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.