Alabama Shakes made their UK live debut last night (February 22) at an NME Awards Show, where they were watched by Hollywood A-lister Russell Crowe. The first of three nights at north London's intimate Boston Arms saw the Athens, Alabama four-piece play a mixture of songs from their forthcoming first album 'Boys And Girls', newer songs and a thunderous encore of Led Zeppelin's 'How Many More Times'.

Alabama Shakes made their UK live debut last night (February 22) at an NME Awards Show, where they were watched by Hollywood A-lister Russell Crowe.

The first of three nights at north London’s intimate Boston Arms saw the Athens, Alabama four-piece play a mixture of songs from their forthcoming first album ‘Boys And Girls’, newer songs and a thunderous encore of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘How Many More Times’.

The Gladiator star later wrote on his Twitter page: “The @Alabama_Shakes gig was the centre of the musical universe tonight, great gig, this band is the real deal, do yourself a favour.”

Crowe is not the band’s first celebrity admirer. Earlier this year television’s very own Jamie Oliver was sending them good luck messages, while back in their native USA, they made their debut on ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien’, exposing them to millions more potential fans.

Former Suede guitarist-turned-award-winning producer Bernard Butler was also in attendance last night, along with BBC Sound Of 2012 list-topper Michael Kiwanuka.

Alabama Shakes played:

‘Goin’ To The Party’
‘Hold On’
‘I Found You’
‘Hang Loose’
‘Always Alright’
‘Boys And Girls’
‘Be Mine’
‘Rise To The Sun’
‘Mama’
‘Making Me Itch’
‘You Ain’t Alone’
‘On Your Way’
‘Heat Lightning’
‘I Ain’t The Same’
‘How Many More Times’

To read an exclusive interview with Alabama Shakes, pick up this week’s issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands and available digitally now.

The band will return for a full UK and Ireland tour in May, when they’ll visit:

London Brixton Electric (May 3)
Dublin Academy (5)
Kilkenny Roots Festival (6)
Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (9)
Manchester Deaf Institute (10)
Birmingham HMV Institute (11)
Brighton Komedia – Great Escape show (12)[/b]

To check the availability of ]NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.