Alabama 3 – Nottingham Rock City, Thursday November 12.
Musical trends may come and go, but it’s reassuring to know that there’s always room for a good old-fashioned “punk rock, blues and country techno situationist crypto-Marxist-Leninist electro pop band”. Since their inception in 1996, Alabama 3 have built a reputation as one of the most dependably enjoyable live bands on the circuit. If you only know them from their records, then you’re missing half the story. An Alabama 3 gig is an event: a gathering of the faithful, who have come to worship at the altar of the “First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine”.
The service was led by a pair of renegade preachers: The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love (hirsute, full-figured, fond of sermons, and possessed of a Southern American drawl that belied his Brixton roots) and his co-vocalist Larry Love (a latter day medallion man, whose raddled, wired, possibly sleep-deprived performance channelled the spirits of Joe Strummer, Ian Dury and Hunter S. Thompson). Their hymn sheets included devotional numbers such as “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, “Mao Tse Tung Said”, and the ever-popular “Woke Up This Morning” (best known as the theme tune from The Sopranos).
A lengthy encore included a re-appearance from the support band, followed by an updated version of Country Joe and the Fish’s anti-war protest song, I Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die, its words altered to reference the current situation in Afghanistan.