Review: CARDIFF ICE RINK 13 February 1988

Only minutes before the doors opened the local council were hesitating whether or not to let the concert go ahead. Apparently, permission had not been given by the correct authorities when arrangements were being made. Luckily the OK was given which was a wise decision because thousands of disappointed and angry Alarm fans roaming around Cardiff could have been dangerous.

For a venue Cardiff Ice Rink proved spacious and atmospheric. The crowd were well seated before the end of the support. Welsh gigs always have an extra sense of excitement, being “home ground”. The group�s loyalty and love for the country is reflected in their performance. The Alarm predictably started their set with a powerful Strength and several thousand people gave their energy to a proud Mike Peters who regarded his fans with respect. The heat rose as did the quality of the gig, numbers like Howling Wind and the traditional 68 Guns getting the usual frantic response.

A New South Wales was a pleasant surprise. This song seems to be the new One Step Closer, as yet unrecorded and becoming a popular live track. The latest album deserves credit, and the likes of Shelter and Jericho are great live, but Eye of the Hurricane is yet to be performed, which is a shame because its vitality on vinyl would be heightened on stage.

You can’t have an Alarm gig in Wales without playing Bells of Rhymney, having all four members of the group at the front of the stage creates a sense of unity and people sing along, sway and raise arms to this moving Iridis Davies poem. Mike says during the gig that it is the best gig that they have ever done and judging from the response I would say that a few people agreed with him. Unfortunately I don�t. I�ve seen them live 34 times and have seen some brilliant concerts and still think that the old days were the best. Gone are the 3 hour set lists and gigs with different set lists every night. Gone are the tracks like For Freedom, Up For Murder and What Kind Of Hell, but people change as do writing styles. Where will The Alarm be in 10 years time?

Just keep marching on ’cause only time will tell…….