Crafted set from Ladyhawke
20th May 2009 O2 Academy 2 Birmingham

Other than hearing the odd song on the radio, Ladyhawke (AKA Phillipa Brown) has been largely missed by my musical radar, in fact, I think it would be fair to say that some “serious music listeners” might purposely pass her by under the presumption that she is producing generic electro pop.

Image copyright:  Adrian Brown -

I made it a point not to seek out her music and make my mind up before seeing her live; a method of finding good new music that has stood me in good stead on several occasions before and this was no exception.  Yes she does produce electro pop but for this genre, this is as good as it gets. 


If you haven’t made up your mind about Ladyhawke yet you need to see her live.  I guarantee it will swing your decision in her favour.

Far from being generic, her songs are well crafted and meaningful and her live delivery and musicianship was every bit as good as the songs.  With her choppy guitar work on ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ and ‘Better Than Sunday’ giving the songs a slightly raw but funky edge and ‘Crazy World’ guiding the crowd into a festival style bounce with one arm in the air, she showed us that she can rock out with the best of them.

A few eighties musical influences stretched out their arms and grabbed you by the ears.  ‘Professional Suicide’ had me wondering if there had been a resurgence of Tubeway Army as Numanesque synth sounds dominated the choruses and the Encore number ‘My Delirium’ possesses more than a passing resemblance to The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ with a little Vangelis thrown in at the start. 

It all had me wondering if should have kept my black suede side tie winkle pickers, burgundy trousers and grey grandad bib shirt.


Between songs, the Ladyhawke alter ego falters and she becomes the mild mannered Phillipa Brown again and communicates with the audience via a small voice and mild demeanour, a quality that I find quite refreshing from the “are you ready to rock” cliché.  When the music restarts Ladyhawke is back and showing us what she’s really made of.

This is music for people who just like good music (including you “serious music listeners” out there) a fact born out by the wide and diverse fan base the Ladyhawke seems to have amassed.  The crowd consisted of everyone from ultra trendy pop fan teens to forty something seasoned gig goers.  To enjoy Ladyhawke, you need to drop the musical snobbery and listen to the songs for what they are.

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