Article: “Dispatches From The Front”, Mike Peters Alarm 2000 UK Tour Diary

Dispatches From the Front : One Step Closer To Home : Manchester
17.12.00

The final show of the tour. The longest day.

The wake up call was for 5.30 a.m. and by 6.30 I was being picked up at
Junction 32 of the M4 by the Pontypridd Manchester United Supporters Club
Coach for the journey to Manchester to see Man U v Liverpool (thanks to all
concerned). It was a very cold day and an early kick off meant I had to be
at the ground before 12.00. It wasn’t the greatest match I’ve ever seen
although Liverpool played very some effective tactical football and
deservedly beat my boys 1-0. I then spent the rest of the day catching up on
some Christmas Shopping in town before heading to the gig for soundcheck.

Charlie Macintosh, guitarist from Dave Sharp’s Hard Travellers, came down
with a message from Dave Sharp himself. Dave wanted Charlie to come up on
stage and thank everyone who had supported Dave on his solo tour.

Together, we decided to play a tribute to Sharpy and sing ‘Change’ in honour
of the man from Manchester who now resides in New Orleans. When Charlie came
on stage, it brought a lump to my throat when he thanked everyone on Dave’s
behalf and also told the audience that Dave Sharp wanted to personally thank
me and the band for helping to keep the spirit of The Alarm alive in the new
millennium. This magnificent gesture on Dave’s part has only strengthened my
resolve to follow this current musical path and see where it may lead.

The show was great. I was having flashbacks to the Sound And Fury tour of
1984. It was a similar tour to this one in the sense that we had been
touring the U.K. for years as a best kept secret and all of a sudden we had
a hit single on our hands, an album to be released and we were playing to
larger audiences.

At the time it was a real battle for us and we had to go out and prove
ourselves every night. A lot of UK fans accused us of ‘selling out’ once
’68’ had charted. Some ‘fans’ used to take offence when a show would sell
out and they couldn’t get on the guest list….. and when ‘Declaration’ came
out loads of ‘fans’ hated it. This is why I draw the comparison with the
Second Generation Tour and the Sound & Fury. It has been another rite of
passage. We have gone out and proved ourselves every night, we have played
with maximum R&B, sure I’ve been accused of ‘selling out’ again, but I know
I’ve answered the question time and again. I don’t tire of playing this
music, I gain strength from it. 99.9% of the feed back from this tour has
been amazing.

That is why it was so heartwarming for me to hear those words from Dave
Sharp. To have Dave’s support means everything to me and the fact that Dave
supports this tour and understands all the effort that has gone into it
means that the door is always open for him to join in whenever he feels the
need.

I don’t know what the future holds, I never know what the future holds, I
play every show as if it is going to be my last, I write every song as if it
is going to be my last, I make every recording as if it will be my last. I
can sense that everything is changing and to survive change you often have
to do things that are difficult. You have to confront the cliches, you have
to be prepared to contradict yourself. You have to be prepared to make
decisions that are not popular, you have to do things in the short term that
are designed to protect the long term. You have to be prepared to take
chances.

In 1990-1991, my musical career path had become governed not by what I did
or was able to do, but more by what I didn’t do. I’m trying not to make the
mistakes I made then – now. I don’t know what my next album is going to
sound like or what or who it’s going to be by. I might just put it out
without a title or an artist identity and you can call it what you
like……

See you at The Gathering

MP [signing off until further notice……]


Dispatches From The Front: We Are The New Rock’n’Roll London 15.12.00

The Alarm 2000. We are the new rock’n’roll……… controversial,
brilliant, in your face, up for murder, wanted, loved, hated, infuriating,
sublime, tight as …., living it, loving it, rocking it, rolling it, we are
punk rock. We are by definition, a hot sweaty sound and fury, a fast furious
four piece outfit, we will challenge you to think again, we will rebuild, we
will remake, we will remodel, we are unsafe.

I can’t believe that was London we played last night. It was not a London
audience. I know that it was a recommended gig in super cool Time Out (Shock
horror, but then again we are the new r’n’r….), but it was not a London
gig, it was not a check out crowd, it was a mass of energy. I’ve never
heard such singing from an audience, everybody knew every word (my words), I
reckon the sale of throat lozenges will have gone through the roof
throughout London today. it wouldn’t surprise me if the headlines in the
London Standard read “Sore Throat Epidemic Hits London After Alarm Gig At
Shepherds Bush Empire”.

I saw Pete Cole on someone’s shoulders during ‘Unsafe’, I saw Andy Greenley
squashed down at the front, I saw people in T-Shirts from The Stand tour,
The first Poets tour, The Guts and Glory Tour, The Clash White Riot Tour,
Manic Street Preachers, Big Country, U2, Raw tour, Change Tour, Billy Bragg,
Levellers, Strength Tour and this was all in the front row. You see we are
the new rock’n’roll……. the sonic temple…… I don’t care what anyone
says this is even better than the real thing. Get used to it, there won’t be
any comebacks tomorrow.

I’m fired up at the moment, as you can surely tell. There is a new horizon
ahead, endless possibilities, a new optimism. Tear it all down, smash it all
up, break it all down then build it up. Rebuild your life, rebuild your
home, rethink your values, rethink yourself right through. Who knows what
the new year will bring….. the second generation…… in the poppy fields
– I remember.

I can’t wait to start work on a new album now. But it’s still great
reconnecting with my ‘lost’ audience, We’ve come too far to turn back now,
there’s miles and miles to make up. Let’s talk about tomorrow, when we’ve
lived through today.

I met loads of people last night after the show, who admitted to never
seeing The Alarm (First Generation), some were Cult fans who had come in
through seeing Coloursound, some were Big Country fans who had seen us for
the first time earlier in the year. Some were Saw Doctors fans, some fans of
The Stranglers, some were younger brothers of older sisters who wanted to
see for themselves.

You see, this whole tour has not just been founded on the events and
dramatis personnae of 1981-1991 but through ten further years of hard graft
that followed from 1992 onwards, from the very first Gathering and on
through countless acoustic / electric solo shows presenting familiar songs
in different light, developing lyrical trains of thought had begun in 1985
and adding to them in 1995, keeping the flame of hope alive when the
inheritors of the torch stood silent.

Through the phone lines and through the grapevine of the internet a whole
new audience was developed and amidst the flame wars that arose from time to
time, those who understood stayed strong for me, and most importantly for
the music. It’s been an uphill battle, make no mistake. There has been no
major record company, no huge marketing and promotional budgets behind the
advances of the last ten years. It’s all been achieved by a small
independent band of people united by one vision. A lot of people have made a
lot of sacrifices to get Mike Peters and The Alarm into the new millennium
and I thank everyone of you from the bottom of my heart.

I can see 2001 in the distance, expect the unexpected. We are the new
underground. We are the new resistance……. You have been warned.

See you in Cardiff,

MP


Dispatches From the Front: Rock and Roll and Classic cars Sheffield 10.12.00

A Rock’n’ Roll Analogy: When you start a band it’s like being a brand new
shiny vehicle until after a few years and newer models are introduced, all
of a sudden you become an old car, your price goes down, and nobody wants to
know. However, if you look after the car and keep it on the road and treat
it with lots of t.l.c. after a while it begins to be viewed as a classic and
the price starts to go up……

Sheffield Leadmill: 10.12.00 After a winding journey over the Snake Pass, we
arrived at The Leadmill. I have to admit to feeling a little concerned about
the state of my vocal chords after going completely overboard at Liverpool.
But as the soundcheck unfolded and it came around to show time it had
started to loosen up. I went through a warm up routine before the show and
apart from a few dry notes early on, ‘the voice’ did not let me down. I
wasn’t sure how the Sheffield gig was going to be received – it seemed to be
the slowest advance seller of the tour, but on the night we had a huge
‘March up’ and the place was solid. I think a lot of fans came down from
Leeds after giving us the once over, and liking what they saw and heard.

I think we played a very good gig at Sheffield. We were tight and I managed
to keep my natural enthusiasm in check until the appropriate moments. I
think we played the best version of ‘My generation’ so far and before Kirk
Brandon departed we all had a good laugh as Kirk asked the crowd to “Give a
big cheer for Mike…… Steve……….this Geezer
Here………..(Richard)…….and that geezer over there………(James)”.

It’s been great having Kirk Brandon and Spear Of Destiny on the tour. They
bring in a similar set of devoted fans, and all the band and crew are very
friendly. I first saw Kirk Brandon with ‘Theatre Of Hate’ at the Music
Machine In London in 1981, and then at quite a few gigs in the City (CLP,
Lyceum etc.), and also supporting the Clash once or twice.

I don’t think I ever saw Kirk with Billy Duffy (who joined the band in
1982), but having now had the opportunity to work with both guitarists, I
have been amazed at how much Billy Duffy retains of the stylings he
obviously picked up while he was playing with ‘Theatre Of Hate’. Billy Duffy
also met Ian Astbury when Southern death Cult supported Theatre Of Hate in
1982 and there are moments when I can hear the influence of Kirk on Ian
Astbury’s vocal technique as well.

I have to admit to being very influenced by ‘Theatre Of Hate myself’. When
they emerged they were one of the most exciting and original bands you could
have heard. ‘The Stand’ owes a huge debt to the ‘Theatre’ guitar style, as
the song was born out of a ‘Kirk’ style riff that I made up on the bass
which was transformed into the guitar solo part of the song, as was ‘Shout
To The Devil’ (it’s tribal rhythm and droning chord sequence in particular).

It bugs me that a lot of my peers are not given credit for the influence
they have had on Modern Music. In my opinion, today’s music media is far too
preoccupied and obsessed with the effects of the sixties and the seventies.
I’ve met loads of the current crop of successful bands and the amount of
times I’ve heard confessions about them being into this record and that and
having been in attendance at this show and that, and yet when it comes to
them being interviewed, they all cite the same old influences, The Velvet
Underground, The Stooges, New York Dolls, Clash, Pistols etc.

I don’t think that Thom Yorke and Radiohead would dare to admit how much
they were into The Alarm or that James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire of the
Manic Street Preachers used to attend Alarm Shows at St. David’s Hall in
Cardiff. When I played a charity show in Blackwood with James Dean Bradfield
a couple of years ago, he admitted to me that he still had the letter and
autographed photo I had sent to him in 1985 when he had written to The Alarm
fan Club in St. Albans. He also confessed that he was hoping I wasn’t going
to play The Alarm song he had stolen a chord sequence from…….. I bet you
didn’t know that Ian Brown of the Stone Roses was also a huge Seventeen fan.
He was a northern scooter bay and his own pre-Roses band ‘Patrol’, actually
supported Seventeen at The Portland Bars in Manchester during the mod
revival summer of1979…..

Anyway, enough of my ranting, I’m having a great time on this tour. There’s
so much happening right now, loads of new songs taking shape, loads of
renewed interest in the band, we are filming the Shepherd’s Bush show on
Friday so don’t forget to bring your playing cards and banners if you want
to be seen on camera etc. In fact, we have been recording every night of the
tour and Mike Jones says that the recordings sound great…(Mike Jones –
Sound engineer doesn’t ever sleep… he’s worse than me….. after the shows
he usually rigs up the studio mixing desk and listens back to the show going
over the mixes etc……..). I’ve got a ‘day off’ tomorow and I’m going to
try to catch up on all the dedication CD’s so that everyone gets them in
time for Christmas. I’m having a meeting about another ‘theatre’ project as
well, and also there is a great three page spread in this months ‘Guitarist’
magazine and a small feature in this months ‘Mojo’ not to mention a European
tour for the new year and lots and lots more…….

Perhaps I am turning into a ‘classic’ car after all!

See you in Nottingham,

MP


Dispatches From the Front : Better Scream – Liverpool 09.12.00

If writing in capitals is the internet equivalent of shouting, what is the equivalent of an internet whisper? Today started out with a drive to Liverpool through the Mersey tunnel. While the equipment was being set up at the Lomax, I went over to Elevator Studios to see Tim Speed (co-producer of ‘Feel Free’). The Bunnymen have been recording there and I ended up having a good long chat with Ian McCulloch. while we were ‘rabbiting’ away (excuse the badly drawn pun……) He tapped me up for an Alarm box set and so tomorrow I am going to record a special dedication CD for his wife Lorraine who is a huge Alarm fan. ‘Mac”s wife used to drag him along to Alarm shows in the early part of the eighties, I remember he used to like the last line of ‘Reason 41’. He seems to be really ‘buzzing’ about the new record. The Bunnymen is now just Mac and Will Sergeant and I did hear one little bit through the walls and it sounded the business.

The soundcheck went really well and we all considered it to be the best sounding stage of the tour so far. It was freezing in the dressing room and Spear sounded like they were having a good night as the sound filtered downstairs while I was preparing the set lists. When we hit the stage the sound had completely changed. The venue was absolutely packed out and the crowd were really up for it right from the start. I don’t know how Steve Grantley managed to come in on time at the start of Marching On as the only people who could hear my guitar intro were the crowd… there was none being fed to me on stage at all.

I have to say that at the beginning of the show, the audience were in better voice than me. They sounded like the Spion Kop and the Gladys Street combined. I don’t think that sitting in a cold van for hours waiting for the AA had done me much good previous night, I had to work hard to find my voice. It was a bit of an away match type of gig. I felt like I was under the cosh in a bit of a midfield battle. Mind you, I like midfield battles and this was my type of gig. Tonight, I hardly played any guitar. I wanted to be in the audience and was soon all over the monitors, on top of the barrier and we’d only played five songs. I had to try and calm down but how can you do that when the next three songs are ‘Murder’, ‘Unsafe’ and ‘Absolute’.

I made it through to the acoustic section and played ‘Moments In Time’ which was special with today being today and all that, then ‘Walk Forever’ followed by ‘One Step’, which I always try to dedicate to Dave, Nige and Eddie. I dropped my guitar pick just before I said Dave’s name and made a joke about forgetting who he was. I love playing ‘One Step’ and then we’re into the home straight. ‘Rescue Me’ was mega tonight. It was a laugh trying to play James’ guitar for the re-intro to the solo, especially as it was still strapped around his neck. ‘Spirit Of ’76’ is always twice the song when played in Liverpool.

When we trooped off for the encore I was told that Pete Wylie was in the audience and so I went back on stage and played the opening bars of ‘Better Scream’. No Pete Wylie, no ‘ Better Scream’, no ‘Unsafe Building’, no Alarm…. simple as that. If you buy one album this year make sure it’s ‘The Handy Wah! Hole’ by ‘Pete Wylie and The Mighty Wah!’. It will top your album of the year lists instantly……….. As we finished ‘Blaze Of Glory’ some idiot at the club put the house lights up (Yes you’ve guessed it, it turns into a dance club at 11 o’clock), thus denying us all the opportunity of seeing my hero Pete Wylie (Yes, that ‘Pete’ of Spirit Of ’76 fame) up on the stage with us doing a song or two together…….. Still One Day……

Met loads of fans afterwards who thought it was the best ‘Alarm’ gig ever, their words not mine, I only know it could have gone one better than that if we could have done that second encore. Never mind, we got to talk afterwards, well actually Pete talks, I listen. Which is good because my voice is reduced to a whisper. Is it me, or did I get carried away a bit tonight. Yes!!! I can hear you say. See you in Sheffield…. I hope….

MP


Dispatches From The Front: Running On Empty: 08.12.00 Wolverhampton

As I write this diary I am sat in a touring bus outside the Wulfrun Hall in
Wolverhampton. Unfortunately we are not going anywhere as we are out of
diesel….. Rock’n’roll… It’s a glamorous life. This reminds me of the
time I went to the NEC in Birmingham to see Bob Dylan in 1989. It was a
great gig and when I was invited to the dressing room after the show, I not
only met Bob Dylan but George Harrison was there with Jeff Lynne. it was a
great night, me and Jules from North Wales chatting with a Beatle, Dylan and
a Travelling Wilbury, I was so excited on the drive back to London, I ran
out of petrol and had to push the car into a service station…. I was
praying that Harrison and Dylan wouldn’t see me as they drove south in their
limo….like I say glamorous life.

The next night was glamorous though, as I forgot to tell the rest of The
Alarm about my encounter in Birmingham and when I walked into Wembley with
the rest of the band, George Harrison was stood at the bar in the
hospitality area and shouted over to me “Hello Mike, how’s it going?”. You
should have seen the look on the other lads faces. I watched the rest of the
show from the side of the stage with Beatle George Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! As I
say, Rock’n’roll it is a glamorous life….

Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton. Biggest gig of the tour so far, the biggest
crowd so far and the noisiest. It was such a contrast to Leeds. Tonight was
a very high stage and the audience were quite far away behind the barrier.
The gig exploded right from the start. I have to take my hat off to the band
tonight as they played superbly. Steve Grantley is an extraordinary drummer,
a rock on stage, and a powerhouse of energy. He is also a very talented
songwriter in his own right. You should definitely make an effort to check
out his RTZ Global album. Steve is not only the rhythm generator but lead
vocalist and there is an amazing track called ‘Gun Free America’. The other
thing about Steve Grantley that I like is that he loves the Clash as does
James Stevenson – The Teenage Wizard on guitar, We are developing a great
rapport as singer and guitarist and we are starting to push the envelope a
little further each night. James plays a Gibson Les Paul as his weapon of
choice and I think his sound helps to make the band sound contemporary.
Richard on bass is exceptionally musical in his approach to the lower end of
our musical dynamic, and he does have a voice that compliments mine
extremely well as we discovered during the ‘Rise’ sessions. He likes
Radiohead and he likes buying vinyl LP’s.

When we began rehearsals for this tour we decided to take the best of what
had gone before and update where appropriate. James and I decided to
recreate the guitar sound of the Alarm from 81-84 which meant using acoustic
guitars with electric guitar pick-ups. We originally stopped doing this
around ’85 when Sharpy got frustrated with the sound and switched to a
Fender Stratocastor. We also felt that a heavier guitar sound would suite
the tone of my voice today. After years of playing acoustic shows, my voice
has grown stronger than it ever was during the eighties, and all the
precautions I have taken to protect my vocal chords over the years mean that
my range is slightly wider now. It means I can sing lower and higher more
comfortably. Also, we are not using a keyboard player so we felt that using
a Gibson Les Paul would give us a full and rich tone but also could supply
the aggression when required.

I have been using a Gibson J160E which is a replica of the guitar John
Lennon used in the Beatles, and James uses a 1965 Epiphone Texan which he
bought from a guy in Liverpool earlier in the year. James’ Gibson is a
sixties Gold Top and he uses a very early Marshall ‘plexi’ amplifier. James
is an expert on vintage guitars, amps and pedals and he also owns two
vintage guitar shops in London, ‘New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium’ and
one in Denmark Street.

We finished the set tonight with ‘Happy Xmas [war Is over] which I dedicated
to John Lennon who was shot around about this time (4.00 a.m. UK time)
twenty years ago. Where were you when you heard? I know where I was. I was
in London playing with Seventeen at The Marquee with the Stray Cats. We
actually played in Liverpool the night after, (at Eric’s which was opposite
the site of the Cavern Club on Mathew Street) and performed ‘Please Please
Me’ to a Liverpool audience still reeling from the shock. It’s weird how
fate works, but tomorrow exactly twenty years on, I’m going to be in
Liverpool again playing a gig…. don’t be square – see you there .

MP


Rock and Roll – It’s a game of two halves: Leeds 7.12.00

‘Woke up this morning’ go the lyrics to most Blues tunes. Well at 8 a.m.
this morning I was running up Craig Fawr with Johnny Marine (See Jules News
for funny story…), it was a beautiful morning and after a swift burst
along the old railway track we were in the Gym doing press-ups, dorsal
raises, sit-ups and squat thrusts etc…… all in the name of rock and roll
I might add. Back to the ranch and recorded some dedication songs and then
we were soon on the way to Leeds for the gig at the Cockpit.

I’ve never played this particular venue. It’s a bit like an old aircraft
hanger. It even had a tin roof. The gig was another stormer, although I did
go a bit ballistic in a sort of ‘Raw Tour’ sort of way… you know,
thrashing about the stage, breaking strings, throwing guitars, ad-libbing
bits into songs and genuinely pushing the band and the audience on to
another level. James had to remind me that I still had a guitar part to play
into the solo on ‘Rescue Me’.

The show started very early tonight, too early if you ask me. It’s
definitely a modern phenomena on the gig circuit nowadays. A lot of venues
have brought the show times forward so that they can re-open the venue after
the band for the ‘dance’ crowd. I know it makes economic sense, but you
hardly have time to change out of your wet clothes before someone is
hustling you out of the gig. What happened to the days when the clubs wanted
the band to go on late as possible so that they could sell as much beer as
possible.

When we came on tonight there wasn’t the usual vibe in the hall and I think
this is because of the early door times, I often come under a lot of
pressure to play shorter shows so that we can go on a bit later. I know it’s
hard for ‘Spear’. When I introduced them there was hardly anyone in the room
and it’s a shame because they are a great band and even though the venue
filled up during their set, it’s not the same as playing to a full hall from
the start. We had to contend with this same problem during the Big Country
tour. Tonight’s curfew was supposed to be 10.00 but we managed to blag an
extra 15 mins from somewhere and I actually dropped some songs tonight so
Spear could go on a bit later otherwise it would have meant the gig running
like this:

7.00 Doors 7.15 Spear Of Destiny 8.15 Alarm 2000 10.15 end.

I mean come on….Coronation Street’s only just finished and you’re supposed
to turn into a raging rock’n’roll star…..and I know it’s the same for some
of the fans. You can’t start leaping around and singing your head off
without a bit of build up and anticipation. I bet some people don’t even
have time to go home after work and get changed…. Punk might never have
happened if gigs had been like this in 1977. Can you imagine loads of people
going to a Clash gig in their business suits etc and pogoing down the
front….. no proper gigs start at 7.30. Support band on at 8, main band on
at 9.15 to 11.00 -11.15.. Everyone goes home happy.

Thinking about it, I did go a bit wild tonight. We had to start the set
twice because the P.A. nearly blew up after about 30 secs in. The first four
songs of the set are fast and furious. If we’d started most gigs like this
back in the day they would never have said U2, but The Clash comparison
would have been fair game. Knife Edge was the turning point, then The Stand,
followed by Up For Murder. (I don’t think many people knew Up For Murder
that well. I wonder when the last time that song was played in Leeds? I
wonder when the last time both sides of the very first Alarm single were
played back to back or even if they ever were? That’s one for you statos out
there…..).

During ‘Rain’ I went without my guitar and decided to stay on the mic for
‘Rescue’. I ad-libbed the Woody Guthrie speech I used to do in ’88. No
guitar for ‘Spirit’ either. By now everyone is going ‘nuts’ but not so nutty
that they could appreciate my ‘Cantona’ joke. Still they didn’t kill me
either…..During the encore I counted in ‘My Generation’, the mod version
of course, still haven’t got the key change right but it’s not supposed to
be rehearsed is it????……That wouldn’t be spontaneous. I’ve got a feeling
we will get it right soon though. It was definitely the best version
tonight. James was doing more windmills than they have in Holland, Richard
got the bass solo down great, Steve rekindled memories of Keith Moon (The
Loon). It was all going great and then I missed the third key change.
Talking about My Generation.

Right now I’m on the tour bus and we are listening to Led Zep. I might have
to start thinking about dragging up the old intro to The Stand………….
See you in Wolves.

MP


05.12.2000 The Fog On The Tyne – Newcastle

The venue in Newcastle reminded me of Dingwalls [Newcastle] which I played
with The Alarm in 1982. I’ve still got a tape of the show from the
soundboard and I remember it as being a show where we really clicked with a
sound engineer for the very first time. We started to understand the dynamic
of using the P.A. as well as our instruments and backline.

I have to give praise to Mike Jones, The Alarm 2000 trusty sound engineer
who is so diligent in his efforts to achieve the finest sound possible,
sometimes with the most horrendous of P.A.’s. He is not only mixing the
shows, but recording them all as well. No mean feat, when it is a different
P.A. every night etc. Mike and I go back a long way. In fact, I bought my
very first black twelve string acoustic guitar off Mike back in 1981. (The
very one used on most Alarm shows up to 1984).

I thought the show in Newcastle was a bit special as well, mainly because
the audience were so responsive. There might not have been as many of them
as there were in Glasgow but they sure made some noise.

I saw Mark Slater in the crowd (was it you who shouted out for Burning
Sounds?), Kev from York (MPO Mastermind Champ 2 years running) was there
too, going wild as usual. Some fans are great, no matter how many shows they
come to or how well they get to know me or the band, they never lose there
enthusiasm for the shows. They are always there at the front and I respect
that. Someone even called out for ’69 Guns’…. now that was great…….and
we all shared in the joke.

We played the Coloursound song ‘Fade In – Fade Out – Fade Away’, as well as
all the usual suspects and also a short burst of ‘Howling Wind’ and ‘Happy
Christmas (War Is Over). The sets are long now and it is tough on the voice
so loads of honey and lemon are required on the days off. I usually take a
mild throat lozenge called Tyrozet which is good as it has a small dose of
anti-biotic added to ward off any colds etc.

I try and warm my voice down after a show, but sometimes it’s difficult as
people are always trying to get in the dressing room immediately after a
show. We drove back to Wales after the show so we could enjoy the day off
and watch Man U v Sturm Gratz. I’m probably going to do something relaxing
as well like run up a mountain………

See you in Leeds,

MP


04.12.2000 : The Thin Red Line : Glasgow

On the road to Glasgow for the first night of the Second Generation UK Tour
we watched ‘The Thin Red Line’, the Terrence Malik war movie, not exactly
pleasant viewing on a Monday morning drive to Scotland, but it did seem to
mirror the feelings of the band in the pre hours before hitting the stage.

There was a frantic half hour after the soundcheck, as I was working out the
set list with Steve G. when Bobby ‘Blue’ Troman informed me that the show
had to be over by 10.30 which meant going on stage at 8.30 if we wanted to
play all the songs I had set as the target for this tour. There was also a
lot of technical detail as I am having every night of the tour recorded for
posterity.

Going on stage is a bit like a peace time equivalent of going ‘over the
top’. When you finally get out there, it’s a bit like being in the
crossfire; all hell breaks loose – you cannot rehearse for the way you play
when you are shot through with adrenalin. The Glasgow audience are
brilliant; about thirty seconds into ‘Marching On’ the gig ignites – band
and audience as one, all hell-bent on having a good time, remembering,
forgetting and looking to the future. Some things have gone and will never
be forgotten some are new and will always be remembered. Everything is there
to be celebrated and it is.

If I say it myself we played a blinder. I was really looking forward to
playing ‘Breathe’ alongside ‘Unsafe Building’ and ‘Spirit Of ’76’ with
‘Regeneration’. I loved seeing all the old familiar faces roaring along in
the front rows… Davey, Gordy, James, John, Mark, Graeme and many others
whom I know by face only.

I’m glad I have been training hard in the run up to this tour because it got
intensely hot and Richard ‘Dirk Diggler’ Llewellyn began handing out the
onstage water supply to the audience much to the relief of the fans. First
number of the encore was ‘Up For Murder’. It was so good to play it again
especially with the amplified acoustic guitar sound and fury. After ‘Blaze’
we dragged Kirk Brandon up for ‘My Generation’ which we proceeded to murder
in grand style. Wish everyone a Happy Christmas and then we’re off.

Back in the dressing room it’s hugs all round and then focus on tomorrow and
the Geordies…..

MP

Publication::Publication:MPO
Author::Mike Peters

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