« BACK | HOME » NEWS » REVIEWS » ALABAMA 3 LIVE AT THE ROBIN 2 WOLVERHAMPTON

ALABAMA 3 LIVE AT THE ROBIN 2 WOLVERHAMPTON

The Birmingham Press

'Welcome to Bilston. Or Wolverhampton, as main man singer Larry Love kept insisting. Martin Longley lost his way in the miasma. '

Alabama 3
Robin 2, Bilston
March 18th 2015

Herald the hedonism! An Alabama 3 gig typically presents a rolling rock’n’roll party vibration, but adopts electronic practices, as well as being saturated with rootsy juices. Delta blues, dub, country, soul, gospel, hip hop and house are all pulped up in this anarchic collective’s bloody sack of styles, and slung full-face into the assembled audience, who also appear to be drawn from a bewildering variety of musical clans. This hardy Bilston venue is benefiting from a new lighting rig, and the sound mix was particularly well-delineated for an almost-two-hour show.

Even though tightly directed, the three-piece vocal front-line imposes a deliberately casual looseness on the proceedings, making their routines appear to be improvised rambles. This London band hanker after Americanism, and you really would believe that each of their lead singers hail from the Southern States. Main man Larry Love is the grizzled, bony, wasted, rock’n’roll archetype, clad in a floor-length fur coat and sporting a Stetson.

Meanwhile, the Very Rev Dr. D. Wayne Love adopts a narrative emcee posture, a kind of urbane gangster-poet, delivering rambling rants of sociopolitical observation, coupled with an absurdist wit. Aurora Dawn is a more conventional soul-rock belter, slick, loose-limbed and entwined with coolness. This front-line combination is perfect, and all three are wrapped in shades, to escape grisly reality.

Guitars, keyboards, a dj/laptopper, drummer and Harpo Strangelove, a cutting harmonica-blower, all contribute to a sound that’s superficially shambolic, but always driving hard into the right hole. The Alabama 3 make their stage show appear to be perpetually teetering on the edge of chaos, but for this to hang together they must be pretty damned rehearsed. There’s a massive confidence that allows them, and particularly the vocalists, to take chances, tossing responsibilities to another, whilst concentrating on taking a swig of beer or champagne.

Larry Love seemed to think that he was in Wolverhampton, but The Very Rev Love shouted out for Bilston, correctly placing the combo on the Black Country plane.

http://thebirminghampress.com/2015/03/robin-2-alabama-3/