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Alabama 3 was the oddest musical outfit to arise from late-'90s London. They were also the most original. The band's origins are shrouded in urban myth -- the band like to claim that the three core members met in rehab, while their Southern accents have many believing they are from the U.S. state of Alabama, although it appears vocalists Rob Spragg and Jake Black met at a London rave when Spragg heard Black singing Hank Williams' "Lost Highway." Bonding, they set out about creating an agenda of Americana, electronica, leftist politics, and laughter. Joined by DJ Piers Marsh, the trio issued two 12" dance singles that combined their interest in gospel and country music, yet these went over the heads of the London dance scene. In Italy, where Spragg and Black began singing Howlin' Wolf songs over Marsh mixes, the idea of the band began to take shape and back in Brixton, South London, they recruited a crew of musicians to shape their vision. This, combined with brilliantly theatrical live shows, meant the band attracted a huge South London following long before they had a record deal.
The O2 Academy Birmingham has three performance areas.
Academy 1 is the largest performance area in the complex, and has a total capacity of 3,000. There is a tiered-seating balcony, with its own bar, toilet and cloakroom facilities, which has a capacity of 600.