Review: Ladyhawke, Liquid Room

Pip Brown's lack of animation does nothing to quell the enjoyment of the music
Pip Brown's lack of animation does nothing to quell the enjoyment of the music
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If there’s one thing the music industry has taught us, it’s that no musical artist has ever flourished unless they had an image to sell along with it. So what’s the deal with Ladyhawke – aka successful 32-year-old New Zealander, Pip Brown?

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For a start, her style of music – Brat-pack-era electro-pop with an indie-guitar twist – is not dramatically dissimilar from the type you might associate with La Roux, Goldfrapp or Little Boots.

She has pop-star looks, sure, but she hides it behind a curtain of golden-blonde hair. She forgoes kitschy clothes for something possibly pulled out of the men’s section in a charity shop. And the nearest thing resembling choreography is when this talented, statuesque singer-songwriter tap-dances with her guitar effects pedals.

Aided by four equally unemotive musicians, Ladyhawke and her cohorts clearly aren’t what you’d call a visual band. You’d think staring at five unanimated robots wouldn’t be much fun – if you went for a toilet break you could safely assume you wouldn’t miss a thing – but it is. Why? Because Ladyhawke has killer tunes, that’s why, and lots of them.

Irresistibly catchy, production value is high: imagine Cyndi Lauper and Kim Wilde sharing a recording studio with Simple Minds with Stock, Aitken and Waterman producing (OK, you might have to seriously suspend your imagination, but it’s no exaggeration). And you couldn’t stop your feet from dancing even if they were glued to the floor, which, given the amount of spilt booze at the Liquid Room last night, certainly tested the concept.

Brown, however, has Asperger’s Syndrome, yet is very open about her anxiety. This would explain her lack of onstage movement; indeed, the first few songs were taken from her fantastic new, aptly-titled album, Anxiety.

Nevertheless, “I’m having an awesome time [in Edinburgh], the locals showed us a good time last night,” she smiled, assuredly, before ploughing into the funky grooves of Dusk Till Dawn, Paris Is Burning and Sunday Drive.

The irony, though, was glaringly obvious. For whilst the antidote to female-fronted electro-pop barely moved a muscle all night, her fans danced throughout. And, oh, how they danced.