Ladyhawke @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire 11th May 2012

Coming all the way from New Zealand is Philipa “Pip” Brown (AKA Ladyhawke). The Anxiety tour was coming to a close and what a way to end it in the capital. I arrived outside the venue around 3pm and was the first there. Arriving early does have its advantages as myself and 3 other people got to meet Pip who had just arrived at Shepherd’s Bush Empire at 5pm. Now that was an extremely nice and pleasant surprise. Doors to this gig were at 7pm. It is strange that even though doors open at that time the opening at is always on 45-60 minutes later. In this case She’s So Rad (who also hail from New Zealand) took to the stage at 8.15pm. The genre I would place them in is indie rock. Their short but sweet set consisted of songs from début album In Circles plus Confetti. This 3 piece band is worth keeping tabs on.

“Hello” Pip said greeting the sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The night opened up with a the oldest Ladyhawke track and this being Back Of The Van. This song was about young love and is a cracking tune. The synths reminded me of Madonna circa 1980. Still Back Of The Van was delivered powerfully and its lyrics were infectious as well. It was then straight into the first new song of the night and this being Blue Eyes. This upbeat track was very infectious. The verses were sublime but it was the chorus that caught my attention especially the na nas. “Thank you for coming tonight. There’s so many of you I just look and it’s like levels and levels” Brown said to the packed out venue. There was some impressive guitar playing throughout Girl Like Me. This was a steady paced song which felt rather powerful. It was onto the albums title track Anxiety. This song had an electro feel. It was delivered at a steady pace and had sleek verses and an upbeat chorus. An oldie followed and this being Professional Suicide. The way this song opened up hits you in the face. In fact Kate Nash’s opening for her punk song I Just Love You more has a similar opening. At first Professional Suicide starts off at a slow pace but it is the frantic chorus which was my favourite part of this number. Magic then followed on. Pip wrote this song when she first moved to London and is a pining love song. This song had a beat to it and everything gelled together perfectly. The lyrics were extremely infectious. Dusk Til Dawn had a fast pace and had some infectious lyrics. This is the only song where you can pick up on Brown’s accent. Again it was another synth track with a sublime and memorable chorus. I would consider it to be a feel good number, I certainly enjoyed hearing it live. “So I’m playing some old ones and I’m playing some new ones. The album’s not out yet” Pip then said before getting stuck into Anxiety’s lead single Black White and Blue. Even though this song was extremely heavy due to the guitars/ drums the number was is actually very smooth. The luscious lyrics fitted perfectly to its melody. It was then onto The Quick and the Dead. At first it started off with a heavy drumbeat then Pip starts singing this sublime song. At first it started off at a steady pace then the infectious chorus kicked in. It was then back to another track from the self titled début album. This being Love Don’t Live Here. This was one powerful song due to both electric guitars and drums making it feel heavy. Still this smooth song had superb lyrics which were delivered to perfection.

“I’m going to play another new song now this one’s called Cellophane. This is a little bit slower” Brown then mentioned to the crowd. A heavy drumbeat kicked off Cellophane. This laid back song was rather soft and it was played at a slower pace compared to other songs played on the night. Before Vanity Pip Brown took a picture of the crowd on her phone. Once taken it was straight into the song. Like the prior number this was a chilled out song which had some beautiful lyrics. Immediately after it was onto Better Than Sunday. I found this Power Pop song to be rather infectious. This song was packed with a punch and the chorus was a highlight for me. “This is a song called Vaccine” Brown then said to the crowd. One line of Vaccine was “Who’ll Be My Vaccine, I’ll Be Your Inbetween”. This song was wonderful and had some fantastic verses. “I’ve got a couple more songs left. Then I’ll be like this is my last song and I’ll walk off then walk back. I’m just warning you” Pip then said explaining the encore. Again the synths were present for Sunday Drive. This was a fast tempo pop song with infectious lyrics and a killer chorus. “This is my last song. Thank you so much for coming” Brown said before signing off with Paris Is Burning. This was really infectious and it’s begging to for you to sing along to it. Pip wrote this song after a long weekend in Paris. The best part of this tune had to be its chorus. After lots of chanting Ladyhawke eventually returned to the stage for what was to be a 2 song encore which kicked off with Gone Gone Gone. This number was extremely powerful and was faultlessly delivered. “I want to thank everyone for coming tonight” Brown then said before ending with another old song. If there is one song you can lose yourself to it would have to be My Delirium. This number was delivered strongly and had an amazing fist thumping chorus.

SET LIST

Back Of The Van
Blue Eyes
Girl Like Me
Anxiety
Professional Suicide
Magic
Dusk Til Dawn
Black White and Blue
Quick and the Dead
Love Don’t Live Here
Cellophane
Vanity
Better Than Sunday
Vaccine
Sunday Drive
Paris Is Burning

ENCORE

Gone Gone Gone
My Delirium

OVERALL: I have a lot of admiration for Pip Brown. Ever since the day I met her at 100 Club last year I have been hooked and would love to meet her again. Brown is extremely sweet and I was lucky enough to be there when she had arrived at the venue.

Back to the gig, as per usual Ladyhawke was fantastic. The new songs were sublime and I look forward to getting my copy of Anxiety. If Pip had her way it would have already of been released. It was a great shame it had been postponed till June as if it was released prior to the tour fans would get familiar with the new tunes. But I guess the postponement was down to the label.

It was nice attending both opening and closing nights as you can make comparisons. All in all it was one superb night and it seemed that her nerves eased. I look forward to when Pip is next performing in the capital.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. The 2nd type is the canopied bed. Let’s face it we’d had enough of Barbie dolls, ballet and boats by the
    time we were thirteen, hadn’t we?

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