Back in the 1980’s U2, Simple Minds and Big Country all made their mark on the music scene and while I was, and still am a huge fan of these artists, there is one singer and band that for me epitomised rock music then and that was Mike Peters and The Alarm.
When they burst onto the scene in the early part of the decade with anthemic songs like “68 Guns” and “Where were you hiding when the storm broke” I knew there and then that this was a band I could listen to constantly. The lead singer had something about him which meant that Mike Peters was certainly the frontman every band needs. He is passionate, caring and has a damned fine voice.
Mike has suffered from cancer and leukemia and could have just faded into the background, but he is a fighter and through his music and also work for Charity Love Hope and Strength he seems to be living life to the full and not letting his issues get to him, and more power to him for it.
Saturday night saw Mike return to the capital just over a week after he triumphantly led Big Country to a great night at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh for their Pinktober Charity gig. This time it was Mike, 2 guitars and a small selection of harmonicas. It was an utterly brilliant night and a performance that I loved, song after song.
Before Mike came onto the stage support came from American singer/songwriter Joe Silva. Now support slots are often the toughest job out there becuase most folk chat away and do not listen to who is on stage. However it appeared that people were genuinly interested in Joe and he put in a good shift.
After Joe had left the stage i got chatting to a couple from Nairn who had come down specially for the gig. As we chatted they asked me if I had seen Mike play on his own before. When I said I had not and they told me I was in for a treat.
It was great to chat to people who are as keen on music as I am.
Mike came onto the stage, wished everyone a good evening and confessed:- “I don’t have a set-list – let’s see where this goes!”
Immediately he had the crowd eating out the palm of his hand. During the break, Mike came out into the crowd for chats with fans, autographs and pictures. This is clearly a guy who really cares about the people who come to see him and really enjoys meeting the people who come to see him.
When Mike got back on stage he asked random people in the crowd for their name and then asked what song they wanted.
We were treated to Chance and In a Big Country which Mike played with great skill and this was well received by an appreciative audience, One Guitar, Rain in the Summertime, Sprit of ’76, Rescue me, One step closer to Home and Blaze of Glory were all given an airing in what was a gig I and the others there will remember for a very very long time.
Mike Peters is indeed a fantastic singer/songwriter but there is more to him than just that .
It’s been 30 years since The Alarm started this is a celebration of that and a great celebration it was too Mike’s next visit to Edinburgh can’t come soon enough for this music fan.
To find out more about Mike Peters and The Alarm go to: