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red-lipstick babes get down and dirty

WHAT'S the story with the drums? Do the Haim siblings really need their own floor toms and cymbals out front when they've already hired a sticks man? Probably not.

But everyone's at it these days. Not that Danielle, Alana and Este could ever be accused of blending in.

"I want everyone to pretend that the Olympia is the Haim family living room," says Este.

I hear they do this at every show. And tonight, at the Haim family living room in Dublin, the band, whose sound most of us compare to Fleetwood Mac, throw out a tasty Fleetwood Mac cover from the Peter Green days (the riotous Oh Well).

Later, they'll show some love for Beyoncé with an effervescent take on XO. Well, they are signed to Queen B's husband, Jay-Z's management company.

There's no other family outfit in their 20s assembling the kind of melodic, West Coast pop and 70s-tinged rock that these girls so effortlessly roll out.

The band-of-the-minute released a top-five debut album last September, after almost two years of buzz. Now, it's playtime.

A couple of extra players help pad out the sound, but most of the magic comes from Danielle's screeching guitars and her sisters' killer harmonies.

A fabulous group of players, there's fire behind this band's musicianship and passion in their shared vocals. It's what brings out Este's hilarious facial expressions. That, and some truly kick-ass bass riffs.

HYSTERICAL

On the gritty My Song 5, the eldest Haim sibling, Este, encourages her fellow "red-lipstick babes" to get down and dirty.

Danielle may be centre-stage, but Este is this gang's leader. And things get hysterical on the floor. It might be Haim's scintillating pop numbers (the finest of which, The Wire and the translucent Don't Save Me, are delivered note-perfect) that do the trick.

Or, it could be their Topshop wardrobe, rowdy, rock-chick charm and sparkling chemistry.

Either way, these talented sisters are certainly causing a stir. The tri-colour wrapped around Este's head goes down a treat, and hey, those floor toms serve their purpose in the end.

Haim make a deadly racket and they're back for Longitude in July. You know what to do. HHHHI


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