Last Train To Mashville

Shane MacGowan was “stuck in Dublin Airport” last night, so The Popes did not perform. This was, well, a bit rubbish, but still, they were only the support act for the Alabama 3.

The Alabama 3, in case you’ve been living under a rock, play “sweet, pretty, country acid house music”. A dance/country/rock fusion, I guess. (If you watch the Sopranos, then it’s them that did the theme tune.) They are, like any band worth the bother, even better live. I don’t know if they extended their planned set list to make up for The Pope’s absence, but it was an excellent set – all the big singles, and several storming numbers off the new album.

It wasn’t all perfect – the sound quality was a bit iffy, especially for a couple of the mics, not helped by the fact that joint-lead vocalist D. Wayne Love was clearly extremely the worse for something. I ran into an old mate on the way there, who’s been to see them many, many times before, and according to him, the guy was as wrecked as he’s ever seen him, but still, they did an excellent set. The amount of energy in their performance was impressive – I don’t think lead singer Larry Love ever stopped moving, and the various guest vocalists/musicians were clearly out to match him. And when you’ve got four vocalists, two guitar/bass players, a drummer, a percussionist, a digeridoo player, and a man with a harmonica all on stage, giving it their all, that’s some pretty impressive stuff right there.

I am, however, getting fucked off with venues that don’t allow “professional” cameras in. I don’t own a professional camera, just a very good consumer one, but I’m not allowed to bring it into gigs at Carling venues, it seems, because the door monkeys can’t tell the difference between it and a pro camera, and will not take my word for that fact that it isn’t one, which leaves me stuck with the Ixus, which isn’t up to the job.

Anyone out there ever tried to get permission to take a half-decent camera in to gigs in advance?

(Oh, and I got hit with a flyer for the Nouvelle Vague, playing the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the 11th of July. My ticket is duly booked. Anyone else interested in some bossa nova/jazz covers of old New Wave stuff?)

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