MANNING BAR SYDNEY  Gig Review by  Paul Busch 7/4/12

Formed over 16 years ago in Brixton on that fateful day when The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love and Larry Love met, Alabama 3 have moved from something of a one hit wonder/ novelty act to a wondrous and glorious band of misfits and characters. Woke Up This Morning may be their most well known song (thanks to the wonders of TV) but the angelic racket these singers and players bring to the stage proves they have much more than just that track to offer.

Do not be fooled by the suit and runners of the Rev, or Larry with his shirt open looking like he is searching for his next drink and dose of heavenly sunshine, nor the pink mini dress of the stunning singer Aurora Dawn. She was simply a pocket rocket tonight as she bounced and grooved. With Rock Freebase on guitar (and he played a tasty slide), Harpo Strangelove on, well, harp/vocals and The Spirit looking like the most likely to end up in jail on keys, this was A3 at their best.

As soon as they hit the stage the medium sized Easter Saturday devotional crowd surged forward to bask and jive in the glow of their musical saviors. Kicking off with I Blame Kurt Cobain the sun glassed posses of A3 were clicking as they hit us up with a good number of tracks from their latest Shoplifting For Jesus which included Facebook.con, the funky rapping of Saved, and the gospel/house of Let’s Go Out Tonight. D. Wayne was his usual sarcastic self giving a hard time to some of the punters (who had partaken in the sacramental medicine) in his face and Larry was in fine voice along with the rest of the choir.

Some of the old chestnuts that A3 pulled out of their kit bag were Mansion On The Hill, Bad To The Bone, a hot version of R.E.H.A.B and Hello….I’m Johnny Cash which all gave the participants a chance to laugh and smile and drink and dance some more. There was a bit of a party going down. We were getting the consciousness expansion that this band gives us by singing and playing and mixing some fine tunes with some political posturing. Jesus Christ may be bigger than Alabama 3, but damn, he does not get a room dancing in the same way, does he?