The most incongruous thing about Pip Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, is her look — the grunge aesthetics of flannel and t-shirts all the way — despite her sound — a catalog comprised of very accessible and danceable new wave rock gems.
The rest of it all comes together rather well! Sonically, Ladyhawke dwells in that space in the late 1970s when female rock musicians began to be backed by an increasing amount of technology, notably synthesizers. With many of those women, like Pat Benatar, the electronic edge remained just that — an edge. With others, like Kim Wilde, the synthesizer permeated the songs, tripping the wire that fuses guitar to keyboard and thus producing new wave.
Ladyhawke, as her adopted name from the 1985 movie suggests, is very much aware of how to produce that sound but she does it so easily and so naturally you are left with the impression that the music just happens that way. How could it sound any differently?
Well, with selections like her most popular song, “Paris Is Burning,” which she played to enthusiastic, thumping cheers toward the end of Monday night’s show, it could not possibly sound any better. Ladyhawke took the stage roughly half an hour late (par for the course at the Rock and Roll Hotel) and the audience instantly swelled from about 70 polite bystanders for her opening acts to nearly 200 enthusiastic dancers.