Saturday, September 26, 2009 8:46am ET by  
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Florence Welch relieved about no winning Mercury Music Prize

Florence Welch has said that she is relieved that her debut album 'LUNGS' did not win this year's Mercury Prize.

The record from Florence and the Machine was the favourite to win the award but was beaten by bookies' outsider 'Speech Therapy' from Speech Debelle.

Welch told London Lite: "Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I felt relieved. Winning a Brit was brilliant, having an album out is amazing, doing the festivals was great.

"But I don't think I can handle much more exposure at the moment. I was glad when the Mercurys were over and I could get back to what's really important, playing my songs."

Of her upcoming Shepherds Bush Empire gigs, she added: "We have a string section and a choir. I can't wait. I've always wanted live strings, but this is the first time I've been allowed.

"It's going to be amazing, I just know it is. I'm also planning to sing some old songs, but stripped right back. And I'll be wearing some interesting outfits. The shows are just after London Fashion Week and some designers are giving me some dresses."

Watch a clip of Florence Welch talking to Absolute Radio's Sarah Champion at the 2009 Mercury Awards: