Gig review: Haim at Leeds Metropolitan University

Haim. Picture: Bella Lieberberg
Haim. Picture: Bella Lieberberg
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For a band who scooped the prestigious BBC Sound of 2013 award, it seemed surprising that almost at the end of the year, Haim’s latest gig in the city was to be at the rather cramped Leeds Metropolitan University venue.

The popularity of the Californian sisters meant the somewhat sweaty crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder right to the back of the room.

Granted, it wasn’t helped by the fact that due to an issue with review tickets and an unexpectedly early stage time, their set was well underway by the time we arrived.

The trio have been much hyped for their brand of hybrid pop, blending the melodies of 80s Fleetwood Mac with their love of 90s R&B girl groups.

Its a formula that sounded good on debut album Days Are Gone and even better as it filled the packed Leeds venue.

Even slower tracks, like the drum-heavy ballad Go Slow, kept the audience entranced – partly due to the constantly entertaining Haim sisters Este, Alana and Danielle.

One of their on-stage exchanges about previously playing at the Leeds Festival, and Este telling how a “boy bought her a curry”, leads them neatly into a few bars of Summer Nights, from Grease.

But mainly they are consummate professionals and accomplished musicians, demonstrating their years spent gigging around LA.

The sparse bass-led My Song 5 comes before a crowd-pleasing version of Don’t Save Me, given a much rockier edge than on the album.

First single Forever ends their main set, prompting a sing-a-long from the enthusiastic audience who need little encouragement from Danielle.

These songs might have been better left for the encore, which featured the less-memorable Running If You Call My Name and Let Me Go.

A crazy-drumming session allowed all the girls to wig out, before our all-too-brief time with them was over.

But even so, Haim proved that for them, it was a case of do believe the hype.

Gig date: December 6

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