two I may download it but 9 times out of 10 I'll go and buy the cd afterward. I want a hard copy of the product with artwork and information. I simply do not trust digital info because if your computer or ipod fucks up, you can lose a hell of a lot, which has happened to me as I seem to 'zap' most electrical gadgets and they die on me! Also, cannot stand Florence & The Machine, her voice is mediocre really - she fucking murdered that Candi Staton song...

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Jay
Oct 10, 2010 10:33am

In reply to LRH:

I love this: Also, anyone who is complaining in the comments of this website that the Interviewer only wrote this because she didn't like the artist and wants to inflict her own view as fact and doesn't see the irony in what they're doing only adds to the "funny".

excellent observation, i had to laugh.

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Nov 10, 2010 4:44am

Wow, this interview is horrible! It makes Florence seem like some stupid girl trying to be famous. I don't think anyone can comment on this unless they have actually met Florence, and as I have I feel I should say something. She is not at all stupid, she is very witty and extremely talkative. I just want to let everyone know that Florence is the nicest girl i have ever met and she is constantly making everyone laugh. She shouldn't have to try and impress the people interviewing her by doing her 'homework'. If you wanted an interesting response from her then perhaps you should of given her someone interesting to talk to instead of a miserable 'writer'.

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George
Nov 24, 2010 5:48pm

Who the hell does this woman think she is? full of spiteful comments, i am a massive fan of florence's music and i as many do think she is amazing! she is clearly quite a bitch this woman, its fine if you dont enjoy her music, but to attack someones personality is another matter.

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Nessy
Nov 25, 2010 7:21am

First, Florence's music is not about girl power. You obviously have not listened to her music, which defeats the purpose of writing an article about a musican. And why does everything need a reason? Can't something be meaningful to someone simply because? I know for sure that I love things because they are worth it. You make Florence appear to be dim-witted and naive. I've watched dozens of interviews where Florence proves to be smart and thoughtful. Do your research next time. Shit article, I regret reading it.

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Nov 30, 2010 12:50pm

In reply to Nessy:

I actually just wasted a few minutes of my life reading this shit article, GO FLO.

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Shsjaks
Dec 30, 2010 12:55am

Usually articles that adopt a tone I disagree with don't infuriate me like this one does, but honestly. How does a news organization get off hiring a journalist who is so falsely pretentious?
I'm not going to bother to identify the thousands of blatant misjudgements made in order to portray Florence Welch as some automaton of a harmful record company or as some terrible fake, but your inclusion of the "like"-s and "um"-s she emits is low. At times the article devolves to personal attacks.
In short, whoever wrote this is a pathetic, Rita Skeeter-esque excuse for a journalist, and their criticisms of Florence's image are shaky, childish and illogical at best.
Sorry to have offended, but the utter lack of any research about Florence's character and the poor assessment of her image just piss me off.

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Lil
Jan 2, 2011 5:49am

Fan or no fan, this was just a shitty piece. I can do better than this. Hell, I *am* doing better than this. If you're going to tear a musician to shreds, at least do your readers a favor and do it well. This piece was pathetically half-assed.

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Gola_Up_Yer_Arse
Jan 13, 2011 7:20pm

Christ, give me Pan's People redux over this shite. And the Klaxons, the XX, the NIMROD album love? All fecking wretch-inducing. How dare she pull Jarvis into her turd sandwich of amazon pagelinks?

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KBPB
Jan 20, 2011 10:54am

This is an interview with florence. no one cares about your "opinions" keep them to yourself. you dont know who florence is, youve only just met her, and you never even let her talk, so how are you supposed to know if she is articulate if you never let her talk? this is rubbish.

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KBPB
Jan 20, 2011 10:56am

In reply to Shsjaks:

HALLELLUJIA

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Kaye
Feb 8, 2011 9:09pm

How are you any better? You're not. Your disgusting internalized misogyny and pseudo-intellectual raving makes you just as shitty as everything you take issue with in this article.

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kat
Apr 12, 2011 11:54pm

my, the comments were incredibly more interesting than the article. alright, so laura can string words together in a sentence. good journalism or bad journalism, i can't say. but i do know that based on this one article, i don't think i'd want to voluntarily pick up something she wrote about again. the negativity! omg! what i can say is that quite honestly, at the end of the day, with florence and laura being complete strangers to me, i would BY FAR much rather hang out with flo. reason: she doesn't come off as a negative, sore-pawed, pseudo-intellectual, overly-analytical, judgmental hack. live and let live, laura. and to sum up, florence can at least justify calling herself a 'singer': she can sing. do you call yourself a journalist or a writer?...because either way, i believe i've seen better.

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Daire
Jun 23, 2011 12:01pm

"So why bother getting your knickers in a twist over the inarticulate ramblings of a pop star who'll eventually be remembered as little more than a cipher of that laughable period in music where being female developed into its own genre?"
okay if i ever meet this man theres going to be some gruesome things done to him. The writer is a bloody imbecile who clearly has something against Florence. Could you write less about your bloody opinions and more about the interview? Idiot.

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Jun 23, 2011 12:02pm

To hell with that writer the interviewer is an idiot.

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Jun 23, 2011 12:03pm

In reply to KBPB:

Thank you! Thats exactly whats wrong with the article.

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Jun 29, 2011 5:56pm

I fucking hate this interviewer. She's so demeaning towards Flo.

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FRED
Jul 17, 2011 7:56pm

In reply to Eleanor :

The girl florence is shit & clearly past her sell by date, the girl Snapes on the other hand is clearly brilliant!

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kaizer_jaded
Jul 18, 2011 10:33am

I wouldn't be able to know what circumstances this interview was conducted but I like Florence Welch--her voice and music. I came across this 2010 interview with Florence in Australia and here, she seems coherent and articulate (http://www.thevine.com.au/music/interviews/interview-_-florence-welch-from-florence-and-the-machine20100204.aspx). So I guess we could give Florence the benefit of the doubt.

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Jimmy Ainsworth
Jul 28, 2011 5:55pm

In reply to Luke Turner:

Laura Snapes - the Assistant Reviews Editor of the NME? Funny how things turn out, eh.

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gloria
Jul 30, 2011 12:06am

Florence Welch is an amazing artist and while its the author's own sad business if they want to spend their time ranting about musicians they dont like, the fact that people take this seriously as a representation of her actual personality is sad. One, how the hell is it any of our business if she cant prepare an eloquent speech on each of her favorite albums?! could any of us?! this author is pretentious and petty, emphasis on the pretentious.

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Oct 13, 2011 12:37am

All musical preferences aside, whoever called this journalist Rita Skeeter-esque has my undying respect. That's really all that needs to be said.

Oh, and to that person whose name I've forgotten, there are many, many reasons that I might choose not to share my real name over the Internet.

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Distracted Genius
Oct 30, 2011 5:08am

After reading all these comments, I have come to this conclusion:

1. After seeing John's note on we-gave-her-a-month-to-figure-out-her-albums thing, I'm pretty sure she was pretty busy at the time you decided to do this thing as she was working on Ceremonials and it's been quite obvious that this album has been her masterpiece. She has put tons of time and effort in and in all honesty, the fact that she couldn't give you all of her favorite albums does not surprise me nor does it deserve the type of response this article gives.
I'm sorry you don't like Florence, and I'm sorry you think that because she can't keep a running sentence means she's mental. I can't keep a train of thought on my best of days, but by no means does it ever elicit this reaction. I will not be reading any more articles from this site, and I'm disgusted with this piece of work.

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Kassia
Oct 30, 2011 6:36pm

Why would you even bother interviewing Florence if all you were looking to do is belittle every word that came out of her mouth. This isn't even much of an article, what did I learned from it? Other then your undying hate for Florence. The only thing this article did for me was tell me that Laura Snapes is a horrible journalist, and clearly does not realize that just because you are bold on stage does not mean you need to be a bold conversationalist. Here you are writing about musicians, then you should realize being on stage, being in the studio, provoke all different emotions rather then sitting in front of a interviewer you don't know probing you for questions. If you were a good journalist you would have done a bit more of research on Florence. Knowing that in some interviews she is really quiet, and in others where she feels more in here element she can actually explain herself really well. She expresses to you that she doesn't use iPods, does not mean you have to call her a idiot. This is the most unprofessional article I have ever read, and I am outraged that you even got the chance to speak to a woman who has much more of a brain then you ever will.

