My expectations were threefold when I entered the Kentish Town Forum to see Haim perform songs from their widely acclaimed debut album Days Are Gone. Firstly I wanted to see sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim give a raw and rockier live rendition of their indie-pop offerings. Secondly I wanted to see at least one episode of them head banging their leonine length locks, and lastly I sought to see Este's famous 'bass face'. On all of these demands the band delivered and exceeded my expectations.

Entering in silhouette as bright strips of spot lights were beamed at the crowd, the three indie-rock siblings took to the stage along with drummer Dash Hutton to belt out the first hit of the night 'Falling'. The crowd too immediately fell in line by joining in the synchronised clap and chant section, which was confidently led by the ladies on stage. Although their incendiary rise to greatness appears to have happened within the space of a year, it's clear that their time performing covers as part of Rockinhaim along with their parents, has given them a stage confidence that even some of the most established acts take years to master.


Charging on with another of their singles 'The Wire', the crowd clearly loved the sharp beats, shared lead vocals and thrashing guitars, which make Haim a thrill to watch. When Danielle takes to the front of the stage to wring out every wave of sound from her fret board it's not hard to imagine this band playing arenas in times to come. Embracing the media's comparisons to '70s folk-rock legends Fleetwood Mac head-on, Haim cover their hit 'Oh Well'. Raw, ready and sultry; Alana shakes a maraca and purrs her lines, Danielle delivers blues riffs and raw vocals and Este gives us a glimpse of that 'bass face.' This is a sound I could get used to.

After this point, their at times complex arrangements and vocal breaks become a bit harder to follow, but the crowd try to keep up! The vocals of 'Honey and I' and 'Go Slow' don't always fit so succinctly over the accompaniment and sometimes sound a bit chaotic. However, this in fact serves to distinguish their sound from other perfectly tied-up pop tracks which can offer less charm. They also fittingly bounce around stage banging drums, belting out vocals and whirling guitars as if they are concocting this whole experience within their own childhood play room.


Drenched in red light the mood and sound takes a darker turn as the Californian four-piece give R&B a rocky sharp edge on the track 'My Song 5'. It's my favourite song on the album and also due to it's gritty rendition on stage, it's also my track of the night. The band often get described as being like 70s era Fleetwood Mac and 90s era R&B, but for me they meet somewhere in the middle in the realms of 80s pop-rock. The next two soft-rock tracks of 'Don't Save Me' and 'If You Could Change My Mind' really remind me of Roxette, which at times used similarly catchy hooks and up-tempo beats.


Towards the end Este engages with the crowd saying "it's getting hot in here," but the band adds fuel to the fire by launching into the crowd favourite 'Forever.' This optimistic indie-pop treasure sees the crowd attempting to match the enthusiasm they have witnessed on stage by dancing with wild abandon and singing back all the words. It's a beautiful moment that culminates in a ticker tape explosion, which cascades a slow motion decent of thousands of pieces of white paper over the crowd. It's truly mesmerising; much like this band.