Alabama – Concert 2005

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Concert Review by Mark Bayross

The Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – Sunday May 29 2005

Tonight’s concert was being staged in support of MOJO, a charity raising funds to help the wrongly convicted fight miscarriages of justice, and one which Alabama 3 have supported throughout their career. There was no Paddy Hill tonight, and no support act (so no Shane MacGowan and the Popes, which was a shame), just Alabama 3 and their head-on collision of blues, country, gospel, soul and slamming beats.

Taking the stage to new single HELLO I’M JOHNNY CASH, the band are on fine form, getting the crowd in a party mood from the off. (Now) old faves like THE MANSION ON THE HILL and an early WOKE UP THIS MORNING soon make way for most of new album OUTLAW.

LAST TRAIN TO MASHVILLE, HAVE YOU SEEN BRUCE RICHARD REYNOLDS, KEEP YOUR SHADES ON and the rousing HOW CAN I PROTECT YOU and HONEY IN THE ROCK mix it up with classics like U DON’T DANCE 2 TEKNO ANYMORE, all delivered with muscular beats, occasional didgeridoo and Larry Love’s loose-limbed ice cool performance up front.

This being Alabama 3, we of course get D Wayne Love’s characteristically incongruous hollering MC doing his best to add some unpredictability to the tight, dynamic professionalism of the rest of the band, even going so far as to accidentally cobber one unfortunate punter in the front row with his swinging microphone routine.

They leave the brilliant TOO SICK TO PRAY to the encore, finishing off a high octane show in rousing form and ensuring everyone departs into the night feeling the love. Alabama 3 are always entertaining live and now that they have a decade’s worth of great songs to play, theirs is a show you shouldn’t miss.