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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jun-18 > DECLARATION OF STRENGTH

DECLARATION OF STRENGTH

HERALDED AS ‘THE NEW CLASH’ WHEN THEY FIRST EMERGED FROM THE PUB CIRCUIT, THE ALARM WOULD GO ON TO GRACE SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST STAGES. HOWEVER, WHILE MIKE PETERS MIGHT’VE SURVIVED THE PUNK ROCK WARS HE REVEALS TO CLASSIC POP HOW MORE SIGNIFICANT BATTLES LAY AHEAD…
The Alarm are back with a new album Equals, a barnstorming collection of songs that touches on Mike and Jules Peters’ recent battles with cancer

THE ALARM

Manchester, May 1977. Eighteen-yearold Mike Peters has travelled from hometown Rhyl for the weekend and takes the opportunity to see the White Riot Tour’s stopover at the Electric Circus. Standing in the gents, just before headliners The Clash are due on stage, Peters is amazed to find himself sharing the urinal with the band’s entire line-up. The ever-curious Peters couldn’t let such an opportunity go to waste and asked Joe Strummer what White Riot was all about… “He told me it was about the future,” reveals Peters. It was Peters’ second interaction with punk royalty. The previous September he had seen the Sex Pistols in Chester and was told to eff off when he approached Johnny Rotten after the gig and asked him a similar question about Anarchy In The UK.

Those encounters triggered Peters to start a band and write his own lyrics… Rarely has spending a penny had such momentous consequences.

Before long, Peters was frontman of a punk outfit called The Toilets. Peters and drummer Nigel Twist (born Buckle) continued to work together as Seventeen, picking up bassist Eddie Macdonald and guitarist Dave Sharp (Kitchingman to his mum). Peters and Macdonald – neighbours since the age of five – formed the songwriting axis of the group. Although Macdonald was useful in terms of riffs and chord sequences, Peters notes: “I was the one that could put it into a complete song structure and finish it all off before adding all the lyrics. I’d also write my own songs alongside that. But then Dave wrote some amazing songs all on his own. Dave had been in the Merchant Navy before he joined our band and he had a worldliness and a confidence that I didn’t have.”Manchester, May 1977. Eighteen-yearold Mike Peters has travelled from hometown Rhyl for the weekend and takes the opportunity to see the White Riot Tour’s stopover at the Electric Circus. Standing in the gents, just before headliners The Clash are due on stage, Peters is amazed to find himself sharing the urinal with the band’s entire line-up. The ever-curious Peters couldn’t let such an opportunity go to waste and asked Joe Strummer what White Riot was all about… “He told me it was about the future,” reveals Peters. It was Peters’ second interaction with punk royalty. The previous September he had seen the Sex Pistols in Chester and was told to eff off when he approached Johnny Rotten after the gig and asked him a similar question about Anarchy In The UK.

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