Live Review: Haiku Hands / Rosko @ Corsica Studios

on Monday, October 29, 2018
Haiku Hands + Rosko live at Corsica Studios, London (23 October 2018) // Words: Saam Das

It's been a cool fourteen-and-a-half years since we last graced Elephant & Castle for a gig - The Libertines at The Coronet in April 2004, if you must know - but we were happy to make our musical concert return to the South London area for this European tour date of Aussie ruffians Haiku Hands. Quite simply, they're one of the finest live bands going today, with their unique Beastie Boys-doing-beat-laden-pop vibe.

Entering the smoke-filled Corsica Studios venue, we're confronted by the self-proclaimed "R & Geez" sounds of London (or thereabouts) quartet Rosko. Much like the headliners, there's something raw and vibrant on offer, albeit with very different musical references including Shame and Jamie T. Tracks like 'Gunge' (sadly not Dave Benson Phillips-related) and the ska-and-rap-combining 'The Boys' are enthusiastically delivered by their expressive frontman.

Rosko's tunes are a suitable warm up for the main event of Haiku Hands, one of the most talked about bands of The Great Escape in Brighton earlier this year, which was followed up with another tremendous gig at London's BIRTHDAYS. The trio (each initially wearing some sort of mask and jumpsuit combo, almost akin to a pop-based Slipknot) kick off their second visit to the capital with a hip hop-infused intro complete with synchronised dance moves.

It's all a bit ridiculous. But that's the Haiku Hands modus operandi - something of a ramshackle riot show, something spectacular. Most importantly, the crowd are lapping it up - "You guys are mad squatters", the band comment, following a rapturously received display of latest dance-manual-turned-single 'Squat'.

As evidenced by the aforementioned 'Squat', their recorded material goes supernova in the live environment with the incendiary beat-driven 'Not About You' and the smooth, guitar-led nostalgia of 'Jupiter' also proving to be particular crowd favourites. The venue's smoky state gives the event a glorious haze of delirium, only to be interrupted by the mischievous Australians launching streamers and confetti mid-song to one-up their own spectacle.

The rowdy finale of 'Work On It' sees Haiku Hands descend into the crowd, before stumbling and sprawling back on to the stage, in a somewhat undignified fashion. But it's the typical Haiku Hands way, i.e. one that doesn't worry about looking cool and is therefore effortlessly cool. It's all over so soon. Too soon. Rapid fire brilliance from a must-see live act.

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