“There are no fucking rules, Glasgow”

Este Haim could be forgiven for failing to realise that she is preaching to not only the converted, but the instigators; at what point during her band’s sweaty, rowdy, sold out slot at The Barrowlands on Wednesday night did she think a Glasgow crowd ever followed rules?

If, however, she had been pegging a tagline for her band, she is right on the money. Haim are the exception to the rule in today’s oversexed, rigidly polished pop scene where the boys are the band and the girls are simply expected to bend over and twerk; the LA trio of sisters, Alana, Danielle and the aforementioned, Este are part of the new guitar-girl alliance which has become a prominent presence on the UK scene over the past year.

“Falling”, the opening track to their self-titled debut, released last September, served as the introduction to their Barrowlands set; the band appeared unfazed by the raucous reception which only confirmed that anticipation was sky-high, just on the off chance you were in any doubt. Typically, their debut album shaped the bulk of the set; “Don’t Save Me”, “The Wire”, “If I Could Change Your Mind”, among other tracks translated smoothly from LP to a live setting.

A cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh, Well” may have been predictable, given that the sisters have drawn comparisons to the legendary band, but their take on Beyonce’s “XO” was a little less obvious; their version was originally recorded for Radio 1’s Live Lounge last month and saw Este take centre-stage to the undoubted highlight of the gig. Proof that Haim can turn their hands to alternative styles, something to keep in mind for album number 2, perhaps?

A band who definitely let their music do the talking; any in-between track banter was limited, yet comfortable with “Bass Face” Este even throwing in a freestyle-rap for good measure and both Alana and Danielle flitting flawlessly between guitar and drums, cementing Haim as musicians with attitude and ambition, not just “another girl band” struggling to be taken seriously.

Haim closed the set with “Let Me Go” and “I fucking love you, Glasgow” from Este; the applause could have blown the roof off, the feeling is clearly mutual.

Haim’s “Days Are Gone” is available now.

 

 

 

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