Ladyhawke – Oran Mor, Glasgow, 07/11/12
Tonight is the first time I’ve had the chance to catch Pip Brown, otherwise known as Ladyhawke live, after a couple of clashes with previous gigs and at T in the Park a couple of years back when she pulled out with illness. After the superb concert tonight, I can definitely say that it was well worth the wait, and I would highly recommend that you venture out to catch Ladyhawke live at the next opportunity.
Named after an 80’s fantasy film, Ladyhawke’s music is fused with a retro edge and is clearly influenced by the music of that era. By this marker, it was wholly appropriate that the pre-gig music playing through the stereo included a couple of Blondie songs. It’s rare to listen to an artist that is so blatant in their influences, yet sounds so fresh and new at the same time but Ladyhawke manages to pull it off and then some. It’s been 4 years since Ladyhawke released her self-titled debut to critical acclaim, and whilst new album ‘Anxiety’ doesn’t quite have tracks that jump out at you like ‘Paris Is Burning’ and the terrific ‘My Delerium’, it’s still a great collection of songs to add to her impressive resume. ‘Anxiety’ as an album delves a lot deeper into her soul and the effects of Aspergers syndrome are explored in detail on the album’s title track in particular.
The Oran Mor wasn’t at its busiest for tonight’s show, possibly affected by the Champions League match at Parkhead, but the people who did show up would not have left disappointed. The set began with ‘Back of the Van’ and whilst I love this song, I did feel that Ladyhawke, like the audience, took a couple of tracks to get into the swing of things. The atmosphere lifted as the venue began to pack out and a cracking rendition of ‘Girl Like You’ had everybody bouncing.
Ladyhawke is clearly an artist who feeds off the energy of the crowd and she appeared to be more comfortable once she’d got into her groove and tracks such as ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ and ‘Magic” off the debut album were standouts. Ladyhawke is a shy individual and this was reflected in the minimal amount of banter between songs as she maintained the momentum by racing through the setlist. She did, however, find time to express her love of a tambourine solo before performing one during ‘The Quick and the Dead’. As we approached the business end of the set, ‘Love Don’t Live Here’ slowed the pace down a bit with its brooding backing track before the energetic disco of ‘Paris Is Burning’ closed off the main set.
The encore began with a cover of ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane, before finishing with her finest track, ‘My Delerium’. In an era where disco is having a bit of a resurgence, it is surprising to me that Ladyhawke hasn’t gained a bigger following, particularly when some of her less talented contemporaries are achieving mainstream success. Tonight’s show was further evidence of her talent and I’ll be first in line next time she’s back in Scotland!
- Back of the Van
- Blue Eyes
- Girl Like You
- Professional Suicide
- Dusk Till Dawn
- Black, White & Blue
- The Quick and the Dead
- Love Don’t Live Here
- Better Than Sunday
- Sunday Drive
- Paris is Burning
- White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane Cover)
- Gone Gone Gone
- My Delerium