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Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

  by Billy Seagrave

published: 8 / 12 / 2014

Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014


At the Academy in Manchester Billy Seagrave watches Alabama 3 play an exuberant yet thought-provoking set

It is difficult to put a finger on where and how to place Alabama 3. They self-describe themselves as making “country acid house music”, but for me they are a cultural mix of techno, funk and acid jazz which they lace with a country punk vibe. Their influences are taken directly from Dylan, Cash, Elvis and Woody Guthrie, but added to this is an eclectic mix of the Happy Mondays, Ian Dury, the Stranglers and a hint of Fun Lovin’ Criminals, driven on a back bed of the Clash. Manchester Academy 2 was sold out. In came the night’s expectant crowd, as diverse and quirky as Alabama 3 themselves, and in all shapes and all sizes, some wearing cowboy hats and glittery shirts, others in classic rock T-Shirts. They kept on coming, and it was clear they had come to party the Alabama 3 way. Straight from the opening chords of ‘Black Betty’, the band had the audience in the palm of their hands. ‘Bad to the Bone’ and ‘Flag’ quickly built the atmosphere and helped to set the pace for the night. Working through the set, a connection was firmly established between the band and their ever so willing audience. ‘Hypo Full of Love’ was the cue for a mass line dancing session to begin, and, as would be expected, ‘Woke Up This Morning’ enjoyed a virulent sing-a-long, while fists were aloft for ‘Mao Tse Tung Says’. All too quickly the last song of the evening, 'Too Sick', brought the house down and the end to what had been a great party atmosphere. On the strength of this performance, maybe trying to pigeonhole Alabama 3 is not that straight forward. There were no choreographed moves, no contrived interludes, with each and every member bringing their own professional stamp to the stage. Each had a role, and all delivered. Yes, there is an eclectic mix of influences, but are there any bands out there that doesn’t play and use their influences? Alabama 3 clearly have a niche. They are innovative and thought-provoking, and have a belief and confidence in themselves while putting their own twist on what watching bands should be. Photos by Billy Seagrave www.seagravesocialphotography.com

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Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

Alabama 3 - Academy, Manchester, 29/11/2014

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Interview (2012)
Peter Allison talks to Larry Love from Alabama 3 about his band's hip hop and sample-infused latest album, 'Shoplifting 4 Jesus', and which finds them reflecting angrily on the global economy, digital piracy and the London riots.
Interview (2009)
Interview (2007)
Interview (2005)

live reviews

Rock City, Nottingham, 12/11//2009
Although playing a somewhat more lacklustre show than usual, Peter Allison finds the Alabama 3 still to be on superb form at a show at Rock City in Nottingham
Academy, Manchester, 26/4/2008
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 8/10/2007
Brook, Southampton, 29/5/2005



Shoplifting 4 Jesus (2012)
Confrontational, yet hopeful new album from the Alabama 3 whose themes include the economic recession, digital piracy and the riots, and which finds them blending reggae and hip hop into their gospel/acid/country sound
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How Can I Protect You ? (2005)
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