Since they first burst onto the scene in 2012 Haim have had quite the year, from festivals up and down the country including the coveted Glastonbury and Reading, to recognition from BBC and NME, these three sisters hailing from San Fernando Valley, California have well and truly cemented themselves as one of this years most vital bands.
With their long hippy esque centre-parted hair, leather biker jackets and thrown on laid back cali look the Haim sisters epitomise rock ‘n’ roll cool, but don’t be fooled, they don’t just look good, they sound good too. Semple got the chance to attend their London gig last Monday and see the sisters in action and during their hour long set at the Forum in Kentish Town Haim proved that they can deliver substance as effortlessly as they do style.
As the crowd got amped up and the lights flashed in unison with a pounding drum, the Fleetwood Mac sounding harmonies of ‘Falling’ cut through the noise and the audience bleared out the apt lyrics “I hear the voices and their calling for me now I know, and nothing’s gonna wake me now, cause I’m a slave to the sound.” The buzzing electric crowd most definitely slaves to Haim – each rapturous applause eclipses the last.
With a small repertoire at their disposal the gig could of lacked gumption, but instead it was on point and feverish in its deliverance. The poised clean cut studio sheen of their debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’, which topped the UK chart this October, had no place here. What we witnessed was the uncut raw version, only fitting of live music. Masters of diversity Haim hit us with the 1970s/80s west coast soft-rock we expected and threw in crunked out RnB flavors with ‘My Song 5’, then back to the rock n roll edge we love them for and where Haim are at their most comfortable, for a rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’.
Lead guitarist Danielle took her moment in the spotlight with her polished guitar solo, while Alana thrashed at a kettle drum and Este hit us all with some serious base face. ‘Go Slow’ saw the gig take a more moody melodic turn, but it wasn’t long before ‘Let me Go’ roared into focus, stealing the show in a climax that saw the three sisters epic drumming to a dramatic close against a sky full of confetti.
With there enviable rock star looks and bewitching bold hooks it seems inevitable that Haim will be back packing out many more arenas well in to 2014 and beyond, and Semple will be sure to get their hands on tickets.
By Sophie Maguire