So most of us were half a mile back from the stage in the heaving, sweating darkness but returning after a six month British absence The Alarm were bound to break down all the barriers and set Heaven alight. Sure enough by the middle of the second number ‘Where Were You Hiding?’ the venue was transformed into the Cardiff Arms Park of punk – the roaring hymns and driving anthems, the religious intensity of the experience as everyone but everyone got caught up in this whirlwind of sound. The thrashing-crashing anger of the rhythm section, the deadly serious conviction of Dave Sharpe on guitar and the serene and smiling countenance of conductor Mike Peters looking down lovingly on the mass of devotees.
The new material seemed strong, particularly the clich�-free, chant-inducing ‘Absolute Reality` and the new single ‘The Chant’ with its clever harmonising and occasional acapella moments – definitely a progression but definitely The Alarm. But the main attraction was the classics – the vehemently rootsy ‘Howling Wind`; the melodious poetry of ‘Deceiver’ with Peters mimicking his hero on harmonica; the interminable acoustic intro to the power and story of ‘Meet Your Maker’ and the beautiful gospelly-thrash of ‘This Train Is Bound For Glory’. And for afters? What else but the might and passion of ’68 Guns` and ‘Blaze of Glory’.
Sweat – the body�s signal of satisfaction. And this gig couldn’t have been damper had it been an underwater benefit for Jacques Cousteau. The Alarm – you don’t analyse, you just get out of bed.