Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

The Alarm

There are not many bands out there that can boast to have had a film made about them and their attempts to re-enter the UK charts in disguise to try and fool the music industry, well that is just what has happened to The Alarm.

This March the film Vinyl is released starring Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia/Parklife) and Keith Allen (World In Motion/Vindaloo) with the film telling the story of how Mike Peters with his band succeeded at entering the UK charts using a young band in called “The Poppyfields” their place to fool the music industry, the story made headline news all around the world. The Alarm are back on the road to support the film’s release with a 22 track soundtrack album and they have decided to have the opening night of the tour at the Old Fire Station in Bournemouth.


Mischa 12

As the venue steadily fills up on this last day of February local lad “Mischa” takes to the stage with just his acoustic guitar to entertain the audience before the main attraction. A string of well written originals songs are performed including the rather catchy “Bands That Saved My Life” and the emotional “Air That I Breathe” with each song getting it’s own verbal introduction giving a nice bit of background of it’s content. They are delivered with some really enjoyable enthusiastic vocals by a true entertainer who gets much of the audience paying full attention during his short 25 minute set, a crowd of his own local fans have turned out and are very vocal with their support in-between songs. Mischa is a very versatile chap and as well as his solo work can be found playing with his 3 piece band “Mischa & His Merry Men”, he leaves the stage happy with his night’s work heading straight into the audience to watch The Alarm.

During the interval Mike Peters arrives on stage to announce that he is going to play an acoustic number in the foyer of the venue by the merchandise stand, a large portion of the crowd follows him to find out with the fuss is all about. This is a very clever tactic to promote Mike’s cancer charity Love Hope Strength Foundation who are looking for people to join the stem cell donor register to help delete blood cancer, a break through with technology now means a donor can be found by just making a simple swab of the donor’s cheek to see if they are a life saving match. During Mike’s passionate speech he explained that he has survived Blood Cancer twice, he set up the charity in 2007 to give something back and he believes firmly that rock ‘n’ roll can save lives if everyone works together. An moving acoustic version of the song “Love Hope Strength” is performed with the vast majority of the audience joining in with fine voice.

The Alarm arrive on stage to this their first gig in Bournemouth for many decades, with their line up a some what super group of players featuring James Stevenson on guitar( Chelsea, Generation X,), Craig Adams on bass (The Mission, The Cult, Sisters Of Mercy), Mark Taylor on keyboards (Simple Minds) and Smiley on drums (Archive, The Mescaleros). The band kick off with “45 rpm” and power through a set of initially mainly newer material from the band who have been around with various line ups since forming back in 1981. With the music’s roots firmly inspired by that of The Clash’s punk style the band make many references to their obvious influences from the late great Joe Strummer. A song from the “Vinyl” soundtrack called “Free Rock ‘n’ Roll” kick’s of a section of the show where the all the band change into leather jackets and performed some early songs from Mike’s first band “The Toilets”, with the original guitar complete with stickers/ graffiti being used during the performance of these 2 minute punk songs “Hear Me Out” and “Standing On The Corner”. A beautifully performed stripped down version of the classic “Spirit of 76” with just Mike on vocals and Mark Taylor on keys provided the audience with the 1st chance to sing-a-long in unison.

The Alarm
The Alarm 123456789

The set ended with a medley of the bands best known songs through the years interlinked with the song “1983/84” with each song getting the powerful full electric treatment, “Marchin On”, “Unsafe Building”, “Where You Hiding When The Storm Broke” and of course the band’s best known song “68 Guns” where Mike told the story of performing on TV show “Top of The Pops” in the 80’s sharing stages with other artists like The Smiths, The Clash, and Madonna. A request from the crowd for the song “Rescue Me” was rewarded with a short impromptu acoustic version much to the delight of the requester and his daughter. There is probably no one in the room tonight that cannot have been moved by this performance of a band with a massive pedigree who deliver year after year performances of such high calibre of very passionate music delivered from the heart which can change and also save lives.

Set List
45 RPM
Alarm Calling
Super Channel
The Drunk And The Disorderly
Swan Song
Right Back Where I Started From
Down The Road
My Town
Spirit Of 76
Free Rock And Roll
Hear Me Out
Standing On The Corner
Free Rock And Roll (Reprise)
Spirit Of 76 (With Band)
Absolute Reality
Blaze Of Glory
A Breed Apart
Unsafe Building
Marching On
68 Guns
Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke
1983/83 (Reprise)
Rescue Me
Moments in Time


Band Links

Words by Chinners.

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