L.A Sisters Haim bring the noise to Manchester
Manchester Academy 1
Since dropping the Forever EP back in 2012, Haim have been making waves with their refreshingly relaxed approach to ‘girl power’. Despite absolute bad asses like Chrissie Hynde and the infamous string of famous females bassists (Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, Tina Weymouth etc) there is still an out-dated notion of novelty tagged on to girls in rock bands; kind of like seeing a woman on Mock The Week.
Haim, along with Warpaint and countless others are putting the last resounding nail in that 1970’s, pipe smoking, amps-up-to-11 coffin. Opener ‘Falling’ epitomizes the breezy and slick brand of pop that has drawn endless comparisons to Stevie Nicks and Tango In the Night-era Fleetwood Mac; treading the perfect line between being danceable and ideal with a Pimm’s in the park.
Although the vibes feel firmly 1975-onwards RE Fleetwood Mac, the set features the Peter Green classic ‘Oh Well’, revealing Haim’s heavier roots and showcasing Danielle’s vintage chops. Their second cover, Beyonce’s ‘xo’ is a significant departure from the noise and sees Estee take the mic for a sensitive number, restraining from her usual gurning bravado.
The brief nature of the set, a mere 12 songs, actually works in the sister’s favour and allows them to administer one pungent shot of energy without any of the fat. As was the case at the Ritz earlier this year, ‘Forever’ is the stand out track; the ‘Edge of Seventeen’ picking, the funky lead guitar line, the killer bass and soulful harmonies come together to produce a dangerously catchy and infectious single.
Whilst Este’s onstage persona can come across a little crass and dare I say ‘American’, in the context of the live show even cynics like me feel compelled to respond in chorus to “how the fuck we doing Manchester?”.
No band can be labelled ‘great’ from one album, and whether Haim choose to pursue their pop sensibilities or branch out and experiment remains to be seen, however for the time being they are riding an endless high, and long may it continue.