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Concert Review by Nick Morgan
 
ALABAMA 3 ACOUSTIC The 100 Club, London, April 4th 2007
Larry Love It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard much of the Alabama 3 - apparently they’ve been locked away in a studio making a new album (“some great tunes, gotta say” says my inside source). And they’ve hardly been on stage, and at the moment only have a few random gigs planned for the later this year. But that hasn’t stooped the indefatigable Rob Spragg, aka Robert Love, aka Larry Love, from continuing to gig with his slimmed down version of the band, Alabama 3 Acoustic, sometimes known as the Larry Love Showband.
We last saw them about three years ago at Dingwalls – a marvellous night of red wine and dancing, so with a free Good Friday night we jumped at the prospect of another night of honky-tonk sweet pretty motherfucking country and western acid-house music. And did I mention that it’s a holiday? A holiday, the first one of the year, and there’s a wonderful Bank Holiday boozy madness in the smoke-filled fetid air of the 100 Club (not for much longer I have to add). Perfect.
There are four members of this unplugged outfit. In the engine room is guitarist Rock Freebase (Mark Sams) whose open tuned guitar and delta style slide provide the rhythmical backbone to proceedings – it’s very crude, very simple (actually it’s bloody difficult but you know what I mean), and very effective. Providing the overdrive is harmonica player Harpo Strangelove (Nick Reynolds) and powerhouse vocalist the deceptively diminutive Devlin Love (Zoe Reynolds, wife of Nick). Actually there’s also a lot of rhythm coming from regular A3 backing singers B Attwell and Erroll Thompson who toast and grime their way through many of the songs.
Rock and Devlin
Rock Freebase and Devlin Love
Centre stage of course is the laconic Larry (“Here’s another motherfucking miserable song for all you folks out there”) a latter-day Man in Black, rarely parted from a beer or smoke of one sort or another, who growls his way through the set.
Set list
Jozzer stole the set list!
Luckily Jozzer – who managed to get back from his costermonging in time to hook up with us and his doll Trizza for a pre-gig Rioja or two and a bite to eat - got hold of the set list before the gig. Nice work Joz – but maybe you should have put it back as poor old Rock looked very confused without it. Anyway, believe me the Brixton mob were in and it wasn’t a safe place for a little black notebook – but fortunately I didn’t have to attempt to remember what they played. I do remember Larry thrusting a microphone in front of my face and me saying (rather unpersuasively I thought) “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” but the rest of the evening, strangely like a lot of the Photographer’s pictures, is a bit of a blur. Having said that, suspend critical facilities – this is just about having good fun, which is what we, and everyone else, did. That’s what holidays are for, after all. - Nick Morgan (photographs by Kate)



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