HAIM, a three piece band of sisters, is reputedly one of those overnight successes that took years of graft. The Californian ladies seemed to be virtually unheard of only a year or so ago. Yet, as 2013 draws to a close they have sold out two nights at north London’s The Forum and have a longer UK tour planned for spring 2014. Imelda Michalczyk reviews and photographs.
So, what’s all the fuss about? As it turns out, HAIM are a lot of fun, knocking out catchy pop songs whilst in between tracks they swear like troopers and joke with the audience. Each sister performs at least two instruments, as well as singing lead and backing vocals. The stage has sparkly silver drums strewn all over the place for family percussive moments. But visually, it’s the trademark long, centre-parted hair that is constantly thrown around and creates such a dynamic effect for a band that, essentially, needs to devote its time to juggling instruments and singing rather than running around the stage or performing dance routines.
With only one full length album under their belt, it’s not an extensive set, even with Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 classic ‘Oh Well’ thrown in early. But the (female heavy) crowd sing along to every track, with ‘The Wire’, ‘Falling’ and ‘Don’t Save Me’ proving particularly interactive.
Este, the bassist sister, tells a story of how not long ago, they had been to The Forum as part of the audience and thought how “cool” it would be to play here one day. They seem rightfully delighted and slightly surprised at the happy turn of events. If tonight is anything to go by, the band can now safely start setting their sights on some much bigger London venues indeed.
Review by Imelda Michalczyk on 9 December 2013, London.