We meet up with Florence last summer at Standon Calling, possibly one of the poshest and poorly attended Young Conservative’s Outdoor Discos that I’ve ever been to. This is the kind of festival that when Super Fury Animals take to the stage on Sunday evening, there’s roughly 400 people left on site. I say site, it was a sweeping expanse of back garden owned by Lord Such & Such, father to the Ra-Ra Rupert who’d organised the party.
Anyway, Florence. Clever girl. But offish, but I’ll readily admit that I occasionally have that effect on people. What I regret the most is not getting her Old Man on camera. Picture this:
The day of filming finished, we decide to load up on contraband and give Friday night a tickle in the undergarments. Flo & The Mach’s (now ex) tour manager gets himself comfy in the beige innards of our beautiful aluminium bullet bus and keeps us entertained with his ‘brick through a window’ banter. We laugh, we drink, we sneeze… it’s jokes. Then, out of nowhere, this older gentleman in a kind of psychedelic Chairman Mao get up wanders in, his halo of white hair catching the lights of the leisure battery. He’s wide eyed and looks like he may have escaped the attention of matron.
“Oh fellas, this is Florence’s dad, say hello…”
“Hello Mr Machine”
“Oh guys, yah. Yah, yah, yah… this bus is bus is absolutely fntaaaastic. I love it!”
“Well thank you very much”
“You know, the middle classes are crying out for a bus like this. I should know, I’m as middle class as it gets and our bus is very, very bland”.
We laughed a lot. A lot.
I saw him again recently at the Brit Awards launch party, where his daughter was given the full compliment of the Emperors New Clothes. He asked after the bus, then ummed and ahhed his way in to another conversation. Still, bloody good chap, what?