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G
Nov 1, 2011 5:36pm

I'd have some sympathy with Flo if I hadn't heard her say, in a 6 Music interview, that she was so emotionally destroyed by her tour of European Festivals that she had become victim-like and as a result her producer had to regularly "pick her up off the floor" to reassure her that her singing was good enough in order to get her back into the vocal booth. Tragic (and poor Mr Epworth having to deal with that kind of childish tantrums and attention seeking!). It's your JOB Flo!

I hate to sound indier than thou, but I am one of those who really enjoyed her music in her early days. Since then, I feel her music has become derivative in the extreme. Aside from her PR machine being the most overworked around so that one can't avoid her face, music or endorsement easily.

That aside, I certainly don't expect musicians to have any kind of insight or depth. Nor do I need them to. Some of them manage to make amazing art seemingly by accident. Which doesn't detract from their art if it is good. I also don't blame her for the manipulation of her 'image' by others as a forthright intelligent woman. That's not her fault, but that of the 'industry machine' behind her. Anyway, if one listens, she dispels this fantasy in every interview she gives (whether she does so knowingly or not!).

I agree with the interviewer wholeheartedly on the point of manipulation of women in music, their commoditisation and the unfortunate fact that many of them either buy into it knowingly, or even more distressingly, innocently. I would like to see the interviewer use this quite reasonable anger by writing against those who have the power and do the portraying and manipulation, rather than directing it at the artists themselves. It's always a shame to be disappointed by meeting someone whose art or the press surrounding them led you to believe they would be more interesting than they turn out to be, but vilifying one victim of the misogynistic music industry, media, and western world in general is not going to help stop it.

Finally, It's a very well written article, but please use your abilities where they may help, rather than prodding at the intellectually lacking.

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Lucy
Mar 31, 2012 3:51pm

I'm sorry, but when has music journalism ever been objective? Why does it surprise you to discover that some writers are negatively biased? Each and everyone of you are capable of forming your own opinions on a musician, and simply because Laura's opinion does not align with yours does not offer you the right to denounce her as "bad at her job". This article proves that she clearly isn't. Just as Florence wishes to embellish herself with the false niceties of idolatrous carroll-esque connotations and XXL hair-dye, Miss Snape wishes to shed light on a side of this particular artist which she(and MANY others) feels is frustratingly overlooked. Her job gives her the platform to do that. Writing an article with false motives to cajole her way into the hearts and souls of overly-self-indulgent performers would make all of the hard-work put into getting herself this far professionally utterly redundant. Florence time and time again uses empty indie-cred references to things she believes will give the approval of others when attributed to her character, yet she is lauded unanimously for her innovation and individuality. The way in which she and her fans will just not let their own perceptions of her be reproached (which she will be, she is an ARTIST, art critique is no new concept)is not only blindness but just shear lack of any personality. Sure this article was unbalanced, but it certainly wasn't boring. I'd far rather read 5/10 articles which I disagreed with than 10/10 articles that were all the same.

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Mary
Jun 10, 2012 8:53am

In reply to Mark:

Thank you for saying just what I was thinking. I also have dyslexia and this interview reminded me of all the times I was bullied for being different.

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Aalliiee Marie
Jun 20, 2012 4:11am

You interviewed her [Florence] and then, based on that interview, decided to write an article focusing entirely on her flaws? Wow. How rude. So what if someone doesn't know how to work an iPod or prefers using a Walkman? That doesn't constitute stupidity.

"Perhaps a shock of electricity would be just the cure for her listlessness"--so, you're implying that she should undergo electric shock therapy just because she seemed a bit spaced out during the interview?! How unquestionably archaic and cruel. Despite what you might want to believe, not all people are the same. Not everyone fits your narrow definition of what constitutes a good conversationalist. For certain people, myself included, electric shock therapy is a psychological trigger. I personally take offense at your statement. It is people like you that make me absolutely despise journalism.

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HG
Sep 30, 2012 7:41pm

In reply to Aalliiee Marie:

Spot on article, come on all you bleeding hearts, time to realise that even if the creature looks like Bambi, sometimes the kindest thing is to pull the trigger!

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Louise
Oct 16, 2012 11:00pm

In reply to MrLukowski:

How is her music horrible? Have you even listened to her album? I'm not saying it's odd that you don't like it, it's just odd that you hate it so. You can't state such a comment without explaining why you think it's bad.

