Haim - Nottingham Rock City - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Haim - Nottingham Rock City

by Lawrence Poole Rating:7 Release Date:2012-07-08

The next time the well-worn tour bus of willowy Californian sisters Haim prepares to pull into town, expect it to be preceded by a flurry of visits to the local supermarket to snap up flour, eggs and an array of tasty toppings. This is because the three-piece lay down a cooking gauntlet for the good people of Nottingham, after sharing their mock disappointment at not being presented with a succession of pancakes on its national day.

Haim mirror the qualities of a good, old-fashioned English pancake – sweet, textured, flavoursome if, at times, a little flat. Este, Sari and Alana have enjoyed swimming around the national consciousness ever since they charmed the festival revellers in matching Ray Bans at a sun-soaked Glastonbury last year.

Now backed by a clutch of singles so catchy they could keep NHS Direct in business, Haim are understandably enjoying their spell in the limelight. Fresh from a rip-roaring set at the 6Music Festival in Manchester, the San Fernando Valley threesome kick-start their UK tour in the East Midlands in similarly aggressive fashion with gutsy renditions of debut LP tracks 'Falling' and 'If I Could Change Your Mind'.

With so many understandable (if lazy) comparisons with ‘70s radio colossuses Fleetwood Mac, straying into cover territory of said behemoths could have been a tad risky – wisely though, the trio delv into the early stages of the Mac’s back catalogue, unleashing a searing rendition of Peter Green-era 'Oh Well', which sees Este clambering on to a speaker-stack to showcase her bass histrionics. Sadly, after that a mid-set lull follows, with large swathes of a sold-out audience becoming a little disinterested.

Thankfully, it doesn’t last long, and the irrepressible 'Don’t Save Me' and sparkling 'Forever' swoop in to save the day. Add a sterling cover of Beyonce’s 'XO', and it means the evening ends on a jubilant high.

With stagecraft, patter and virtuoso musicianship (all three play multiple instruments and possess powerhouse vocals) also in their armoury, it’s easy to see why Haim have such mass appeal. A second album to beef up their thin-ish setlist will surely only take them to even greater heights. Now, where did I put that pancake recipe?

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