My first experience with The Alarm was at the age of 21 on German television.
Since 1977 the Rockpalast, a German radio and TV driven initiative, has organized the so-called Rocknacht twice a year in Essen. Up to 4 rock music bands appeared in a single night, which could last until 5am the other day. Every Rocknacht was entirely broadcasted on television, and on radio as well. In Germany a lot of young people have enjoyed those Rocknächte.
In 1982 Rockpalast added another TV/radio event: an open air show on a spot near the Loreley, a well-known rock at the Rhein river. On August 25th, 1984 The Alarm appeared as the 4th of 5 bands in the third Loreley Festival. It was amazing to watch those young and self-confident guys with their Punk haircuts just playing acoustic guitars and singing mysterious lyrics. I was really fascinated. A new Punk & Rock & Roll sound was born! The Alarm offered a new and fresh style. Brilliant!
I recorded the entire Alarm gig on a music cassette! A few days later I bought the Declaration vinyl album. I’ve frequently enjoyed both. I love that Declaration record. It’s a masterpiece!
Unfortunately, after this Loreley gig in 1984 I failed in recognizing, that the story of The Alarm had just begun. Instead, I’ve listened to this new stuff called Independent music. I don’t know why, but I really forgot The Alarm… (damned, I’m really sorry!)
Many years later, in 2001 or 2002, I noticed, that The Alarm was touring in Germany. Immediately I listened to the Declaration album again. No question about it: I had to go there! I watched The Alarm in Krefeld (venue: Kulturfabrik). I recognized just the singer Mike Peters from the 1984 gig. The remaining guys were different to the original band. I didn’t know anything that had happened to Mike Peters and The Alarm since 1984. But I enjoyed this concert in Krefeld so much! It has been and it will be one of the most awesome experiences in my entire life. The Alarm played almost all of the Declaration songs, I’ve listened to over and over again. As they played those songs, each of them was an anthem for me. I felt very emotional that evening. I was remembered a certain period of my life. I’ve never had such an experience until today!
In 2003 I decided to spend a few days on my own in Great Britain. So I crossed the channel and visited Devon and Cornwall. I learned to love the traditional English breakfast and to drive through the beautiful country. I enjoyed this stay in Great Britain very much, especially the freedom to do spontaneously, what I want to do.
In 2007 I had the idea to combine holidays in Great Britain with watching The Alarm live in concert. I looked for information about concerts on the Alarm homepage. I had luck. There was a tour announced called The Saturday Gigs! I decided to watch The Alarm on September 8th in Glasgow, Scotland. As I walked the Sauchiehall Street a few hours before the show, I suddenly recognized Mike Peters walking there in the opposite direction. Unbelievable! I didn’t dare to speak to him. The evening was awesome! Mike Peters & The Alarm rocked the whole ball room! There was a big party going on. Glaswegians do like parties very much. Well done, Mike! On my holiday I visited Birmingham, Liverpool, the Lake District, Glasgow, and the Yorkshire Dales. Since 2007 I visit Great Britain/The Alarm almost every year on my own.
In 2008 I visited Great Britain and the Alarm again on November 6th in Cardiff, Wales (Guerilla Tactics tour). The concert was taking place in a former church (called At The Point) in the Cardiff harbour area. I’ve attended a lot of live concerts of various artists and bands in my life. But this gig was unique! The Alarm show was devided into two parts. In the break Mike offered the opportunity to meet him. I’ve never experienced such an offer! On this Britain tour I’ve been to Bristol, Cardiff, Bath, and Brighton.
Next meeting was on April 29, 2010 in York, England (venue: Duchess). York is beautiful, but packed with tourists (like myself)! This night was overwhelming. The York Duchess offered a cellar with low ceiling. It was hot. The stage was very small. I managed to stay in short distance to the band! Direct Action! I had fun all gig long! On this two-weeks-tour I enjoyed Leeds, York, Chester, Llandudno, Snowdonia, Caernarfon (where I saw Queen Elisabeth II accidentally), the Peak District, York again, the North Yorkshire Moors, and Cambridge.
In 2011 I went to the Isles of Skye, Scotland. The Alarm announced a gig on May 25th in Glasgow. Perfect! Once more a Glaswegian party! The music was perfect and the audience was in the mood. What else should I say? Glasgow is very special. On my 2011 trip I visited Manchester, Glasgow, the Isles of Skye, the Lake District again, and Oxford.
Currently I’m looking forward to visit The Alarm/Great Britain again this year. Therefore I’m checking the announced Alarm concerts at least every week. I’ve never been to the Gathering yet. Just because January is not my preferred month to go on holiday. But the longer I make up my mind, the more it becomes a desire to experience the upcoming Gathering in 2013…
May 19th, 2012, Michael Brefort, Germany