MUDKISS FANZINE

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HAIM / SAINT RAYMOND @ THE RITZ, MANCHESTER 08/12/13 - REVIEW BY JAMES LOWTHER

Haim are a band that are too easy to fall in love with. Their backstory, sound, look and personality make Haim one of the most talked about and listened to bands of this year. And seeing them live only cemented my love for them even more. They put on one of the most passionate and thoroughly enjoyable shows of the year.

The support act Saint Raymond, was a sort of forgettable mixture of Bombay Bicycle Club and The 1975, but they were good enough to get some people moving. But it was the low rumbling of ‘Falling’, the heartbeat like drumming at the start of the song, that really got the people going. As the drumming intensified the girls emerged, and from that song onwards it was an unforgettable show. From that point on the crowd got everything they could have asked for. It looks like Haim have fully embraced their comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, too, by playing a fantastic cover of ‘Oh Well’, early on in their set. The whole show reinforced the idea that these girls are going to be headlining festivals one day. Their enthusiasm and passion for music shone through. Each girl being a multi-instrumentalist.  They showcased that talent most brilliantly during the encore, as they swapped and changed from guitars to drums. The whole show, in fact, served as a good reminder as to how percussion based this band is.

The biggest problem for Haim was definitely there lack of material. This is something that can only be rectified by more albums, but as it stands the gig was just over an hour long. I think it says a lot for a band though, if the audience is left craving more. The encore seemed to come far too quickly, and although it was a fantastic encore ending with the three sisters pounding away at drums, you couldn't help but feel the disappointment of the crowd as they made their way off stage. There isn't a song that I feel that they desperately missed out of their set - they played every one of their hits and were proud to be showing the crowd a good time. But it still felt a bit lacking. Time will tell if they are a band who will be worthy to take up the mantle of a headline act.

But their charisma more than made up for it. This is a band who knows how to work a crowd. The highlight has to be the Los Campesinos debacle. The Welsh band were playing at an opposite venue on the night, and the lead singer took a picture holding a middle finger up to Haim's queue. In response, Este went on a lengthy rant before taking a 'selfie' with the entire crowd sticking fingers up at Los Campesinos. I think we know who won that fight. And more than that, the clapping and dancing and just plain energy of not just the sisters themselves but they entire crowd help to cement the idea that they are just an incredibly fun live experience.

It's the combination if all of this however: their charm, their musical skill and their presence on a stage that culminate together to make Haim one of the must see live acts around. It's difficult to dislike their music, and even if you've never heard of Haim before you owe it to yourself to check out their incredibly catchy tunes- and the live setting is the perfect place to do so.

Review by James Lowther
Photos by Melanie Smith - (set here)