Haim live review

10th March 2014

Haim Live review 4/3/14 at Rock City

“These sisters must have been raised on three doses of rock n’ roll, stagewomanship and attitude”

Local man St.Raymond is given the arduous task of warming up the mainly teenaged “Haimed up” girl crowd that have gathered this cold March evening. With chirpy guitars aplenty by the second song “The River” the crowd are at least tapping their feet to Callum Borrows tropical rhythms and highly frequent use of “Woah oh oh’s” it can all sometimes seem a bit Little Comets like at times. But the young lad has the crowd in the palm of his hands by last track “Fall on your feet” with drums bouncing along, the song ends in a cacophony of tremolo guitars and smiles all round from his support band as they leave the stage, satisfied they might have corrupted some Haim purist with some Sainthood.

When the ladies decide to grace the stage it’s to a moody drum beat and raucous applause. These sisters must have been raised on three doses of rock n’ roll, stagewomanship and attitude three times a day, they own the venue from the first notes of “Falling”. It sounds better than ever, more bite then the record, with a snarling guitar solo from lead vocal/guitarist Danielle. The only fault is that the band hide behind self-indulgent rock for the first three songs, but when you’re covering Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” is much really needed to be said? The cover causes bassist and part time vocalist Este to climb atop a speaker stack, as the heaviest track of the set whirls around her and forces the crowd into a rabble.

After that cathartic release and Este return to the stage the band seem more comfortable in their tracks, truly enjoying their own set. “Honey and I” seems to wilt presented straight after their cover, but after a break down it builds up into a clap friendly ending. Before bursting into the drums driven, hip-hop inspired “My Song 5” all three sisters finally speak to the crowd, claiming this is their friends’ CJ’s favourite track as “people can shake their F***ing asses” to it. No wonder as the moody swagger fills the halls, vocals and harmonies more emotive than ever, the crowd bob and weave to CJ’s jam.
The rest of the set is faultless, tracks like “Go Slow” where the sister’s vocals effortlessly blend into harmonies together showcase their talent as a trio together. The band exit to “Forever”, a fantastic single from their debut album, where on the breakdown the girls lead rock city in a clapped sing-along, as the crowd proudly belt back every lyric.

The band return for their encore with a few tricks up their sleeves. Danielle now playing drums beats in her sisters’ entrance to the stage and remains there for the bands most recent cover of Beyoncè’s “XO”. To be able to channel one of Queen B’s latest tracks and make it their own really showcases the talent processed by the family. But it’s their hit single “The Wire” that follows that shows the individual and combined strength of the band. The verse lyrics trickle from one sister to the other, each voice could easily front a band, but combined they truly are destined for big things. The whole gig ends in a drum off, the girls beating with such furious rhythm that it’s a surprise they don’t burst through the membrane, of either the drums or our ears’. It’s a smacking tribal, full stop to the gig, and a massive indication of the bigger stages these ladies will later conquer.

8/10
By Jack Wood