Mike Peters of The Alarm
Red Poppy 30th Anniversary Tour 2012
Mike Peters, lead singer and songwriter of internationally acclaimed Welsh band The Alarm will this year embark on a huge 30 date acoustic World Tour, celebrating 30 years of The Alarm’s distinctive Red Poppy. The exploding Red Poppy made it’s iconic debut on the band’s ‘Marching On’ single (released via the IRS Record label back in 1982) and has featured in some shape or form on every Alarm release since.
The Red Poppy Tour begins with an Independence day ‘Spirit Of ’76’ concert in New York on July 4th, followed by dates all across Europe (including concerts on the summits of both Snowdon and Ben Nevis – The Highest Gig in Britain on August 25th), and closing at The Alarm’s legendary Gathering event in Peters’ hometown of Prestatyn, North Wales on January 25th 2013. The Mike Peters ‘Red Poppy’ Tour will carry the life affirming spirit of The Alarm as epitomised in it’s flaming blood red poppy logo (which in itself is a symbol of both renewal and life) to music fans everywhere.
Outside of Mike’s duties as front man for The Alarm (and more recently as guest vocalist with Scottish celt-rockers Big Country), Mike has proved himself as an inspirational solo acoustic performer and (as a two times cancer survivor), founder of what is now regarded as the world’s leading rock and roll cancer charity ‘Love Hope Strength Foundation’.
Mike Peters has played an acoustic guitar all his musical life and and the sound of the instrument has been at the core of all his work from the very beginnings of The Alarm to the present day.
Achieving over 17 Top 50 UK singles and over 5 million album sales worldwide along the way, Mike Peters’ musical journey has seen him sing with some of history’s greatest performers such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Bono. Mike has also taken his trusty acoustic guitar to some of the world’s highest elevations performing at ‘The Highest Ever Concert On Land’ at 18,500 feet on Mt. Everest (2007), and more recently at 19,380 feet at the summit of Kilimanjaro (2009) and Mount Fuji (2010).
Mike Peters formed The Alarm in 1981, first becoming successful soon after with classic singles such as ‘Sixty Eight Guns’ and ‘Rain In The Summertime’ and building a reputation for all out shows based on their thoughtful and challenging music.
In 1992, Mike Peters and The Alarm became one of the first bands to have a dedicated internet site www.thealarm.com and in that same year, founded The Gathering, the annual Mike Peters-hosted ‘Alarm’ event held in North Wales which now attracts fans from all over the world.
Throughout most of the 1990’s Mike Peters took a step back from The Alarm, beginning with the release of ‘Breathe’ in 1994 (which debuted at number 5 in the U.K. independent charts). A second solo album, ‘Feel Free’ (1996) documented Mike Peters’ first battle with cancer (Non Hodgkins Lymphoma). Rejecting conventional treatment, Mike Peters went to see a faith healer instead, and continued to tour extensively in the UK, Europe and USA. Upon being told that ‘green’ was a powerful colour in his life, Mike Peters wore green combat fatigues every day until he eventually went into spontaneous remission.
In 2000, it was time for Mike Peters to reconvene The Alarm once more, touring (with Big Country), in support of ‘The Alarm Complete Collection’ (the band’s entire 1980’s musical output in a nine-CD box set, along with a ground-breaking bonus ‘audio dedication’ CD personally recorded for each individual set by Mike Peters). Never before or since, has such a gesture been undertaken by a recording artist.
In 2004, The Alarm released the controversial ’45 R.P.M.’ single in the U.K. under the pseudonym ‘The Poppy Fields’ and entered the UK charts at number 27, immediately becoming the subject of an international news story. The furore centered around the fact that The Alarm’s identity had been kept hidden from the media and instead a stand-in group of 18 year old musicians appeared in the video. ’45 R.P.M.’ was played throughout the UK and championed by unsuspecting DJ’s and critics as the first release by a brand new band. It was only after the song entered the charts that The Alarm revealed the true identity of ‘The Poppy Fields’, thus causing a storm of worldwide media speculation. The band even featured on prime time America’s CBS News with Dan Rather. (The story has subsequently become the inspiration for a feature film entitled ‘VINYL’ which will be released early in 2013 starring Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia, Blur’s Park Life), Keith Allen and Perry Benson and produced by John H. Williams (Shrek) and British film director Sara Sugarman.
In 2006, Mike Peters’ life journey entered into its darkest phase when, just days before the release of the hit single ‘Superchannel’ (from the album ‘Under Attack’), Mike was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Throughout a six month spell of hardcore chemotherapy, Mike continued to play and perform, taking to the stage each time in his trademark ‘green’ combat fatigues and taking the first steps in beginning the Love Hope Strength Foundation by leading a host of Alarm fans to the summit of Snowdon to raise funding for the local cancer care centre in North Wales that had helped put Mike on the road to recovery. A revealing and insightful BBC documentary, ‘Road to Recovery’ was screened in October 2007, chronicling Mike & Jules Peters’ inspiring story, chronicling their battle with cancer and infertility.
Since then, Mike has embarked on a series of remarkable journeys to raise funding for cancer care both locally and globally, In 2007, his travels took him to Nepal where he inspired a team of musicians, cancer survivors and supporters on a trek to Mt. Everest to perform an acoustic unplugged concert at 18,500 feet (The World’s Highest Concert on land), filmed by VH1 America and currently screening in the USA as ‘Everest Rocks’. The trek was instrumental in providing Nepal with its first mammography machine which is now housed at the Bhaktapur Cancer Centre.
In 2008, The Alarm released ‘Guerilla Tactics via an audacious acoustic concert in New York’s Times Square and along with the prophetic ‘Three Sevens Clash’ gate-crashed America’s airwaves once more, reaching number 3 on Billboard’s Rock Alternative Chart.
Mike Peters is currently preparing for the release of a brand new Alarm record ‘Vinyl – The Official Soundtrack Album’, to be released in 2013 with a major UK Alarm tour to coincide with ‘Vinyl’ – the film’s British cinematic debut and remains as passionate as ever about his music, Wales and his charity Love Hope Strength.
When Mike was first diagnosed with cancer in 1995, quitting music wasn’t an option and now in 2012 and in his second remission from Leukaemia, Mike is still challenging himself and his audience through music and the outreach of his charitable actions. In Mike’s own words and from the title of one of his own songs “Never give it up without a fight”.
Mike Peters Red Poppy Tour 2012
Oct 20th – Sale The Waterside
Nov 2nd – Korks, Otley
Nov 7th – Birmingham 02 Academy
Nov 8th – Derby, Flowerpot
Nov 9th – Oxford, 02 Academy
Nov 10th – Bristol Thunderbolt
Nov 11th – Exeter Cavern
Nov 13th – York Duchess
Nov 15th – Liverpool O2 Academy
Nov 16th – Sheffield 02 Academy
Nov 17th – Worcester Marrs Bar
Nov 23rd – London 02 Academy
Nov 25th – Newcastle, The Cluny