Strength – An Oral History Updated [Part Six]

The Alarm Strength – An Oral History [Part Six – The Strength Tour Begins]

Oct 16, 1985 The Alarm The Marquee, London

“This was supposed to be a secret gig. In fact it was so secret, that hardly anyone turned up! The one person who did was DJ Mike Reid from the BBC who loved the show and announced on his Radio One Breakfast show the next morning that he had been to see us play. The next night the Marquee was full to bursting point.” – Mike Peters

Oct 17, 1985 The Alarm The Marquee, London


“When it came time to release the follow-up single to the LP’s title track, the Alarm held a vote. After a performance at the Marquee Club in London, group members handed out slips of paper and asked fans for their choice. ‘Spirit of ’76’ was voted No. 1 and thus became the new single. ‘Deeside’, which came in second, was the B-side.” – Barbara Jaeger , The Record – Sunday, March 9, 1986

October 26th 1986 Mike Peters runs in the New York Marathon.

November 1st 1985 The Alarm JB’s Theatre, Albany, NY

– Official merchandise range for the Strength Tour 1985

November 2nd 1985 The Alarm Key Largo in West Islip, NY

“I was underage and the ticket stub said “PROPER NEAT ATTIRE REQUIRED” I had caught a ride from Rochester (350 miles) but all I had for footwear was sneakers! They weren’t gonna let me in. I saw Mike Peters and told him and he got the “dress code” lifted, the band were also letting in “under-age” fans through the back door so they wouldn’t miss the show even though they weren’t old enough to be legally admitted to a drinking establishment.” – Tim Nafus (Alarm Archive Website)

November 3rd 1985 The Alarm Premier Music Hall in Norfolk, VA

Quote – Dave Sharp 1985

November 4th 1985 The Alarm Nassau Community College, NY
November 5th 1985 The Alarm Beacon Theatre, NY

Photo provided by Steve Fulton

November 8th 1985 The Alarm Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
November 9th 1985 The Alarm Orpheum Theater, Boston,MA


November 10th 1985 The Alarm The Agora, Hartford, CN
November 11th 1985 The Alarm Carlton University, Ottawa
November 12th 1985 The Alarm The Spectrum, Montreal
November 13th 1985The Alarm Concert Hall in Toronto
November 16th 1985 The Alarm State Theatre in Detroit, MI

“Four of us at college in Ann Arbor drove to Detroit and The Alarm did not disappoint.   Loud, inspiring show that flat out rocked.  What a great band. ” -Bill Gratsch via

Nov 17, 1985 The Alarm Cabaret Metro in Chicago, IL
Nov 18, 1985 The Alarm First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minn.


Nov 19, 1985 The Alarm Easy Street, Des Moines, Idaho
Nov 20, 1985 The Alarm Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, MO
Nov 22, 1985 The Alarm Fools Gold, Houston, TX

Pollution, revolution – evolution. Seven years older since the day they formed, the Alarm, who appear at Fool’s Gold tonight with Beat Rodeo, have amassed a backlog of personal experiences and have grown to see the world through their own eyes rather than through media reports – as reflected in their new album, ‘Strength’.’We have matured as musicians and people and in attitude,’ asserts bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Eddie MacDonald in a phone interview from Toronto. ‘All the things we’ve said, the naivete we’ve had, we’ve learned from. And I wouldn’t trade it. I look back at it fondly.” – MARTY RACINE,  Houston Chronicle – Friday, November 22, 1985

Today the torrent issues from the Alarm , the North Wales quartet who after seven years of raising the flag for a variety of creeds and causes, have learned how to communicate person-to-person with, according to the eternal idealist, compassion, hope, integrity.Fine enough, but, like the old Clash, the Alarm is a powerful rock ‘n’ roll band, too. Their third and recent Houston performance at Fool’s Gold showed a band having come into its own – it does take time, you know – displaying a leap of songwriting, musicianship and showmanship.” – MARTY RACINE Houston Chronicle – Sunday, December 8, 1985

Nov 23, 1985 The Alarm Bronco Bowl, Dallas, TX
Nov 25, 1985 The Alarm Ben Lewis Hall in Riverside, CA
Nov 26, 1985 The Alarm After The Gold Rush, Phoenix, AZ


Nov 27, 1985 The Alarm California Theatre in San Diego, CA

“Although sometimes idealistic to the point of naivete, The Alarm ‘s music is stirring on almost all levels. It can project the majesty of the Who, the commitment of The Clash, and a songwriting savvy as good if not better than U2. When all of it clicked, the song, Peters, the band, the audience, the effect was inspiring as it was on ‘Strength,’ and ‘Spirit Of ’76.’ On ‘Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke,’ the audience members were moved to sing along and clap, without anyone urging them.” Divina Infusino  San Diego Union, The (CA) – Thursday, November 28, 1985

Nov 28, 1985 The Alarm Raincross Square, San Bernadino, CA
Nov 29, 1985 The Alarm Palladium, Los Angeles, CA





– Final Photo taken by Mike Peters from the stage of the Hollywood Palladium

“It was definitely the wildest Alarm concert I’ve ever attended .  The concert and the energy were incredible. People were jumping everywhere and people stuck up front started getting hurt.  (a little too wild) I remember one girl tried to get out and kind of collapsed right next to me.  All I could do was pick her up and send her on her way because I could barely move myself. Mike actually stopped the concert and said people were gettinghurt and said something like “”where I come from people jump just straight  up and down”” to get us to settle down a bit.  Him stopping the show like that showed me that he really did care about the fansPeople were loosing shoes everywhere including my friend with me, I luckily was wearing my hightops which helped them to stay on, but after the concert there were shoes all over the place.” – Kevin J R via

Nov 30, 1985 The Alarm Cal State Univ, Fullerton, CA

“My first Alarm show.  My older sister told my brother and I, then 15 years old, that she would only take us if ‘dressed appropriately’.  She convinced us to electro-shock our hair, like the band, because ‘everyone else would look that way’.  She was not correct.  It was a bunch of regular college kids in jeans and t-shirts, plus my brother and I looking like rejects from a hair-spray factory.  The concert was amazing though.  To me, The Alarm astood on-stage like gods and played he best music I had ever heard.  It was the start of an unstoppable fandom train that still goes on to this day.” –Steve Fulton, Alarm Fan

Dec 01, 1985 The Alarm Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA

Dec 03, 1985 The Alarm Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Dec 05, 1985 The Alarm Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, CA

“Strength (the single), had been received warmly at radio especially at the new ‘modern’ rock stations like WLIR (Ling Island), WBCN (Boston), Live 105 (San Francisco), 91X (San Diego) and the world famous KROQ (Los Angeles). The Strength video also garnered a lot of play on MTV and as the presence of the band out on tour in the US started to make waves the record began to creep up the Billboard charts taking MCA completely by surprise. In December MCA tried to make up for their mistake but it was too late as we headed back to the UK for the British tour and in our absence, the radio stations that had been supporting ‘Strength’ from early September began to turn their attention to other tracks from the album itself”. – Mike Peters


– Mike Peters 1985

Come back tomorrow – An Oral History continues …..

Strength – An Oral History. Created by Steve Fulton and Mike Peters ©2019

Thanks to Lee Aherne for Newspaper Cuttings and Paul ‘Barney Rubble ‘ Robinson for concert poster images.

Strength 1985 – 1986 is out now at all good record stores and online digital music streaming services and is available in CD / LP and Download versions with a host of previously unreleased exclusive tracks across all formats.

Strength 1985-1986 is also available to purchase at various international retail outlets.