Perhaps the most unusual booking on this year’s VANS Warped Tour was the legendary British rock band The Alarm, led by the affable Mike Peters. The traveling music festival hit Merriweather Post Pavilion last month on July 16, and Paivi made it a point to catch the new wave turned folk rock outfit.
The congenial Mike Peters, lead singer of The Alarm, welcomed his audience to the Hamilton Tuesday night with a round of handshakes from the stage.
The Welshman explained that he likes the personal touch of the audience, and that as a younger man, he always preferred touring before stage security barriers became a common occurrence in the mid-1980s. When security barriers started popping up regularly and creating a four-foot gap between himself and the audience, Mike began setting boards across the gap between stage and barrier so that he could at least temporarily transverse it and greet the audience at the start of the show.
Unfortunately, his ingenuity worked against him at a sold-out gig at the Hammersmith in London in 1985, when a health and safety inspector forced the removal of Mike’s temporary bridge immediately before a show began.
“Everybody knew the boards were gone except me!” Mike told the crowd at the Hamilton.
Mike Peters of The Alarm spent much of 2014 celebrating the 30th anniversary of his band’s first full-length album, Declaration. In doing so, he made a solo visit to Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown.
“All in all, Peters put on an incredibly satisfying and entertaining show in a venue well suited for his solo performance and witty recollections,” I reported for the sadly defunct We Love DC on the show, held August 7, 2014.
A little over a year later, Mike is back, celebrating another anniversary! This time around, it’s the 30th anniversary of The Alarm’s second full-length album, Strength. And the celebration takes place locally in a solo show at the Hamilton Live on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
As a “one-man band,” Mike will play the album Strength along with other songs while sharing stories and images to honor the album, his band and their history. The album includes such beloved classics from The Alarm as “Spirit of ‘76” and “Walk Forever by My Side.” The album and much of its material is inspired by Mike’s own fight against cancer.
Watch a somewhat recent acoustic performance of the “Spirit of ‘76” in a video for the song on YouTube:
Mike continues his own cancer fight, but he also fights to help others. Over the last four years, Mike’s Love Hope Strength Foundation:
- found over 1,500 potentially life-saving bone marrow donor matches;
- built the first ever children’s cancer center in Tanzania;
- supported the Bhaktapur Cancer Center in Nepal with life-saving equipment; and
- registered over 90,000 donors through its “Get On the List” program.
The Hamilton Live
Tuesday, Sept. 8