My Alarm Story – Dave Rowley

Born a Rocker rising out of the embers of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) I started playing in bands…heads down no nonsense mindless boogie …spandex, studs and big hair, there was no such thing as guy-liner, we weren’t afraid to don women’s make up…Nay we were but men…loud and proud! This was the 80s!!!!…

Then came a new breed … with music that stirred the heart and soul, mixing acoustic and electric guitars interwoven together to create a Celtic frenzy; lyrics sung with a passion and conviction that spoke out about injustice, discrimination, prejudice and hatred… Anthems for a generation…The Alarm, Big Country, U2…Here my love affair with The Alarm began; after seeing 68 Guns on Top of the Pops I ran to my local record store the next day to pick up a vinyl copy of Declaration. From then the songs of Mike Peters and The Alarm have played a massive part in the sound track of my life.

In 1990/91 I frequented the local rock/metal club where I met a girl dressed in black who loved the Alarm, our first proper date was The Alarm in Bradford on their last tour in 1991; we are still married with 3 amazing boys.

In the 90’s as a Singer/ Songwriter it was my privilege to open a couple of times for Mike and the Poets of the Justice… Around this time I would often open for Eh Geoff Mann Band where I struck up a friendship with one of the road crew- a certain Mr Andy Labrow.

For a number of years I lost touch with what The Alarm were doing…when I did finally return there was a whole host of new songs and a superb (current) line up that inspired me all over again!

In 2012 with my band Black Country I decided to do a couple of fundraising gigs for the Love Hope Strength Foundation. Why? Yes, because of my love of The Alarm and Mike’s music, but also because I lost my Dad to cancer in 2003. In September 2002 he was eventually diagnosed, after 8 months of indecision, with pancreatic cancer. In January 2003 he passed away…so my heart is very much into ‘rocking the hell’ out of cancer.

As part of the promotion for the LHS gigs I decided to do Snowdon Rocks 2012, two days before I had a call from Andy Labrow, he told me to learn some Alarm songs and bring my guitar it was like a dream come true.

For me, going to Snowdon was an emotional pilgrimage, as in my childhood every year as a family we would go to North Wales for our holidays; my sister and I’s last conversation with my Dad were about those times…then the Morphine kicked in!

That day on Snowdon will stay with me forever, a true mountain top experience! Meeting so many great people plus playing a set of songs in the howling wind on top of Snowdon with Mike… I’m still smiling inside!!!!!

Since that day, Black Country have opened for The Alarm on the Vinyl tour at the O2 academy Leeds and played 3 gigs in aid of LHS, the last gig being in April 2013, which blew away what we aimed to raise…A special thank you must go to Half Evil Promotions (Jeff, Bob and Tracy) and The Scopyons (the UK’s leading Scorpions tribute band), whose passion, enthusiasm and effort were the reason we raised so much.

I love the way songs take you back to a time in your life, to a memory, to a feeling…and for me whenever I listen to 68 Guns I’m back on that mountain top in the howling wind with the inspirational Mr Mike Peters…and nothing will ever take that away!!!!!!!!!

Love Hope and Strength


Songs available to download with 50% of proceeds to LHS from: