11th December, 2012

Now most reviews of gigs are done by people in the crowd actually watching the bands that they are reviewing. This is a slightly different type of band review. It’s done by someone actually doing a guest spot with the band.

The band in question is Alabama 3, a collection of very talented musicians from the four corners of this nation of ours. Let’s start at the beginning – as I remember it. The guys swagger onto the stage like they own it and  drop flawlessly into “Mansion” a track that really shows off the Alabama’s maverick nature as one.

The crowd seems to just get it I suppose; that’s why they are here cos they get this band. Mr Rob Spragg – lead vocalist and all round true rock and roll devil – pours out that amazing voice he has, that’s as gruff and gritty as the soles of a troll’s feet bouncing of the walls.

Kermit back stage with Alabama 3

Let me tell you these guys don’t just look the part, they are the real deal. Stood at the side of the stage waiting to make my guest spot I can feel the energy from the academy crowd start to build. The faces of those bright young Mancunian things say it all. “These guys – whey! How long we gonna waste our time?” The Alabamas sing as one; the whole place responds; you can’t hear what they shout back but the sentiment is clear. MCR has come out to party tonight. I’m totally lost in the moment watching the faces in the crowd.

I nearly miss my cue to come on stage, second track in “BULLET PROOF” is a strange amalgamation of ragga/country/hip-hop/blues type thing don’t know how they do it but they do it and they do it well. I’m on then. Off in a blur but I can feel the love in the Mancunian crowd for one of their own. Job done now, I just gotta get pissed and enjoy myself. I go front of house to take in the rest of the show and the vibe is just electric.

I have done, and been to, a lot of gigs in my time but I have to say, hand on heart, ALABAMA 3 are one of the tightest live bands out there.

Do the choon I hear shouted from around the place. Tracks like “STOP THE CLOCK” and “TERRA FIRMA” do exactly what they say on the tin. It’s a hot, sweaty mash up in the crowd; brilliant. My ears nearly burst as “WOKE UP” goes into its opening bars and that’s it, pandemonium. Every voice in the house sings as one, “Woke up this morning got myself a gun” and, to tell the truth, we have all got a gun tonight, a gun to kill bad vibes.

So it goes till the most righteous ending. If you weren’t there you missed one of the best gigs this city has had in a long while. ALABAMA 3, I salute you come back soon, my city loves you.

By VIVA Web Team

PHOTOS: KARIN ALBINSSON www.karinalbinsson.com