Club NME, Razzamatazz, Barcelona. (June 20)
Ladyhawke? Oh, she’s just fine: sitting pretty backstage, mentioning to people how made up she is to be in Spain for the first time. But it’s not her that needs worrying about. It’s her band, select members of which have failed to either: a) swiftly adapt to the nothing really happening-’til-really-really-late local nightlife, or b) pace themselves. Because while the scenes in the dressing room at 4am – spilled drinks every two seconds, people falling over, a worried-looking tour manager – wouldn’t under normal circumstances be cause for concern at all, the fact is that Ladyhawke and band haven’t actually played yet.
Come stage-time half an hour later, however, and you’d never be able to tell. The stumbling has been replaced by posturing, and the Numan-wave grooves of opener ‘Professional Suicide’ are tonight as well-drilled as they are in their recorded guise. In the flesh, ‘Back Of The Van’ sounds even more like The Pretenders at their poppiest (definitely a good thing, that), while the infectious nature of latest single ‘Paris Is Burning’ is such that a select few people are singing its refrain back at Ladyhawke having (surely) only heard it the once. The same thing happens with ‘My Delirium’, a song that – and again, this is intended as a compliment – could square up to any of Madonna’s early classics. It’s a neat trick – making all your songs sound like massive pop singles from the mid-’80s without ever veering into vomit-inducingly ironic ‘guilty pleasures’ territory.
The night certainly ain’t young any more, Ladyhawke’s drummer can barely stand up and the dressing room’s full of very, very pissed people. Somewhere among them, though, lurks Barcelona’s new favourite pop star.