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Mike Peters - Mr Nice Guy.

Where were you hiding when the storm broke? Well we were at Manchester Academy watching The Alarm doing their first nights residency (One of three Saturday nights in Manchester). Thank you James! They are set to play three nights in four cities in under a month.They stormed the stage with a confidence and very likeable quality, Mike singing his heart out to 'Coming Home' - I asked myself why the hell did I never see this band before? Although I did see Mike's first band The Toilets supporting The Clash at Eric's in '77 which turned into The Alarm later.The audience appeared mainly to consist of die hard Alarm fans judging by the response from the crowd and the hand flaying, and singing along. They deserve a medal for the sheer showmanship and down to earthiness they possess.

The Band: Singer Mike Peters is the original vocalist, James Stevenson on Guitar, he played with Kim Wilde, Generation X, and still keeps his hand in with Chelsea and Gene Loves Jezebel, he also toured with The Cult and continues to tour extensively  and the Bass player Craig Adams, a former member of The Sisters Of Mercy & The Mission. and the drummer Steve Grantley is a Stiff Little Finger (so to speak). So each are qualified to combine a unique band The ALARM 2008 version.Mike even introduced the support act himself, then in between sets (yes they did two) he came out into the audience and sang a short acoustic set. Where did they get the energy from to then dish out another set?

The Alarm - Mike Peters/James Stevenson/ Craig Adams/ Steve Grantley

The highlights for me were, the older classic Alarm songs such as '68 Guns', 'although I'm gonna play the 'Guerilla Tactics' album in time for next weeks gig (yes going back for more on Sat 15th). The encore with Spirit of 76 teamed with 'Boredom' the Buzzcocks classic, was heart stopping and my feet were dancing once again!

 James Stevenson - Mr Guitar legend

Out of the newer songs which made an impact on me was 'Absolute Reality' and their final song for the night 'Love, Hope & Strength'.

James (pictured left) is known throughout the music business as somewhat of a guitar legend, he's played/toured/recorded with many bands in his time and he didn't fail to entertain us with his guitar licks and stage moves.We shouldn't forget the excellent bass playing from Craig and the superb drumming from Steve.

This band could easily fill a larger venue, it was so packed and the room was oozing with feel good vibes.It's easy to forget all the problems with the world when you've got a great professional band hammering out decent tunes The alarm without a doubt stirred The spirit of the gathering into wild abandon.

SetList: They play a different set list each night!

First set - Coming Home/Absolute Reality/My Town/Fightback/The Stand/Situation Under Control/Drunk & Disorderly/Rain In The Summertime/Blaze Of Glory.

Second Set: Three Sevens Clash/Marching On/Where Were You Hiding/Alarm Calling/Cease & Desist/Without A Fight/Rescue Me/45 RPM/68 Guns/

Encore - Superchannel/Spirit Of 76- Boredom/Love Hope & Strength.

Get out of your comfy chair and go and see a great loud band - Video of The Alarm singing 'The Stand'.

The Dates:

Thursdays 06th / 13th / 20th November Cardiff The Point
Fridays 07th / 14th / 21st November Glasgow King Tuts
Saturdays 08th / 15th / 22nd November Manchester Academy
Tuesdays 11th / 18th/ 25th November London Islington Carling Academy

Gig review & all  photos  by Mel (More photos on MySpace)

Finally to make the night even better I got to meet up with the lovely James (28 years since our last photo together) for a little chat and photo.

Thanks for a great night Guys, same time, same place next week.