REVIEW OF ART OF THEFT GIG, SOUTHAMPTON BROOK, FROM ST PAUL'S LIFESTYLE
Alabama3 – The Brook, Southampton – Sweet Mutherfucking Country Acid House – the best live gig, 10-photo gallery feature, review and heads up.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Word’s been out a while now about how epic Alabama3 are live. The people of Southampton know this, for the queue outside The Brook last night was snaking round the building and down the road waiting for doors to open. It was more like being at the Guildhall for a sold-out act like Rise Against.
It was rammed inside The Brook – with fierce protection of personal space and a positively warrior-like defence adopted by the early birds right at the front.
No wonder: those at the front had the bonus of being able to catch droplets of charisma being sweated off this phenomenally talented band as they danced, jived and on occasion were being just plain cool – throughout their upbeat set.
When the gig started, every layer and every stair of the multi tiered Brook venue was bouncing or being danced on. I’m not sure it’s actually possible to not dance at an Alabama3 gig. Alabama3 are quite simply awesome live.
For not only do the personalities at the front of the band - "the Reverend", Larry Love and Aurora Dawn compliment each other with their familiar and enjoyable banter but their voices do, too. The personal and musical cohesion within this band and the intimate knowledge, love and understanding they clearly have for each other and for each of their artistry is seen and heard. But this is not a private affair. Everyone is welcomed into the Alabama3 family. Somehow at their gigs, the audience is swept up into the metaphorical arms of this band as Alabama3’s rich music – borne from the hearts, minds and souls of Alabama3’s members – unifies band and audience through their sound and in their play.
Alabama3 and all of us were one throbbing happy mass - which erupted when “Woke Up One Morning” was played. That highly charged state of excitement and delight was maintained with consistently superb play and the combination of the Reverend’s deadpan humour, Larry’s effusive and kind giving plus Aurora’s gentle and powerful presence.
Alabama3’s songs are well crafted and beautifully played. You hear in their music the years of life, its challenges, victories and trials that the members of the band have endured. There is something about the trust within this band that allows them to be emotionally open with us their audience and which makes them such a generous and unfailingly joyful live act. It is as if Alabama3 are life’s alchemists – turning living and hardship into musical beauty for us all to dance in. For me personally I felt this most keenly in their stunning number "Too Sick to Pray"’ which was part of their encore. – An encore delivered after a mental crowd screamed, clapped and stamped with unusual determination recalling the band to the stage.
Alabama 3 returned to end their set as they started, with a wonderful rhythm, voluptuous and infectious - the sway of life touching all generations.
We’ve said before that Alabama3 are one of the best acts you can see live.
This accolade remains true.
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