Fiery chanteuse Florence Welch tore into Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter yesterday evening, in response to the playing of Welch’s hit ‘You Got The Love’ as walk-on music for the PM’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Today's use of 'You've Got The Love' at the Conservative party conference was not approved by us nor would it have been had they asked.— florence welch (@flo_tweet) October 4, 2017
Seeking to distance herself and the track, first released by Welch as a B-Side to the Florence + The Machine’s 2008 breakout hit ‘Dog Days Are Over’, from the Conservative party, Welch insisted that use of the track was ‘"not approved by us nor would it have been had they asked."
‘You Got The Love’ has a fascinating history in its own right. Originally recorded by Alabaman gospel singer Candi Staton as an a cappella for the soundtrack of a straight-to-VHS documentary about a man overcoming obesity, Staton’s version was uncovered by late-80s production/songwriting crew The Source, who sought to remix it into a club anthem.
When approached by The Source, Candi Staton had no recollection of ever recording it, by nonetheless presciently decided to waive her fee in favour of a share of future profits.
Florence Welch hit upon the idea of covering the song for her first minor headline slot at Festival, as it reminded her of raving in her youth.
Yesterday she reiterated on Twitter how disheartened she was by the use of the track, a massive fan favourite, by Theresa May and the Conservatives, and expressed her wish that the party refrain from using her music in future.
If the Conservative party could refrain from using our music in future. x— florence welch (@flo_tweet) October 4, 2017
Politicians being chided for using bands’ music unauthorised is by no means an exclusively UK-based phenomenon. Last year the surviving members of Queen expressed outrage that Donald Trump used ‘We Are The Champions’ to presage his victorious Republican Convention speech.
More colourfully, The Dropkick Murphys took to Twitter in 2015 to protest Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s co-opting their tunes at a campaign rally, saying ‘please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!!’
Theresa May's speech, during which she succumbed to a fit of coughing, a sign fell apart and saw a P45 handed to her by a prankster, was widely considered to be a failure.