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Returning to the Duchess with a brand new show, Welsh rocker Mike Peters presented a show of two halves, going so far as to air a selection of brand new songs in the first half.

The second half consisted of nothing but Alarm classics (apart from the second-to-last song), with Mike “replaying” a set that had been filmed at UCLA back in 1986, and broadcast on TV around the world.

Opening “Part Two” with “Declaration” followed by “Marching On,” the set’s intensity didn’t let up for a second, a wonderful rendition of “Howling Wind” duly barreling into “Knife Edge,” unarguably one of the finest Alarm sing-a-longs. With the crowd suitably fired up, Mike received full audience participation with “Blaze of Glory,” before “Absolute Reality” sent everybody into a frenzy, the anthem’s riff impossible to dislike.

“Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?” climaxed with the usual routine of Mike tossing a set of cards into the crowd, while “Walk Forever By My Side” showed off Mike’s softest side, the love song understandably popular at weddings. No sooner had he left everybody swooning, he bolted into The Alarm’s two most famous cuts, “Sixty Eight Guns” setting up “Spirit of ’76.” Still, “Strength” had even more impact, Mike’s backing tracks delivering an overall sound as loud and vibrant as the original full-band sound. Concluding his second set with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Mike quipped, ‘We taught U2 this one!’

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“The Stand” also went down a storm, the crowd singing as loud as they could, the majority of fans in attendance sporting “Gathering” T-shirts: testament to their dedication in supporting Mike through and through.

One of the hardest-working musicians in the business, Mike never stops. In that respect, he’s much like Bryan Adams, forever writing, recording or touring. When he’s not in the UK, he’s more often than not working his magic in the US, where he still has a huge following, especially in and around New York.

The Alarm might have supported U2 in 1983 on the band’s US “War” tour, but it should have been U2 supporting Mike’s clan. Truth is, The Alarm were just as great as U2, and Mike Peters is just as charismatic a frontman as Bono. He’s also one of the kindest, most genuine men around, as evidenced by the number of charity events he’s involved in as a result of his “Love Hope Strength Foundation,” which was registered as a charity in 2007.

More power to him. He continues to deserve every success.

Visit www.thealarm.com for more details.

(Steve Rudd)


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