Gig review: Haim, Roundhouse, London
Monday 23 September 2013
Recently I became so sick of seeing LA rock sisters Haim on every website, magazine and spare bit of wall, that I proposed a drinking game: a shot for every glimpse of their faces. I soon realised no one needs to be that drunk.
And yet, though it’s been merely a year to the day since fame vaulted them from support act at last year’s iTunes festival to Roundhouse headliners in their own right, it’s hard to really resent their ubiquity.
For one thing, they’re appreciative of this country’s role in their swift success (as well as our confectionery - Este cadges Jelly Tots from the crowd, and is full of praise for Percy Pigs), and they sweetly dedicate breakthrough single ‘Forever’ to their UK fans.
It’s a perfect example of their R&B-meets-pop Fleetwood Mac shtick (new single ‘The Wire’ also does a great job of pairing ‘Tusk’ with TLC). But if tonight proves anything, it’s that there’s more in Haim than that five-word precis and one brilliant debut album.
Live, there’s a harder edge to their material, aided this evening by a rugged croakiness in Danielle’s voice. When they choose to cover the Mac, it’s not ‘Little Lies’ they go for, but a drivingly heavy version of the Peter Green-era single ‘Oh Well’. “Just imagine you’re in LA in our living room,” says Danielle. “We have three drum kits in there…” supplements Este.
And without over-romanticising the sibling thing, there’s great power in the intuitiveness of a band who’ve grown up together - even when the girls go off into blues-rock jam time, Este’s Gene Simmons-like bass face in full effect, it’s always a thrill. ‘Honey & I’, on record, showcases a softer, dreamier folk-pop side, but live, stretches out in a Skynryd-esque rock beast.
‘Don’t Save Me’, their best song, doesn’t quite come off before they leave the stage, Danielle’s voice perhaps just a little too rough for its glossy power-balladisms, but it’s made up for by ‘Let Me Go’, broken down live to become a hoodoo riot, tribal drum rallies rattling back and forth between the girls, echoing those Haim household drum battles.
Este dives from the stage to massive cheers. “HAIM! HAIM! HAIM!” everyone shouts in time to their stomps. They’re set on turning the UK into one big Haimly living room. I for one am only too happy to be their footstool.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 2 Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
Doctor Who, Into the Dalek, TV review: Classic sci-fi adventure has blockbuster spectacle
Al Pacino's The Humbling and Manglehorn, film reviews
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
The Leftovers, TV preview: Prepare to be bewildered by the latest mystery from the creator of Lost
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward