Another year over, a new one just begun!!!
As the last few days of 2017 come to a close and the holiday season beckons, it is a time for both reflection and a chance to look ahead.
As ever, 2017 started out for most of us at The Gathering in Llandudno, North Wales, with Avanti Television in attendance, to capture the events for the BBC that would unfold both on and off the stage.
With the story of Jules’ raw and naked breast cancer experience being told on television and Bono appearing alongside in a show of support, there seemed to be as much going on outside of our music as was happening within.
2017 will also be remembered as the year of + Blood Red – Viral Black, two distinct recordings born from both inward and outward expressions, derived from very real and personal experience. It has been a privilege to share this music with you and I am so looking forward to bringing it to the ‘outside’ world in 2018.
There were some amazing gigs in Britain at Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and London that served as a precursor to the band’s appearance on the Vans Warped Tour where we got to mix it up with a generation of new and exciting talents that came from all corners of the globe. This experience thrust the name of The Alarm right back in and amongst contemporary music circles and caused a tidal wave of new awareness that will surely define where and how we direct our energy in 2018.
A new music vision for The Alarm will come into the light of day very soon and I look forward to revealing ‘all’ at The Gathering on Feb 3rd.
The biggest US tour of recent ‘Alarm’ times took over our summer and 55 dates later the energy created could have carried us on for another 55…. there were so many amazing gigs in places like New York (Twice), Boston, Texas, Detroit, San Francisco (where the great Nigel Twist joined us on stage), Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago and yet there were still so many places we never got to….. Now however, there is real hope in 2018, that we can find time for Canada, Japan and other places around the world, in the way that our hopes for Ireland and Europe have been met, with dates coming up this March and April.
Looking ahead, it’s amazing that the show in Amsterdam has already Sold Out and tickets for our US Gatherings in NYC and LA indicate another round of sell outs to look forward to for next May – when the band and I will descend on the U.K. / USA for the American Gatherings and the UK Bank Holiday Weekenders, including a massive show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London (where a seriously major ‘special guest’ band will be joining us….).
A headline appearance at Merthyr Rising in South Wales will be followed by a return to the North of Wales for Snowdon Rocks on June 23rd, which will be the catalyst for some serious tour dates around the globe, where Love Hope Strength continues to save lives. This year alone, over 22,000 people have been registered to the International Bone Marrow Donor Registry (with the help of our loyal band of supporters), and in order to take the goals of our mission even further, we have just announced the exciting ‘Rock The Canyons’ trek for October 2018.
The film release of ‘Man In The Camo Jacket’ played a huge part in defining the 2017 we have all just experienced / are still experiencing, and the story is still being told and added to on a daily basis. A new BBC Documentary that focuses on Jules’ next steps upon the road to recovery is already underway, along with a film that looks back and forward at events depicted through the music trilogy of Eye Of The Hurricane / Electric Folklore / Change.
It was amazing to have my old friend Dave Sharp out on the road with us in October and a great vibe was established as the past and the present collided in beautiful fashion. Smiley, James, Jules, Mark and Andy – I salute you for your dedication, love, commitment and for going the distance!!!! The October Tour throughout Britain was very special and finished on a high in Oxford, where everybody dressed in pink in support of Jules, and the life celebration that is at the heart of our music came to the fore for one and all.
The ‘Hurricane’ concerts at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff that followed, were intimate and profound and took me back to places and times forgotten. I found a lot of my true self in the re-telling of the ‘Hurricane’ stories and especially in the re-discovery of those original Mike Peters and Eddie Macdonald songs. As difficult a period of time as it was back in the day for the band, my country and our culture, I feel blessed that I was ‘there’ and am still ‘here’ ready to go again with more determination and endeavour than ever before.
2018 – “Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear”…..
So, with all of that in mind, I look forward to seeing you at The Gathering, being with you on The Tour, taking you into the + Blood Red – Viral Black and, with all things being = / equal, seeing you THERE!!!!
December 24th 2017