The band premiered songs from the forthcoming second album at their first UK gig since 2013
Alabama Shakes performed all 12 new songs from their forthcoming second album on Thursday (February 19) at their first UK show in more than two years, one of the series of NME Awards Shows with Austin, Texas.
Playing at London’s Islington Assembly Hall, they performed ‘Sound & Color’ in its entirety. The album will be released in the UK on April 20.
After walking on stage to Isaac Hayes’ ‘Walk On By’, the four-piece, accompanied by three backing singers, a keyboard player and an organist, began with new track ‘Dunes’, going straight into a reworked version of ‘Rise To The Suns’ from their 2012 debut ‘Boys & Girls’.
“It’s good to be back,” said singer and guitarist Brittany Howard in one of many chats with the crowd. After several more new songs, including ‘Miss You’ and ‘Sound & Color”s lead single ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’, she said: “We’ve been waiting for two weeks in Europe to get to London,” adding, “You’re all keeping it very real tonight and in honour of that we’re going to play even more new songs. You’re all standing here listening to how we put our new album together, and we thank you. You’ve never heard them before which is what makes it so exciting for us.”
After performing ‘Give Me All Your Love’, Howard said: “Thanks for all being pretty good tonight,” to which an audience member replied: “What could we do to be better?”
“Oh nothing, there’s nothing,” said Howard, before realising her missed opportunity. “Actually let me take that back. How about some more dancing? I’ll show you what I’ve got if you show me what you’ve got?”
‘Hang Loose’ and ‘Be Mine’ from the band’s debut understandably got the biggest cheers of the evening, but the new material was extremely well-received by the crowd. The band left the stage after new track ‘Gemini’, and returned for a three-song encore of ‘Over My Head’, ‘On Your Way’ and ‘You Ain’t Alone’.
The band begin a US tour at the beginning of March, perform at The Great Escape in Brighton in May, and will remain on the road until August. More UK dates are expected to be announced soon.
Alabama Shakes played:
‘Rise To The Sun’
‘Don’t Wanna Fight’
‘Give Me All Your Love’
‘I Ain’t The Same’
‘Over My Head’
‘On Your Way’
‘You Ain’t Alone’