Mike Peters is known primarily as frontman of the internationally acclaimed Welsh band The Alarm. Mike is also 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 15 Top 40 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 in support of the groundbreaking ‘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 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 film entitled ‘VINYL’ which will be shot in the U.K. this summer by ‘Shrek ‘ producer, John H. Williams 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’), he 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. In the autumn of that same year, Mike & Jules Peters led 62 trekkers along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for ‘Peru Rocks’ and raised enough funds to provide the cancer centre in Lima with a specialised bus that travels to remote villages in order to offer care and early detection facilities for those living outside of the reach of modern medical practices.
More recently, Mike and his wife Jules, spearheaded a 25-strong team to Africa for ‘Kilimanjaro Rocks’ , where after an arduous climb they performed at Uhuru (Freedom) Peak at 19,340’ atop the summit of Kilimanjaro and last year in 2011 Mike and a team of musicians and cancer survivors ascended Mount Fuji
With the release of the latest Alarm album, The Sound And The Fury, Mike remains as passionate as ever about his music, Wales and charity Love Hope Strength www.lovehopestrength.co.uk.
When Mike was first diagnosed with cancer in 1995, quitting music wasn’t an option and he is now in his second remission from Leukaemia and still challenging himself and his audience through music and the outreach of his charitable actions. In his own words and from the title of one of his own songs “Never give it up without a fight”.
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