Live Review: Alabama 3 @ The Forum

By Londonist Last edited 102 months ago
Live Review: Alabama 3 @ The Forum

Picture by beanmunster, used under a CC licence.
This wasn't a gig for those fatigued by the recent politic wrangles. On Friday night, one of the greatest live bands to emerge from Brixton took to the stage at the Forum to save us from election ennui/Downing Street deals (delete as applicable). Proud of their roots (they called their first album Exile On Coldharbour Lane), they've seen thousands of faces and rocked them all with their own brand of acid house country music infused with elements of gospel, reggae and techno.

Let’s be clear: this is no ordinary gig. The band are fronted by the (Scottish) Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love and (Welsh) Larry Love, both sporting American accents that Idris Elba would be proud of and the boundless charisma of the converted. Half of the twelve-strong band are dressed in combats, the roadies are wearing orange jumpsuits, the screens are showing black-and-white war scenes and the first song (“Soldier”) sets the mood of the evening. After the barnstorming “Vietnamistan”, Larry Love’s accent slips as he dedicates the next song to “asylum seekers and children from war-torn countries”. Following the protest songs and the Reverend’s “angry gospel songs”, comes the poignant torch song “All The Thrills Have Gone” which could equally have been written about darlings or drugs.

Much of their latest album (Revolver Soul, which included collaborations with pretty-boy Johnny Borrell and legend Shane McGowan) is given an outing alongside hits like Woke Up This Morning (the theme tune to the Sopranos), Hypo Full Of Love and Too Sick To Pray. The show is brought to a close by the rousing “Mao Tse Tung Said” where the audience is encouraged to give the Communist salute while chanting that “change must come through the barrel of a gun.” Take that, Cameron.

By Franco Milazzo

Last Updated 16 May 2010