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ALABAMA 3 - London Astoria - 01 December 2002   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Tuesday, 14 September 2004

I've got the perfect formula for a band.

Take 10% Elvis
+10% Jesus
+ 40% proof Blues,
+ 9% of Tennants Super,
+ 4% Mao Tse Tung (a dash of),
+ 5% Acid bleeps,
+ 5% some Country & Western,
+ 5% big cowboy hats,
+ 12% a demented fallen preacher,
and aliases like Rock Freebase, Little Boy Dope, The Spirit, and The Mountain Of Love.

Wonderful. We'll have our very own Brixton-Tang-Clan.

Alabama 3 aren't a band. They're a Religious Cult in the making. Giving us Public Service Announcements with music.

A modern gospel choir with guitars and things that go bleep. From the Jihad-preaching title track of the new album"Power To The Blood", to the final, communist-salute, raise-your-fist-and-yell techno overload of "Mao Tse Tung Said" that advocates Communist Korea's Dictator as the new God - and suggests that the workers be armed with sub-machine guns to overthrow their bosses, it's a celebration. Of Jesus. Of Elvis. Of Stalin. Of the redemptive power of music. Of freedom. Of the glorious stupidity of the 21st Century where everything is for sale and nothing is worth the price we pay.

And that's why the Alabama 3 are still around today. Because they know that there's glory in the absurd, there's gold in them thar hills, and it is only when one wears a mask that one can speak the truth without fear of ridicule. Or be ridiculous without fear.

On top of all that, why not have a member of the band crowdsurf his way to the stage half-way through the gig as he arrived late? Why not have the ‘security' try to beat same member of the band to a pulp as he tries to get on the stage? Why not? As Motorhead sang, OVERKILL, OVERKILL, OVERKILL (and there's nothing wrong in overdoing everything until the morning after). Come home late. Come home messed up. Sometimes you don't come home at all.

Use your ears. Vote with your feet. Blame it on the boogie. Because a sermon like this isn't all fire + brimstone. It's a celebration. Life is absurd, ridiculous, stupid, serious, and beautiful all at the same time. And that's why Alabama 3 fit in perfectly. They're all these things, and more. They walk the fine line between genius and stupidity, between the rapture and the hangover, between the full on decadent debauchery of Motley Crue and all-night-rave of Underworld.


"Know your body's made to move
Feel it in your guts
Rock'n'roll ain't worth the name
If it don't make ya strut

 Motorhead, OVERKILL.


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