Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mike Peters & the Alarm at the Gramercy Theatre

Mike Peters
Vocalist/guitarist Mike Peters was born in Prestatyn, Wales, and grew up in Rhyl. His musical debut in 1975 was fronting Harry Hippie, a band formed with his schoolmates to perform at his sister's 21st birthday party. After seeing the Sex Pistols perform in 1976, he formed a punk band called the Toilets in 1977, then played in a Who tribute band called Quiasimodo in 1978, and then formed a power pop band called Seventeen. That band evolved into Alarm Alarm, which was shortened to the Alarm in 1981 when the band relocated to London, England. The band sold five million albums before Peters quit the band after a concert in 1991. Since 2000, Peters has used the brand name the Alarm with other musicians. The soundtrack to the documentary Man in the Camo Jacket was released in vinyl on Record Store Day, April 22, 2017; the digital version will be released in June. Peters lives in Dyserth, North Wales.

Mike Peters is a three-time cancer survivor, and his life, musical career, health struggles, and commitment to a cancer foundation called Love Hope Strength were captured in an inspiring documentary, Man in the Camo Jacket. That film debuted at the Gramercy Theatre today and was followed by an acoustic set by Peters in the afternoon and an electric concert by the Alarm in the evening. The electric set was turbo-charged, with Peters singing an archive of 25 uplifting songs of hope, idealistic values and spirituality, and the trio behind him (keyboardist Jules Jones Peters, bassist James Stevenson, and drummer Steve "Smiley" Barnardpowered the songs with a wall of sound. (An additional musician, David Bowie's side man and producer Tony Visconti, joined on bass and back-up vocals on "Sold Me Down the River.") Peters was in fine voice and seemed positively joy-filled. While many of Peters' most recent New York concerts have been solo acoustic, this set was largely booming and bombastic. Far from the band's punk and pop origins, this set was delivered in 1980s-style stadium rock, even when Peters played acoustic guitar and harmonica. More than 35 years after the band began, the world might be in need of another burst of the Alarm's happy rock.

Visit Mike Peters & the Alarm at

  1. Brighter Than the Sun
  2. Knife Edge
  3. Coming Backwards
  4. Absolute Reality
  5. There Must Be a Way
  6. Superchannel
  7. Howling Wind
  8. Kill to Get What You Want (Die for What You Believe In)
  9. Time
  10. Love and Understanding
  11. The Drunk and the Disorderly
  12. Peace Now
  13. 68 Guns
  14. Breathe (Mike Peters song)
  15. Rain in the Summertime
  16. Tomorrow
  17. Strength
  1. Spirit of '76
  2. My Town
  3. 45 RPM
  4. Blaze of Glory
Encore 2:
  1. Declaration / Marching On
  2. Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke
  3. Sold Me Down the River
  4. Two Rivers