Ladyhawke @ Cabaret Voltaire, 3 Oct
The immediacy of the Futuristic Retro Champions (**) puts a smile on the Skinny’s mug as we enter Cabaret Voltaire tonight. This local quintet of fey-yet-hyper pop kids with songs about strutting your stuff on dance floors whilst looking good (hang on a minute!), seem just the tonic to end a long day. However, their shtick of twee little girls and boys trapped in adult bodies, some unnecessary SHOUTING and a one trick drum machine quickly becomes grating. Whilst in one song they bemoan the far off and horrifying prospect of turning 30, you can’t help but feel that a little maturity will help iron out their creases.
Ladyhawke (***) on the other hand is at least old enough to have experienced the decade that’s being revived tonight; the '80s, when else? To these ears, it’s the album tracks rather than the more positively-received singles that fizzle like a mouthful of Space Dust and Cherry Coke. We’re a good three songs in before Magic provokes a more emotive vocal performance from Pip Brown, whilst Love Don’t Live Here’s effortless groove and propelling bass adds some grit to the polish. The singles, including Paris Is Burning as the penultimate song, are faithfully despatched, though the diminutive New Zealander in an over-sized t-shirt already seems bored by them. My Delirium ends things on a high note though, proving that as an 80s-revivalist, Ladyhawke is more than acceptable. [Darren Carle]