Thu, 07 Nov 2019
Picture: Brian Harrington
WELSH rockers The Alarm were huge in the 1980s and have a string of hits to show for it. They disappeared for most of the 90s, but reformed in 1999 and continue to gig. Frontman and creative force Mike Peters has survived two bouts of leukemia and has developed the Love Hope Strength Foundation to recruit people as potential bone marrow donors. There is a team at every show taking cheek swabs from volunteers to further this excellent cause.This tour is a solo acoustic show with Peters playing guitar and accompanying himself on percussion and harmonica as well as using foot-switches to control pre-recorded dramatic narrative.
He sings with huge intensity and passion while his lyrical content, as all his many fans know, is frequently full of powerful emotion and occasionally political messages. Essentially, tonight consisted of three sets, one each featuring the original albums Eye Of the Hurricane and Change, plus an extended encore set based around the Electric Folklore album in which Peters became a human jukebox asking the audience to request tracks – which they did in droves – and then playing them.
In all a show lasting only just under three hours, including a 15-minute interval.
With virtually the entire audience on their feet for the last three or four songs in a lengthy standing ovation, including enthusiastic sing-a-long no one could accuse Peters of not offering value for money or not giving his fans a great night of music. This was an epic show in every sense of the word. Opening with the poignant A New South Wales, the show included two new/previously unreleased songs – Ghosts Of Rebecca and The Ballad of Randolph Turpin – plus numerous favourites like Rain In The Summertime and Blaze Of Glory and ended with some brilliant renditions of The Alarm’s greatest hits including Spirit of ’76 , Sold Me Down The River and, of course, Sixty Eight Guns.
Mike Peters is a great performer whose power and passion remains undimmed.