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Liam
Aug 18, 2013 6:20am

You seem to have entered into this conversation with the pre-tense that anyone gives a bloody damn about what she says on a day-to-day basis. Her personality shown to journals and mags is likely constructed. Her label found it advantageous to show her as incapable of using tech because that is her image. She is a new age singer first and foremost with melodious tunes and belting vocals about, arguably, high-concept matters that have to do with insubstantial like love and all that. So she was crafted into this "live simple, live fast, love everything" style by committee. It is a contradiction of the personality that she is projecting. The issue here is whether we should care? She is in a tough business, and to be a successful as she is, she often has to play that game. Do I believe she authentic fully? No, I do not. Do I demonize and ostracize her for that? No I do not do that either. I have no trouble believe the girl got in this game because she loves music and has a talent for writing it. Just because she decided to play the game and put on a show does not mean she is a bad writer or a bad person even. In face her songs are quite glorious, in my opinion. They are unique songs with subject matter that is neither fleeting or inconsequential. I enjoy it tremendously. Having this great disdain for her because you have found the inevitable chink in the armor that these "personalities" always have is illogical, I feel. She is a musician, everything else she does is just to sell her skill. Right now people are eating this type up, and it does feel mechanical. Her music, however, does not. Contradictions are annoying, I get that, but I found my anger quickly deflated when I discover what the actual reason behind said contradiction. Her music may not be esoteric in the message, but it doesn't need to be. It has a common message that it pushes with impressive structure and well thought out lyrics that never feel hollow to me.

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Isabella
Nov 17, 2013 11:49pm

WOW! You're a prick. Florence Welch is the most humble, un-self indulgent singer out there and to be criticized for not being able to verbalize why she may like certain things or give her opinions is just pure stupid. Maybe it's because she's not experienced at being interviewed and she's worried she'll say something and be criticized for it...well, looks like asshole "journalists" will pick at anything to put down someone who has their own brain and won't be controlled by the music industry.

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Isabella
Nov 18, 2013 12:24am

In reply to The Truth:

Saying that she has little to do with her own music obviously shows you have no idea. She wrote ALL her lyrics (apart from the two covers on the album; You've Got the Love and Girl With One Eye) and she wrote them with Isabella Summers who was nicknamed The Machine. That's where her music comes from. It comes from the two of them writing together. She has absolutely EVERYTHING to do with her music. She admits she isn't great or even good by any means at playing instruments and even criticizes her own singing. She is one of the most humble, down to earth singers and just because, what, she could sense the interviewer didn't like her so didn't want to open up, and quiet rightfully, she's criticized. People like you are the perfect examples of music snobs. She's not trying to copy Kate Bush or whatever the fuck assholes, like you seem to be, might claim, she takes a lot of inspirations, like any band does. If you don't like her then fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I have no problem with that but snooping so low as to comment on things that aren't even true about her is really pathetic. And you might not like her or another band, fair enough, but you still have to appreciate that 1. she actually writes her own lyrics/music much unlike many singers these days and 2. she may be similar to other artists and bands but her album as a whole is very unique. I think appreciating bands even if you don't like them is important for people who consider themselves "journalists". I don't particularly like The Beatles or Pink Floyd BUT I know what an impact they had on music, how they changed it and I can appreciate that they are incredible bands but I just don't particularly like their style. If you're going to write an article about a band or musician you don't like at least have the decency to write it stating that your opinions are just opinions instead of writing them as facts AND never snooping low as to judge her as a person instead of her music which is what she should actually be interviewed about. I don't like Paul MacCartney, I think he's very self-absorbed and a bit of a prick but I know he was part of a huge musical revelation and has inspired generations of artists, Journalists should be able to find balance. What Laura wrote was incredible immature and actually made her look stupid and, being only 16, I think I could've written a better article than her about a band or musician I didn't particularly like.

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Kathy Bramley
Mar 26, 2015 9:45am

This is like Linda Truss reviewing the poetry of Emily Dickinson, or John Clare perhaps. It would trigger bullying PTSD if it wasnt so ridiculously nasty. And hadn't been shared with a warning on a forum for adult dyspraxics. That said it reminds me of robust backbiting done behind someone's back in some small club; did you forget she might read this?

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Jun 8, 2015 4:16pm

f

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Jun 8, 2015 4:17pm

f

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linda
Nov 19, 2015 5:42am

Heh.
So who's having the last, prolonged, vibrato-ing laugh now?

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