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Fred Perry Subculture
at The 100 Club
Haiku Hands + Suzi Wu + BABii

August 2019
Words Harley Cassidy
Photos by Sharon López

Even by the loosest of standards, this 100 Club line-up is something of a stretch away from its usual clientele. It’s dominated by three electro-fused females, all at different stages in their career and the crowd that walk in to the venue are some of the more outlandish and liberated I’ve seen at a Fred Perry Subculture concert.

Diversity and acceptance are a united theme and tonight, you get the impression that it’s a safe place to leave all inhibitions at the door. A solid, unwavering stance of support and empowerment is the order of the day.

First up is BABii; an unmistakable child of the Internet. She once said that her melodies consisted of her plagiarising all the people around her, but the music suggests that her mind already worked in strange, tangible ways. She’s fuelled by a dark strain of pop culture that we all subconsciously subscribe to in 2019 and has tapped in to that vein like a pro. The entire set consists of her kneeling on a huge table, propped by industrial kneepads and hitting synths to issue a crystallised sound, faultlessly commanded by the kind of girlish, vaporous falsetto that Grimes would be proud of. ‘SEiiZURE’ is the highlight; electronic cotton candy with a pop impulse that still doesn’t hide the murkiness within.

Clarence Clarity
Suzi Wu

Another post-Internet poster girl (her latest EP is called Error 404), Suzi Wu has just returned from overshores, where her signing to Def Jam has truly set the scene for her future. Her performance is punchy and fixed with an immaculate sheen that the US of A might have lent to her, although her jagged, London roots are still undoubtedly intact. “It’s so good to be home”, she enthuses, looking radiant in the bask of heavy lighting and adoring fans. A set packed with personality, it’s hard to take your eyes off Suzi; she commands attention and bounds the stage seamlessly, every note, every move, every inflection, met with unassuming ease. Confidence and cockiness are a polarising business, but in this tongue-in-cheek case, it’s suitably endearing as Suzi grins and asks the crowd - “anyone here like Tom Waits?” Teenage Witch, from her debut EP, is still her kryptonite but the cuts off of Error 404 are just as mega, harking to a doped up Santigold or M.I.A.

Suzi Wu

In-between sets we are blessed with a DJ who knows the art of a GOOD pop song. Clarence Clarity is no filler and all killer as he spins tracks including Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’ and Madonna’s ‘Don’t Stop’, two songs that you forgot you needed back in your life.

Naturally, spirits are high as Haiku Hands finally take to the stage, faces masked by only the most ornate of visors. Their expressions underneath are still explicitly readable, however - they are here to cause chaos.

Haiku Hands
From start to finish, Claire Nakazawa, Mie Nakazawa and Beatrice Lewis serve up a day-glo energy that consumes every individual. There’s no stop and start, just pure, rave-inflected goodness that turns the 100 Club into an impetuous, sweating party.
Haiku Hands
Haiku Hands

Haiku Hands show a clear indulgence in the art of having a good time, much like their fellow Aussie counterparts, Confidence Man, they serve up synchronised dance routines, a stream of anthems and an absolute prescient focus on making the live show the very best it can be. This is where they truly excel, from the bop of club banger ‘Not About You’ to their latest, ‘Dare You Not To Dance’, they weave and dance through one another, never losing breath as they rap over hectic dancehall numbers. It's bubblegum pop gone rogue as we watch even the most taut of people loosen the shackles for one night only, such is the power of their craft.

As Hammer issues an intoxicating mix of house and techno out in to the open, signifying everything supremely great about nightlife culture, you leave feeling empowered, stimulated and slightly superhuman.