Happy New Year to everyone in the Alarm Family,
The bells are about to ring in the new year of 2022, and I am writing to you from my home in Dyserth, a place where so much Alarm activity has happened during these last two years of Lockdown, survival, change and sacrifice.
It has been an incredible journey from the last Alarm Gathering held in January 2020 to the dawn of this new year, and by staying true to the mantra of ‘Music Will Keep Us Strong’, we have somehow made it through together.
Along the way, we have lost many of our nearest and dearest, some through the passing of time, the causes of the pandemic and some through the divisions caused by this era of uncertainty and unprecedented new ways of living.
“Rebuild your life, rebuild your home, rethink your values, rethink yourself right through”
My hope for 2022 is to make a new declaration for moving forward, by taking up the lyrics of our foundation songs, and pledging to rebuild and remake everything that The Alarm has come to stand for and embody. I am as committed, in fact, even more committed, than I have ever been about the body of music that has been the life soundtrack for myself and so many of you reading this.
“Because you’re here for a purpose but you’ll have to search for it. Whatever it is you have got to decide”
On March 11th and 12th 2022, the recommittal begins with new dates for the Rhyl Town Hall 40th Anniversary Celebrations. Myself and the team are going to be putting everything we have into make this event even more spectacular and emotional than we ever could have thought possible when we set up the original dates for June 2021.
Now in 2022 we have even more to celebrate than just our anniversary year; we also have the very fact that those of us who remain standing, are still very much alive and thankful for all the love, hope and strength we have both to give and to receive.
As a community, we have stuck it out when so many have had to give up, we have kept each other going through the Big Nights In, through the making of brand new music and celebrating our unique journey through the History Repeating Anthology release and the immense coming together of fans from all walks of life at the twenty two Alarm Staycation Event Weekends held here in the village.
On a musical level, we have all had to deal with travel disruption, with vinyl shortages, Brexit and international postal dilemmas not to mention rescheduled dates and tours put on hold. Everything that the pandemic has brought into our music lives has tested our resolve and loyalty to the max; yet we remain as ever, still here and at the every forefront of the way music is created, shared and communicated around the world.
“It’s dark in the tunnel but keep on coming through”
Now, as we enter 2022 and can see some faint yet hopeful light at the end of the tunnel, I am pledging to make this the year where we truly come together as one, ready to put the recent past behind us and no matter what era of The Alarm journey was our entry point, celebrate this music as a unified community, joined together under one red poppy flag.
“Behind the wardrobe there lies a better life. Burn all your old clothes start again make yourself something new”
The red poppy was first depicted on an Alarm record sleeve back in 1982 and this amazing symbol of our time together has been with us and marching on ever since. This will be the symbol that will once again unite us in 2022 as we get back out into the world ready to share and rejoice in the music that has been the lifeblood of our relationship, the moments when we take these songs of freedom and once again hold our hands up high.
“your time will soon come”
To celebrate, I will be commissioning a huge red poppy flag to carry around the world with me wherever I go, a flag that everyone will be encouraged to sign at all the various venues and events where The Alarm’s music will be played; beginning with the first date of the calendar year in Washington DC on February 16th. The flag will fly everywhere thereafter, until it reaches its finale destination at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff (Date to be announced in 2022).
The Red Poppy Flag will come to represent a time capsule of our time on earth, with the names of all the people who helped to build this incredible Alarm community recorded into the raw material. Once its journey around the globe has been completed, it will then be lowered into the ground at The Alarm Sanctuary at Dyserth Waterfalls where it will remain for all time.
I truly hope that each and every one of you has a great start to 2022 and I look forward to spending time with you all in the coming days and months.
“I have declared myself”
December 31st 2021