Haiku Salut, a discordant band, not short of quirks, straight out of the Derbyshire Dales, performed at King’s Place in London last Friday with the waffling gauche soloist, Ed Dowie supporting. Certainly a versatile, beguiling arrangement of noises with a mixture of immersive sound-scaping influences.
Three females, Gemma, Louise and Sophie, ample and able to share a stage equally, without any trying to propel their talents into the spotlight, with a front person lacking, they describe their own music as ‘Baroque-Pop-Folktronic-Neo-Classical-Something-Or-Other.’ Their interchangeable instrumental capabilities are rife and their identities all ominously shaded behind tie-dyed tea-dresses and striped, starched shirts. Incredulously and distinctly instrumental, they appear on stage to be equally talented on any of the plethora of instruments on stage.
Kings Place, a venue often used for folk, and jazz performances, was filled with cinematic sound. The audience, the twee, were patiently won over by the awkward support, Ed Dowie, as he projected atmospheric, synthesised sounds and ‘laptopery’ highlighting his ample skill in underscoring expressive film, similar in style to that of Lost Map Record’s singer/songwriter Seamus Fogarty. His red shirt, braces, and awkward rambling also seemed to fit with the crowd.
With hints of Sylvain Chomet’s animated Triplets of Belleville, Haiku Salut entrance the crowd with their beguiling electronic tones and spirited movement on stage. Obviously influenced by the likes of Múm (and reminding me of the Glaswegian duo, Over the Wall, who have just announced their final tour) the three win the crowd particularly whilst hitting the glockenspiel and sharing the piano. Renowned for their lamp shows, they refrained from such a lavish affair, keeping their leftfield audience happy with sampling and looping sounds instead, as well as the odd warm continental accordion tinkle. Despite the lack of visual stimulation, devoid of lamps, the stimulate with their symbiotic interaction on stage, consistently all three playing musical instrument, at times sharing an instrument, and this in itself is rare to see. However wide-ranging they are in their style and genre, their somewhat folk, somewhat cinematic bleeps and chimes is what threads their music, as it often throws the audience in a world dissimilar to the expletive rush of Kings Cross, allowing them to forget for just short of an hour where they are placed.
Beginning with an appropriately titled Things Were Happening and They Were Strange, the audience were given a taste of things to come, hearing a finger-picked looping guitar added to synthesiser, accordion, snare and drums, with a vocal teaser, as it was the only track to feature the natural sounds of either of the trio. This time round they played many tracks from their 2013 album Tricolore, namely Leaf Stricken and Sounds Like There’s a Pacman Crunching Away at Your Heart, which was given fantastic reviews from contributors at The Guardian, which, according to the contributor, encouraged their support with Lau’s recent tour.
Presented under the Folk Union banner and also connected to the Daylight Music gigs in the Union Chapel, this alt-folk appeases to its audience who are shouting encore, demanding more. Let’s hope that we see more released from Gemma, Louise and Sophie; we want to hear more of their ambient layered backdrops and French folk arrangements that throw us into a Jeunet or a Chomet film.
Catch more on Haiku Salut at http://haikusalut.com/
All photos are by Diana Jarvis, and you can see more of her work on www.dianajarvisphotography.co.uk.