Alabama 3 – Reunion Night

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Concert Review by EDF

The Camden Underworld – 2 April 2001

Are you tired of going to gigs where the same things happen night after night? Smoke blown in your face, beer spilt down the back of your shirt and then the worst thing happens, the band comes on, plugs in, goes through the motions and then later buggers off. Fun, isn’t it? Well, if you can tolerate the first two things, Alabama 3 is the surprise package mixing the unknown with a sense of character.

For those that are not aware of Alabama 3, here is a very brief history. Coming from Wales, based in Brixton and adapting an American outlaw type persona, the big break arrived in the form of an American gangster TV series, THE SOPRANOS, which used the track WOKE UP THIS MORNING in the opening credits.

Anyway back to the gig. The compare (MC) of the night, being funny not being second nature to him although he did come up with a humorous way to make the London Marathon more interesting, every fifteen minutes the last five runners are shot. First up was Johnny Burrell, a Beck look-alike who performed a few country style numbers. Eddie Real was the next act and he performed a gay disco poem complete with a quick bum flash. After a couple of other support acts, all in a country style, Alabama 3 finally arrives on stage.

Dressed in Texan style outfits including cowboy hats and fake Texan drawl, the band is armed…with two bouncers. The beer guzzling Hell Angel bouncer parked himself at the front, right hand side of the stage and the nightclub type bouncer stood at the back of the stage. The group looked very relaxed, what was that guitarist smoking? Alabama 3 have a knack of blending various styles into each of their songs, some dance, some country, some rock. For those who are not too familiar with Alabama 3’s songs, don’t let that stop you from going. There was a strong rapport going as the band acknowledged some of the more hardcore fans in the audience.

For completists only, here is the set list for the night: FALLING SNOW; ME AND THE DEVIL; WOKE UP THIS MORNING; COCAINE; SAD EYED LADY; HEAVEN; TOO SICK; MAHALIA; REHAB; SHOOT; TECHNO; 2129; MANSION; SINKING; MAO; TWISTED.