Article: The Alarm Sounds Again

Concert Preview

Taking their cue from the energy and passion of Britain’s punk explosion of
the late 70’s, The Alarm burst out of Wales in the early 80’s with songs –
such as “The Stand”, “Blaze of Glory” and “Sixty Eight Guns” – that weren’t
merely music but calls to arms.

Almost a decade after leaving the group – which effectively led to its
dissolution – singer and songwriter Mike Peters has taken up The Alarm
mantle again, releasing on his own label a nine disc box set called The
Alarm Complete” and mounting a tour.

“There’s a lot of people – myself included – that have got a lot of emotion
invested in these songs,” Peters says. “There are songs that carried people
through traumatic moments in their lives and euphoric moments in their

“Hopefully, this tour is a celebration of the songs. It’s my way of paying
tribute to a certain era of my life really and celebrating that. It’s great
to touch base with everybody because as you move through life everyone goes
separate ways.”

And that includes the original band. Though the other three original members
all contributed their reminisces to the box set, none is participting in the
American tour.

“I actually approached all the band to try and tour together as the original
line-up, but it wasn’t to be,” Peters says. “Dave Sharp, the guitarist,
lives in New Orleans and he’s a singer-songwriter and he didn’t want to be a
sidekick guitar player for me. He’s happy doing his solo thing. [Bassist and
Alarm co-songwriter Eddie Macdonald is a photographer in London now. He
played on the British tour we did earlier this year but he didn’t want to go
any further afield with it. (Drummer) Nigel Twist is in San Francisco. He’s
a public defense investigator”.

Though not a true Alarm reunion, Peters says the fans’ reaction to the tour
has been overwhelmingly positive.

“To go back and play all the old songs with me being the only original
member of the band on tour – I thought it would be a challenge to put it
across, but everybody’s been going mad for it,” he says. “Fans have kept the
music of The Alarm alive without us actually playing it. They’ve passed it
down and there’s lots of people coming out on this tour who have never seen
The Alarm. They’ve just heard the music and are coming out to hear it
performed live by me and a great band.”

Though Peters released solo albums throughout the 90’s – in his words they
were “more visible in Europe than over here” – he won’t perform any of that
material this time around.

“This tour is about touching a moment that’s based in nostalgia,” Peters
says. “But as an artist there’s a challenge for me to say, “Right, all my
music has come from this. Everything I did in the ’90’s has its roots in the
music I created in the ’80’s, so my aim is to unify the two periods to
enable me to make music of meaning for the next decade.”

Author::Thomas Bond