Welsh alt-rock/new wave/post-punk band The Alarm formed in 1981 out of the ashes of punk band The Toilets and have been touring on and off since their reunion in the late 1990s. Their blend of genres has led to them being described as “Bob Dylan Meets the Clash” or “a punk version of U2”. Although singer/guitarist/harmonicaist Mike Peters is the only remaining original member, the band continues to put on a fantastic show, with Peters still being as charismatic as ever and his voice showing no signs of age.
The Alarm were supported by singer-songwriter Julia Othmer as well as Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts, the latter of which offered an excellent boogie rock vibe. Hamilton also had great crowd chemistry, joking about British slang and discussing how he’s bounced back in the music industry after a troublesome past.
One thing that really proved this gig’s worth is that The Alarm proved that they are much more than just their hits, playing songs from a wide variety of albums from across their whole timeline. Peters even performed a couple of songs from his solo work with just him and his guitar onstage.
Peters was definitely the standout of the show, absolutely beaming with energy and charisma. He even took the time to tell stories of the band’s past, reminiscing of playing Top of the Pops and getting Morrissey’s autograph for some random kid, being scared of being upstaged by Madonna and Echo & The Bunnymen, and even mourning the late great Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley (who only died moments before the show), sharing the advice he gave the band in the early days before kicking into Spirit of ’76, making the line “Oh my friend, Oh my friend, Oh my friend” resonate even more with the intimate Brudenell crowd.
I don’t think I’ve ever clapped more at a gig.
Header Image Credit The Alarm