Review of Ladyhawke playing a secret gig for Beck's Beer at The Village Underground, London on 25th August 2009.
Underground in east London has become THE venue for 'secret' gigs, and last night was no different. A handful of lucky guests were invited to head along to see Pip Brown aka Ladyhawke perform to celebrate the launch of her Becks bottle artwork. Contactmusic.com went down to take a look.
The converted warehouse was transformed into a make-shift art studio with a number of up-and-coming London based artists creating their artwork on huge Becks bottle labels. Giant versions of the music inspired artwork from Ladyhawke and her artist Sarah Larnach hung on the wall. They were instantly recognisable as it is Larnach who does the distinctive artwork for her music releases. Think watercolour-based portrait art of the lady herself in a forest and atmospheric howling wolves, they did looked brilliant on the bottles behind the bar! But Ladyhawke was not the only artist there who had created artwork for the upcoming limited release. Richard Archer from Hard-Fi was in the crowd and it was one of their labels - bright yellow with 'Love Music Hate Racism' on the front that really stood out - what a great way to get the message across!
Brown later took to the stage amidst thick smoke and a fancy light show, but she was characteristically dressed down with a Nirvana t-shirt, skinny jeans and biker boots. The gig itself was an intimate affair but the venue (and the free alcohol) meant the atmosphere was perfect. The audience, the majority of which were made up from competition winners, were enthusiastic and it seemed to encourage Brown whose interaction with the crowd is usually minimal. 'Are you drunk on free booze yet?' she smiled 'it makes it easier for me if you're drunk!' But she really didn't have anything to worry about.
Her brilliant band didn't miss a note and the sound was perfect, this was a really slick performance. Brown's vocals were spot on and she definitely seemed more confident than she has at past gigs; a couple of times she stepped to the front of the stage for a guitar solo, much to the delight of the photographers! Synths blaring, she kicked off with Magic before playing songs from her self-titled debut album; the only exception was Danny And Jenny. This she said was a previous B-side and had less of a warm reception, which was odd as it was actually a perfect example of the blend of synth, punk and retro-pop that Ladyhawke does so well. The thumping Dusk Til Dawn and the retro 80s Back Of The Van were definite favourites, but she saved the two biggest crowd pleasers, Paris Is Burning and My Delirium until the end. She also dedicated them to Larnach who she said was her 'favourite artist'. After a humble 'Thank-you' Brown left the stage and all that was left to do was for the crowd to descend on the bar in order to 'collect' every one of the different bottles - or that was the excuse!
The new Becks 'music inspired' art will be available on a limited number of bottles from September.
Official Site -