It was an early rock’n roll Monday morning as we departed from Wales up the
M6 to a favourite Alarm haunt, Glasgow. ‘What do we get up to in the tour
bus,’ you ask? Well, it depends on the mood, how sober we are, how tired we
are. Today, we were catching up on the Sunday papers. The beauty of rock’n
roll, is that all the barriers of the normal week disintegrate; the only
structure is ‘Glasgow, Newcastle, Day Off’ etc…. names of days are
As always, it had been a rabid lead up to the tour and we were all knackered
to start off with, apart from Mike, who was primed and trained up, all
raring to go. I was feeling like I had been on the road for at least week
what with all the late MPO nights and early MPO mornings. Tour ‘advancing’
and Gathering preparations make heavy work on top of dealing with over 100
emails, faxes and calls a day. Long may it continue.
The rain was lashing down in sharp contrast to our last show in California.
As we pulled up outside ‘The Garage’ there was an immediate good vibe in the
Colin, our Rep from DF Concerts (the promoters for the show) was there to
welcome us and we were all quite excited because the Vodka and red bull
which we had requested was on the rider. This, together with an abundance of
posters advertising the show around the city centre (always a good sign)
lended itself to our strengthening spirits.
Steve, the drummer and I had concocted a ‘How to stay healthy on the Road’
plan on our journey up which involved ‘Starch and Carbo’ ban after 6pm. We
eyed the Sainsburys ‘Be Good to Yourself’ crisps hungrily. ‘Did beer count
as a starch/carbo in this instance?’ we asked ourselves foolishly in a
feeble attempt to bend the rules…
Not that we are all obsessed with drink, you understand. It’s just that it
is kind of necessary to ignite and ‘sharpen’ energy levels somewhat after
the draining effect of being on the road. Ok, so it was only one day but
there was the compounding effect of jet lag to take into consideration.
The gig started to fall into place. The ‘humpers’ greet our arrival and help
our trusty ‘do it all’ ‘rider’ who attends to everbody’s needs on stage.
Bobby, ‘Ladies Man’ Troman, our Tour Manager becomes acquainted with the
promoter (in this case, Colin) and checks that the dressing room is equipped
with all we desire. In this case, vodka and red bull (for Steve, James and
Dick) to perk them up before performance, coke (for Mike Jones, Sound
engineer extraordinaire – one of the non- drinkers on the tour), Diet coke
(for Mike Peters, who claims that this keeps his vocal chords nicely
lubricated), and an assorted abundance of sandwiches, crisps, fruit as well
as the essential 48 bottles of good quality lager!
I begin setting up the MPO Merchandise Desk which is a task and a half due
to the vast amount of CD’s and T shirts we carry! I become acquainted with
Liam, Spear of Destiny’s manager who is as similarly consumed with all of
It’s quite strange being the support act, as we have experienced many times
over the years with various bands. You wouldn’t believe some of the petty
restrictions placed on you as a support act and so we always try to make
sure that our support acts feel at home.
I first met Kirk at Dave Sharp’s gig a few months ago in Manchester and
immediately hit it off with him. He’s a great guy, very charming and very
charismatic on stage. If you get chance, come to the show as early as you
can in order to lend your support to Kirk and the Spear of Destiny.
Before you know it, time is speeding up into fast motion and in a blink of
an eye, the rock chick trousers are on (a girl has to make an effort in a
blokes’ world :)) and the doors are open.
My time flies by as I meet up with new and old faces. James Newall from
Scotland is first to greet me, an old friend now, so many concerts has he
attended. He also runs the Scottish Gathering bus and does an admirable job
of transporting the Scottish contingent to Wales. Now there’s a party!
Martin Smy from Essex who is following the whole UK tour after helping me
admirably in California where he joined us on holiday. Martin even brings
his dog (not an Alarm fan) who waits patiently for Martin back at the hotel
Meanwhile, back in the dressing room, Mike and the boys are revving up.
Tensions, nerves and excitement tighten up and explode into one emotional
outpouring as the boys hit the stage. Mike thrives on the build up, and our
awesome drummer Steve Grantley matches Mike blow for blow as they build
themselves up for the challenge.
It doesn’t matter how many gigs you experience, I am always left wanting
more. Despite the responsibility of the ‘stall’, I cannot resist joining the
crowd and soaking up the atmosphere. For those of you who weren’t there, it
reads something like this…
Where were you Hiding
One Step -acoustic
High on the Hill
Sold Me Down the River
Rain in the Summertime
Spirit of 76
Up for Murder
Blaze of Glory
See you in Newcastle!
Miss. Jules News