I am writing to let you know about everything that has been happening since I came back from New York and Empire State Building Rocks.
On the upside, the band and I have just recorded the first EP for the Counter Attack album project and it sounds just like I imagined / hoped it would when I was conjuring up the songs. The first of the Counter Attack EP’s is called ‘Three Sevens Clash’ and features seven brand new tracks that will literally explode from your speakers when the audio files launch in your disc drives…….. The track listing is as follows:
1. The Opening
2. Three Sevens Clash
3. Fill In The Blanks
4. Zeros And Ones
5. Kill To Get What You Want [Die For What You Believe In]
6. Love Hope And Strength
7. Broadcast On Street Airwaves
In the next few weeks we will be announcing detailed information about ‘Counter Attack’ and how and when you will be able to get the music into your domain.
While we were recording, The Alarm MMVII were offered the chance to join a coast to coast tour of the USA with the Psychedelic Furs from July 1st to the 22nd. The tour is billed as ‘Rockin The Colonies’ and will also feature our old touring friends The Fixx. The tour will play to big audiences and take us to some prestigious US venues. The tour also gives the band and I the chance to replay the shows in Dallas, Austin and Houston, Texas that had to be cancelled when my son Dylan came into the world early in 2004 (see dates below).
The downside to all of this means that the Birmingham Academy show on July 7th has had to be put back three weeks to Saturday 28th July 2007. (Tickets already purchased for the original date will remain valid for the new date). I agonised long and hard before coming to this decision, especially as the date was pivotal to the campaign for the new Counter Attack album but in the end (and with the fact that the Live Earth Concerts to Combat Global Warming take place on the same day), I felt like it would be best all round to move the date. I know that this will inconvenience some of you as we have had the date in the calendar for a long time but I promise you that we will more than make up for it by putting on an storming night in Birmingham on the 28th. There has also been some confusion surrounding the venue for the Glasgow date on September 8th. I can now confirm that the venue will be the ABC Glasgow and the date remains the same: Saturday September 8th.
The ‘Rockin The Colonies’ tour of the USA also provides the opportunity forour US fans to have a chance to see the band in concert which has not happened in North America for a very long time,(Twist has just taken up my invitation to make a guest appearance with The Alarm MMVII in San Francisco on July 15th).It will also be an opportunity to promote the soon to be reissued ‘Spirit Of ’86’ UCLA Concert DVD which has ben held back to accommodate audio commentary from all of the original members. An official release date will be set in the coming weeks once production has been completed.
I would also like to thank everyone who took part in Empire State Building Rocks. It was a momentous day in New York under the most difficult circumstances caused by the worst storm New York has experienced in one hundred years. The video (directed by Alex Coletti), has been watched literally thousands and thousands of times on You Tube and the audio track that features myself with Billy Duffy, Dave Wakeling and Slim Jim Phantom, was mixed by the legendary Tony Visconti (Bowie, T-Rex, Morrissey) who I last worked with on the ‘Change’ album sessions. All of this has really helped to raise awareness for the Love Hope Strength Foundation.
A day or so after I got back from New York, I was invited by BBC Radio 4 to record a new ‘updated’ version of ‘Bells Of Rhymney’ with brand new lyrics by Welsh poet – Patrick Jones [Brother of the Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire] at St. David’s Church in Rhymney. The performance will appear in a radio programme dedicated to the anniversary of the song’s first ever recording by Pete Seeger (the broadcast date will be announced on thealarm.com just as soon as we have it). The new lyric is every bit as good as the original Idris Davies poem, and I’ve got a sneaky feeling that a recording of the new version will appear on one of the Counter Attack EP’s in the very near future.
Snowdon Rocks is next on the horizon, and I’m really looking forward to it. Some people are going to incredible lengths to help the cause from selling replica cars on Ebay to running marathons in the name of Love Hope Strength. A lot of people have signed on for the walk to the summit of Snowdon and I’m sure all of you who are supporting the event through simply buying tickets for the two acoustic concerts in Rhyl and Caernarfon will be able to experience a great weekend in North Wales.
I would also like to thank everyone who keeps writing in and asking, not only after my health, but in response to the national media coverage of the struggles that Jules and I went through to have children. it is great to know how much all of you care for me and my family. I’m glad to say that I am feeling fit and healthy in every way and my remission is holding firm. I am having a maintenance treatment of Rituximab (this was one of the drugs included in my chemotherapy regime), which I have administered every couple of months. The aim of the treatment is based on new papers that have been published in America recently which claim that continued exposure to Rituximab over a two to three year period just may lead to the eradication of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia completely. On the home front, my new son Evan is four months old now and Dylan is three, I can’t believe how fast life keeps on changing and how different the circumstances are for these upcoming concerts. At this time last year I was literally under attack, fighting for my life. Now I’m on the counter, moving forward and making the most of every new day.
I look forward to sharing in all our new adventures together. See you very soon,
Love Hope and Strength,
02 July NAPERVILLE, IL Festival (Outdoors)
04 July BALTIMORE Pier Six (Outdoors)
07 July BUFFALO Canal Street (Outdoors)
09 July PT PLEASANT, NJ Jenkinson Pavilion (Outdoors)
10 July BOSTON Avalon
11 July WESTBURY, NY North Fork Theatre
14 July SAN DIEGO 4th & B
15 July SAN FRANCISCO The Mezzanine
17 July COSTA MESA, CA Pacific Amphitheatre (Outdoors)
19 July DENVER Ogden Theatre
20 July AUSTIN Stubbs (Outdoors)
21 July DALLAS House Of Blues
22 July HOUSTON Verizon Wireless Theatre