LivePLAY: Haim, The Forum, London, 09/12/13

IMG_3137By Raj Pander

They made our Best Albums of 2013 list and they’ve been the toast of the industry for well over a year. So it makes sense that London’s Forum was packed out for Haim last night, with beer-guzzlers young and old, united, waiting to see their favourite band of siblings since Hanson (soz, B*Witched).  Because we’re so committed here at PressPLAY, before we begin the main event we’d like to give a nod to support acts Childhood and especially Saint Raymond, who came across like Ed Sheeran + Vampire Weekend + Haim themselves. In other words, very good.

The LA girls arrived on stage and kicked off their set with album hits Falling and The Wire. It’s immediately so refreshing to see an all-female band who actually play their own instruments and know how to rock out; hell, it’s empowering. And of course every gig these days needs to feature a cover, so Haim duly went with an amped-up rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well. Slightly disappointed that they didn’t opt for an act less obvious, given all the comparisons – we’d have quite liked to see Haim take on some proper R&B, perhaps.

Haim’s sense of humour and general boisterousness is well-known by now, so it goes without saying: these girls know how to work a crowd, y’all.  They’re relentlessly entertaining; Este “Bassface” Haim had some on-point outbursts in particular, demanding to “see you shake that booty – make it clap”, or changing tack to declare her hot flashes are like early menopause. Can someone just make a Kardashian-esque reality show about these girls please? We’d sure as hell watch it.

The girls continued the rest of their set with gusto, dutifully performing tracks from Days Are Gone including My Song 5 and Honey & I. After a confetti-drenched sing-along of Forever, Haim returned and performed the excellent Running If You Call My Name and Let Me Go, after which they, erm, all hit the drums. It may sound odd but this spectacle itself is worth the price of entry – physically it’s a treat, and metaphorically it’s the sound of them heralding girl power in a way we haven’t seen since the Spice Girls.