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Florence is the greatest woman in rock of all time

Kate Bush, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Rickie Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Siouxsie Sioux, Elizabeth Fraser, P.J. Harvey, please form an orderly queue to register your righteous protests. In one of the most devastating demolitions of that adage about the "wisdom of crowds", Florence Welch has been voted the "greatest woman in rock of all time".

The poll was conducted among the terminally tone-deaf, sorry among the listeners to indie radio station XFM, and must come as a severe embarrassment to a station that might have hoped for a more discerning listenership who were familiar with at least some music outwith the narrow spectrum of the last 5 years.

To retain any vestiges of credibility, Welch should have responded to the news with something along the lines of "Huh? What? Me? You gotta be kidding right?" Instead she seemed to take the accolade as her due, saying that being a woman in rock was "doing something unexpected for someone who is perhaps more feminine. Perverting the idea of femininity – managing to be vulnerable and powerful at the same time is a big thing in performance – really feeling like you've seen someone giving a big part of themselves over to the audience."

In the frankly-baffling poll, Alison Mosshart of The Kills was second, Skin of Skunk Anansie was third, Karen O of Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs fourth, and Debbie Harry, who makes the others look like the third-rate indie warblers they are by comparison, fifth. Janis Joplin, meanwhile, is spinning in her grave.

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