I suppose I can safely say that my Alarm Story goes back further than most. About five years ago I learned than my parents and Mikes’ used to go out dancing together in Rhyl before we were actually born. That’s pretty early by my books. We could even have been next to each other whilst in the womb.
Anyway, a bit later on, we both attended Christ Church Primary school and used to play football for Hearts F.C. (above). It was during this time that Mike lived at ‘The Crescent Public House’ on ‘Edward Henry Street’. My family owned The Crecent Egg Packing Station on Crescent Road, Rhyl and we used to play footie in the yard and play ‘Subbuteo’ in one of the buildings. This is recalled in the song ‘Edward Henry Street’ along with Mikes’ purchase of Bowies ‘Aladdin Sane’ on disc four of the ‘In The Poppy Fields’ bond set.
We moved on to secondary school and discovered music. Many things were responsible for this, but David Bowies’ ‘Starman’ performance on ‘Lift Off With Ayshea’ and ‘Top Of The Pops’ was most likely culprit. Recalled in Alarm song ‘The Rock’n’ Roll’.
My friends and I all bought guitars, but some were more proficient than others, i.e. Mike Peters. I remember going to Mike’s house and him comfortably running through Televisions ‘Prove It’, Iggy Pop’s ‘Nightclubbing’ and a lot of other Punk and New Wave songs without even thinking about. I guess I had a glimpse of the future that day.
I remember being present at early band rehearsals in Elwy Street,Rhyl, and later on watching what I think was ‘The Toilets’ in ‘The Marina’ on Rhyl promenade. It was after leaving school that I lost touch with Mike. I went to college and then left Rhyl for my career in Manchester. Almost an eternity passed before Mike and I were reacquainted in 2001 when I attended The Gathering at Llandudno January 2001 on the band night. I immediately realised what I had been missing and what all the fuss was about.
Unfortunately I missed seeing the original Alarm line-up play live, but couldn’t fail to be impressed by the 2000’s Alarm. By pure chance I was visiting a friend in Chicago in July 2001 at the same time The Alarm were playing ‘The Elbow Room’, so I went along. Mike dedicated ‘Spirit Of 76’ to me, and shall we say that from then on, “The Rest Is History”. I go to as many gigs as possible every year and have attended every Gathering since 2001.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join Mike on stage at ‘The Met’ in Bury in 2010 to attempt a bit of Bowies’ ‘Five Years’ followed by ‘Edward Henry Street’ (see below)
My personal preferred poison is Mike solo, armed with his acoustic guitar playing for 2 hours, recently witnessed at Sale Waterside October 2012 (see below).
I am now looking forward to Gathering January 2013 and the following tour, and hopefully many more years of Mike, his friendship and his music.
By the way my favourite song (HAS TO BE) ‘Edward Henry Street’.