Friday, August 2, 2013


The Hi Fi Bar
To an overwhelmingly oestrogenic crowd and a sold out, packed out room The Preatures blast through a tight set of polished rock. Sharp, punchy, stylish and vaguely dangerous in a way that channels the early days of the Cherry Bar without the fear of ever playing a bum note, the five-piece are a sleek machine. Lead singer Isabella Manfredi oozes charisma and channels sheer joy with a wide boyish grin and no less than three costume changes in half an hour. New song Cruel is a barnstorming slice of guitar pop and deserves a charting come Hottest 100 time. Once the songs slow down they lose their individuality but any set that ends with Is This How You Feel? has got to be considered a winner.

Arriving on stage to a blasting 99 Problems yet initially drowned out by emphatic cheering, Haim are possibly the first band to sell out the Hi Fi Bar with just four released songs to their name. Within seconds it’s apparent that something big is happening here, and you can throw all the accusations of conservative influences you like that this band, but they won’t sound like anything other than three sisters making music for each other. 

With today’s music news revealing that their debut album has recently been finished in Sydney, the Haims and drummer Dash Hutton open with Better Off, a track that sends the audience into ear piercing raptures. Moving through The Wire, Honey and I and Oh Well – songs presumably featuring on their forthcoming album - they move from a gritty hard rock through intricate pop hooks, bluesy ballads and some truly endearing banter without ever breaking a sweat. Regardless of genre, their fantastically imaginative use of dynamics and spectacular vocal arrangements are constantly impressive.

Whatever fraternal force it is that propels Haim, it feels like a privilege to be let in on it; they could be playing their garage or Wembley. Bassist Este’s bass face (and playing) is magnificently unique, guitarist Danielle channels an angry folk rocker brandishing a Gibson SG and Alana (aka ‘Baby Haim’ on ‘her first big tour’) does everything with all of her seemingly limitless energy. All three women beat floor toms and profusely remind us that we are the ‘coolest’, ‘sexiest’, ‘most attractive’ and ‘dopest’ crowd they’ve ever played to, to which we scream. 

A cameo from Momma Haim sends the audience into further peals of deafening shrieks before their pithy set draws to a close with Falling, Go Slow, Don’t Save Me and Forever. Naturally, they’re brought back out for an encore, for which they reward us with new track Let Me Go and an epic extended taiko-style floor tom solo. Not one person tramping up the stairs into the cold night air looks anything less than ecstatic, and it’s hard to think of another band that could generate this much love with a set of almost entirely unheard songs. Expect to get familiar.

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