Live Review: Ladyhawke – The Art School Glasgow 9.2.2017 plus gallery

Ladyhawke on stage at The Art School Glasgow in February 2017

Ladyhawke gives Glasgow a huge dose of her addictive electro-pop and leaves it hooked on her hooks.

Ladyhawke – aka New Zealand songstress Pip Brown – danced confidently into synth-pop territory with third album ‘Wild Things’, which was released last year. The music was exhilarating, uplifting and reflected her mood as she confessed at the time of release, saying “I feel good for the first time in 10 years. I have a clear mind! I have a wife. I feel stable. That is what I’m celebrating.” Her next task would be to take the overlapping layers of synths and vocals in the new material and adapt them to a live show.

The summer pop of opener ‘The River’, from ‘Wild Things’, is in complete contrast to the freezing night outside but succeeds in getting the crowd warmed up nicely before Brown picks up her guitar for the rockier ‘Back Of The Van’ and ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ from 2008’s eponymous debut album. They are all equally dance-inducing, but you can clearly hear the evolution of her sound into poppier territory. I find it a relief that she obviously isn’t trying to make her pop songs more indie or vice versa – she’s faithful to both albums.

The whirling ‘Professional Suicide’ is followed by the delicious bubblegum pop of ‘Golden Girl’. At this point, my only complaint is that the sound of some of the samples is drowning out her impressive live vocals.

‘Blue Eyes’ from 2012’s brooding ‘Anxiety’ – the only track from her second album that gets played here – is suitably rocked up, but still has electro sparkle. The darker synth layers and icy vocals of the recording of ‘Sweet Fascination’ are perfectly replicated for a live show, as is the attitude-filled- and Gwen Stefani reminiscent – ‘Money To Burn’ and the soaring ‘Wild Things’.

Brown may not be the most talkative – she does just let it roll – but the energy is buzzing, the crowd are moving and each song announced is cheered. For the record, my favourites are the pounding ‘Magic’ and feisty ‘Manipulating Woman’ – both from her debut album, which I’m now keen to revisit. However, this performance has cemented my opinion that ‘Wild Things’ is a pop album that also demands to be enjoyed again and again.

The gig finishes with mass dancing to the joyful ‘A Love Song’ and a loud sing-along to the thunderous ‘My Delirium’. In the end, it is her ability to write these ridiculously catchy songs that ensure the talons of Ladyhawke dig into your brain and stay there long after you’ve left one of her gigs.

Set list
The River
Back Of The Van
Dusk Till Dawn
Professional Suicide
Golden Girl
Blue Eyes
Sweet Fascination
Money To Burn
Hillside Avenue
Another Runaway
Manipulating Woman
Wild Things
Let It Roll
Paris Is Burning
A Love Song
My Delirium

Photos © Rhiannon Law

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