ALABAMA 3, Astoria, London

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The Independent Culture

Famously debunking any lingering myths of the E-generation's "consciousness expansion" in their 1997 nay-saying anthem "Ain't Goin' To Goa" hasn't prevented Alabama 3 fabricating a few fictions of their own.

Having invented an internment at "rehab" as the shelter under which they originally congregated, Alabama 3's combination of lapsed Glaswegians and transient Brixtonians now look to walk tall in Cash's shadow. MC'd as ever by a snake-oiled Jake Black (AKA the Very Reverend Dr D Wayne Love), these acid-house veterans shoehorn smirking gospel and spaced-out bluegrass into a balearic hybrid that is roughly individual.

Alabama 3 slip seamlessly into last album plugging and crowd-pleasing dips into the back catalogue. The Sopranos theme "Woke Up This Morning" is invoked brave and early in the playlist by this mob-handed eight-piece, while the frazzle and red-eye of "Walking In My Sleep" and "Too Sick To Pray" sit comfortably with this year's Outlaw album.

Can-can girls, plucked from the Moulin Rouge en route to a frontier cathouse, high-kick the show into a dream fantasy of all things Deep South - all things decadent, of course.

There's much more Saturday-nite juke-joint hard partying, while the Sunday morning atonement and missionary zeal is preached with tongues lodged firmly in cheeks. Though awash in 808 spacey dub, one suspects Rock Freebase's (AKA Mark Sams') slide-guitar points to the band's allegiances on the southern-fried boogie of "Up Above My Head". ZZ Top are just a beard away.

There is only so much irony a body can take, and Alabama 3's Epcot-like glide through genuine passions and belief systems is a little higher than the recommended daily dosage. The full sound provides enough bagginess for retired clubbers to bounce to, yet the nagging conspiratorial wink of this Moby-esque revivalism can grate. Even acid-cowboys have to feel the blues.

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