Alarm In Numbers…rescue Rooms, Nottingham

OK – admit you’ve never heard of the Alarm – a sort of proto-post punk, we’re going to change the world through rock music U2-esque type outfit. They were big in 1984 and are currently touring in tight, small venues such as the Rescue Rooms (max 400 capacity). Their biggest hit was 68 Guns around 1983-ish and there was a numerical theme throughout the night – firstly 68 is probably about 20 years over the average age of the audience, but don’t let that put you off.
Yeah – it did seem to me in that the only ones under 30 in there were the barmaids but if you like your gigs as a wall of sound experience – full on moshing – and if you really want to see old school, hard graft, banging out tune after tune and seeing musicians put their heart and soul into a performance – this is the ticket. One of best Ramone-esque tracks of the Alarm’s has to be 45 RPM – which given the advent of itunes, CDs and downloads, probably means nothing to anyone under the age of 35 (it was the speed 7” vinyl singles used ‘rotate’ on turn tables).
Supported by Willie Nile, a protégé of Bruce Springstein and hailing from the mid-70s New York punk scene, if you get past the fact these guys looks like they should be at home helping with their daughter’s home work, you’ll have a cracking night. I walked in to see Nile banging out ‘I wanna be sedated’. Going on the energy he expended not only on his own set, but also reappearing to guest with the main act later on, I very much doubt he would need any drugs to get him to sedation, at one point I was worried that the guy, described as a ‘one man Clash’ was going to keel over.
Mike Peters – lead singer of the Alarm – screamed out ‘Top of the Pops, 1984 – where were you?’ before bashing out one of their top 30 hits ‘Where were you hiding when the storm broke?’ (charting at the heady heights of 22 – 68 Guns obtaining the stratospheric position of no17).
The fact is, in 1984, I was 15 and knew no better – I was about to discover the Smiths and the Northern Indie scene and say goodbye to the Alarm forever. But for one night and one night only, it was good to be back, and at 12 quid for a night reliving past times, with some old mates (the emphasis being old), it was good to be back.

Catch them while you can April 30th, Glasgow o2, 1st May Edinburgh, Liquid Room, 2nd May, Liverpool o2.

By Stu on April 30, 2010

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2 Comments » RSS Comment Feed

  1. For years, the Alarm, were my brothers favourite band. (He had it quite bad really)… i remember re-selling him 68 guns for an extortionate amount, and seeing them live at least twice, once with Chelsea… and another time with an Exploited spin off band???. Jesus… Mike Peters, spikey blonde barnet…pity you’ve no pics… is he the only original member?… and yep… the Smiths did that to me too!

    Comment by Dave — April 30, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

  2. Newcastle Tiffanys with Chelsea 1984. I also saw them support U2 at Newcastle City Hall on the War tour (1983). Loved them for about 6 months. And yes, Morrissey came and stole it all away!!!

    Comment by peter — May 1, 2010 @ 11:39 am

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