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Haim UK tour: huge tunes, Beyonce cover and ‘anal’ jokes

By Aaron Tamazou


Haim kicked off the British leg of their European tour at the 02 Brixton Academy last night (February 6) – at the biggest venue they’ve played in the UK to date.

The Californian siblings wowed the packed-out London crowd with tracks from last year’s chart-topping debut album Days Are Gone. Throughout the gig, each of the three sisters displayed a winning mix of impressive multi-instrumental skills and vibrant personality.

After beginning with Falling, their customary set opener, they launched into If I Could Change Your Mind – the track whose music video featuring a fabulously retro dance routine was released last week.

Eldest sister Este – who took verbal charge above the more demure lead singer Danielle and excitable younger sister Alana – then took the crowd on an imaginary journey to her parents’ living room in LA, where the Haim girls would make music together while their mother cooked up a big batch of  fondue. “My mom likes to cook, sue me,” she said, before the band began a lively rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well.

Later in the set came the ’80s new wave boom of album title track Days Are Gone, and the epic sounds, “throbbing asses” and strobe lights that accompanied My Song 5, for which Este’s renowned “bass face” made an appearance in a big way. Addressing the photographers in the pit afterwards, she joked: “I hope you got what you wanted.”

Este then found the time to update the crowd on a notoriously hilarious anecdote from two years ago when Haim were more accustomed to playing smaller gigs in places like East London’s Shacklewell Arms. Este, so the story goes, had contacted an ex by text when she wasn’t feeling very well.

However, her “needing a nap” message got misconstrued by her predictive text settings to read that she supposedly needed “anal”. The ex didn’t reply until a year later, when Haim had become rising stars . His response was simply: “Sorry, just seen this.”

Este’s amusing anecdotes were bookends to the threesome’s fierce drum-bashing, guitar-shredding and frenzied blurs of Haim hair taking over the stage.

They closed on an elaborately confetti cannon-fuelled performance of their first single Forever, only to return to the stage for an encore beginning with their recent Radio 1 Live Lounge cover of Beyonce’s XO.

The cover was followed their highest-charting single to date, The Wire, before they finished on album track Let Me Go, which, of course, turned into an energetic percussion display by all three sisters – paint these girls blue and there’d be a Broadway act to behold.

Haim will play five more dates in the UK over the next week before returning in the summer for several festival sets.

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