Kiwi Phillipa “Pip” Brown is better known as Ladyhawke. After having been bowled over having attended both Scala and The Haunt shows last June only heightened my desire to see Ladyhawke. So the moment the Let It Roll tour was announced the date at the Koko was a must. I was considering the Brighton show but the Old Market was in Hove which made it tricky to get the last train home from Brighton station. Now Phillipa is a talented singer/ songwriter who I hold very close to my heart. I’ll never forget the day I met her back at the 100 Club in 2011. I won’t lie but I actually was a teeny bit emotional.
Brown performed a whimsical 18 song set and each album was represented. The majority were tunes taken from the 3rd LP Wild Things, then you had 8 from the debut self titled then you had only the one from Anxiety. After a sensational set from Isle it was then time for the main attraction. At 9.15pm Ladyhawke graced the stage and kicked things off with The River. Now Wild Things was hands down my favourite record of 2016 as it is packed with plenty of synth pop tunes. The River was a dreamy cut aided by luscious lyrics and Pip’s vivacious vocal delivery. This was a fast paced upbeat number which was delivered to perfection, my highlight had to be the infectious chorus which packed a punch “Something in The River has a hold of me/ Could it be the water?/ Na na na na na na na/ Something in The River it has taken me/ All across the oceans/ Na na na na na na na”. Straight after it was then onto a triple treat of oldies. “Thank you so much for coming. Koko is my favorite venue in London” Pip said before launching into the impeccable Back Of The Van. Smothered in plenty of synth goodness, Back Of The Van was a succulent song which radiated plenty of 1980’s vibes. It actually reminded me of 80’s Madonna. Once over it was then time for Dusk Till Dawn, now this tasty tune was so blissful aided by infectious lyrics which packed a fierce punch. In fact I found this oldie to be a joyous cut which uplifted me. After all the applause Brown then launched herself into Professional Suicide and this was perfectly delivered. Those verses were vibrant and then you had the killer chorus which I fell for hook, line and sinker. Pip then followed up Professional Suicide with the gorgeous Golden Girl. The lyrics were incredibly infectious and it was a cut which easily had me moving to the beat “There’s no way up, there’s no way down/ You stole my heart but you throw it around/ You give it up then you give it away/ Your golden girl waits another day/ Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh/ Your golden waits another day”. Once over it was then time for the soul song from Anxiety and this coming in the form of Blue Eyes. Everything about this upbeat song was pure perfection, Brown’s vocals were pristine and those hypnotising lyrics hit me like a full on force.
Magic was a right epic, this majestical tune was packed with mesmerising lyrics and a dreamy melody. “This is Sweet Fascination” Phillipa then said before getting stuck into this sumptuous song. Sweet Fascination was a synth led tune, delivered at a steady pace and those brilliant lyrics left me completely enthralled. Those verses were fantastic and that delectable chorus was a slice of heaven “Sweet fascination is taking over you/ Just like you want it to/ Infatuation, it makes the lonely feel/ That the illusion’s real”. After it was time for a bit of Money To Burn and this was an catchy rollercoaster ride. Now I love ever track which featured on Wild Things but this is one of my personal favourite. Regarding the performance, those delightful lyrics uplifted me and Brown’s vocals were so exquisite. Even I found myself singing along to the wondrous punchy chorus “You sold your heart to me/ But you’re just a fool/ A fool with Money To Burn/ You sold your heart to me/ Cause you’re just a fool/ A fool with Money To Burn”. Once over it was onto Hillside Avenue. This tune was so spectacular, the vocals were crisp and those lush lyrics were out of this world. The synths were reminiscent to Scottish three piece Chvrches. Everything about this number was on point and the dreamy chorus left me with a feeling of warmth “There is a land that we all belong to/ It’s old enough to kill confusion/ Cause it’s about time, we moved to higher ground/ Down on Hillside Avenue”. Now Another Runaway hit me like a full on force and then it was time for the punchy Manipulating Woman which left me engrossed. The following three tunes were taken from the album Wild Things, first up being Wild Things. This was blissful synth pop which left me completely entranced. Those sublime lyrics had me hooked and the chorus left me hypnotised “There’s a fire/ In the heartland/ We danced around/ Like we’re Wild Things in the night”. It was then time for something I was hearing live for the very first time and this was the delicious sounding Chills. Just witnessing this right in front of me left me in a complete daze. Now this tune was so so sweet and those contagious lyrics even had me hanging onto every word. The penultimate number on the set list came in the shape of Let It Roll. All I can say is WOW, Let It Roll was a blitzing tune which featured Pip performing a solo on the tambourine. Those lyrics were light and fluffy, I especially liked the high octane chorus “Too many lovers in a hotel room/ They’re making plans to runaway to the moon/ Not a care in the world they feel/ This is the rhythm as the heart beats on and on”.
Ending a truly spectacular evening was Paris Is Burning. “This is where I pretend it’s my last song” Ladyhawke said before launching herself into this engrossing anthem. Those tantalising lyrics were screaming for you to sing along to them. And sing along is exactly what I did.
Once over Pip and her band left the stage only to return moments later. “I’ve got 2 more songs” Brown mentioned the moment she graced the stage. It was then time for A Love Song and this being an uplifting synth pop cut which left me smiling from beginning to end. The actual music video was shot in East Croydon. The chorus was so catchy even I sang along to it “This could be my life, but it’s only words To make me feel right when the meaning’s blurred You’ve opened my eyes to the oldest tale of time/ This is what a love song sounds like/ This could be my life, but it’s only words/ To make me feel right when the meaning’s blurred/ You’ve opened my eyes to the oldest tale of time/ This is what a love song, love song sounds like”. Things then came to a close with an oldie and this being My Delirium. “I just want to thank you guys so much for coming tonight” she then said before getting stuck into this phenomenal cut. Bundles of energy oozed from this infectious tune. The atmosphere was literally electric, my favourite part had to be the thumping chorus.
Back Of The Van
Dusk Till Dawn
Money To Burn
Let It Roll
Paris Is Burning
A Love Song
OVERALL: Wild Things was my favourite album of 2016, I could quite listen to it on a constant loop. Just witnessing the likes of Money To Burn, Let It Roll, Wild Things and The River live was extremely special.
This evening was so enjoyable and the tunes showcased literally raised my spirits. Those delectable synth pop cuts left me with a feeling of happiness deep inside. Way back in 2008 I witnessed Ladyhawke perform for the Little Noise Sessions at the Union Chapel, 9 years later Pip’s confidence has sky rocketed.