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Monday, 12 October 2009

21 Days: All Seeing - The Alarm

I have taken the step of completely re-recording 'All Seeing' for '21'.

The persistence of certain fans have kept this song in my mind for a long time. It has always been a requested song whenever I have thrown open the opportunity for someone to change the course of my live set. Originally cut for the 'In The Poppy Fields Bond', I wrote this song in Wales and the first person to hear it was Craig Adams, who came up with a very melodic bass guitar part to my original tune (in the kitchen of his home), which I felt warranted his credit as co-writer. In this brand new version, Craig's bass part has now become the guitar line! I think this version captures the song at it's best.

I think it's time for the '21' album because we have been touring / recording as The Alarm in the modern / 21st century era for just about 10 years now, and with 'Guerilla Tactics' currently sitting as the third best selling 'Alarm' album of all time on iTunes (Declaration / Strength are number 1 and 2 but have been on iTunes since 2000), I felt it was time to bring all our new / reconverted fans up to date with a collection of the best songs from the modern era.

I also wanted this collection of songs to sound like an 'album' and not a compilation. Therefore, I took the step of re-recording / remixing / re-working every single song so that the recordings sound like they were cut yesterday and not over a period of years. I wanted the record to have the consistency of 'Guerilla Tactics' and felt that songs such as 'All Seeing' could have a big part to play in the running order. '21' has the best versions of everything that has been played ever since the 'new' Alarm sounded again on the Big Country tour of 1999/2000.

Mike Peters

The first video from the '21' project by The Alarm has been unveiled and it is 'All Seeing'. The album is due for release on 2nd November 2009.

Mike Peters & The Alarm - 21 Days

Hello Everybody,

21 Days with Mike Peters begins tomorrow exclusively at

21 Days with Mike Peters is an interactive internet based event whereby I intend to use as a virtual stage over the course of the next 21 Days.

As well as posting videos and new information, I will be taking questions throughout, and hope that some interesting subjects arise.

21 Days with Mike Peters will utilise all of the current internet technologies to keep the lines of communication flowing. I hope the interactive nature of this event will create a mass of content that will focus attention on and about The Gathering, the upcoming UK tour and all the new Mike Peters / Alarm releases for 2009. As the event develops, a new will be unveiled by webmaster Steve Fulton.

You will be able to post questions at or send via email to (Marked : 21 Days).

I am very excited about the prospect of meeting you all online and presenting to you the story behind all of the new releases scheduled for November 2nd.

There is so much to more say about Kilimanjaro, the upcoming tour and a ton of other subjects but I will leave it all until tomorrow and the commencement of 21 Days...........

Love, hope and strength,

Mike Peters

All very exciting stuff. I sent a question off to Mike this morning and he's on the ball already. Here's his answer:

Mike Congrats to you, Jules and the team for Kilimanjaro. Always an inspiration! On the subject of the 21 Days project I was wondering how you determined what songs would appear on this album? Apart from 'Love Hope Strength', what song gave you the greatest joy in including it in this project and why? See you in Glasgow in November Doug Watson

Hi Doug, The determining factor behind the song choice on '21' was pretty much based on the songs that made it through to the 'live' concert. In fact there are more than '21' songs on the album 22 in fact because I couldn't leave one of them out...... The DVD has even more tracks and includes all of the video performances for tracks like 'New Home New Life' and a version of 'True Life' that was the original demo (and probably the best version of the song) out for the video over the next few days.... it was shot at the time of the original poppy fields photo session in Wales that was the source of all the cover shots at the time..... I'm very proud of this album as I think it brings every song to life and is a vast improvement especially on the mixes / performances that were on the In The Poppy Fields album released in 2004 (check out 'Coming Home' and 'Trafficking' if you don't believe me), and although I still like the mix of 'Under Attack', the mixes of 'My Town' and 'Without A Fight' are more representative of the power of the songs as they developed on stage...... I'll be posting previews throughout the next three weeks so stay tuned.....Cheers Mike

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Elvis Costello & Bruce Springsteen

Costello and the Imposters opened the show with a cover of "Point Blank," setting the tone early for what was to be a night of many non-traditional Springsteen tunes. At Costello's request, Bruce opened with "Wild Billy's Circus Story," for which he was joined onstage by an acoustic Nils Lofgren (who had performed "Like Rain" earlier with The Imposters backing him) and Roy Bittan on accordion. Costello coaxed some early memories from Springsteen regarding the traveling circus in Freehold and the sense of wonder and fear it inspired in him as a child. This was not Storytellers Part II, though. There was no line-by-line deconstruction of songs. Costello seemed primarily interested in the emotional effects of the music, both on Springsteen and his audience, and a major portion of their talk was devoted to the thematic shift that occurred following Born to Run. As Springsteen explained it to Costello, he became more invested in writing songs he felt he would still be able to relate to at the ripe old age of 40 (this of course drew a laugh).
The show was very explicitly a television taping and not a "concert," though, which meant a lot of stopping and starting to rearrange the stage and to get things just right. A solo acoustic version of "American Skin (41 Shots)" came off after a false start, and Springsteen initially forgot that "Galveston Bay" was in Drop D tuning. When the conversation wandered to Roy Orbison, Costello joined Springsteen in an impromptu cover of "Pretty Woman" that ended abruptly halfway through. They redeemed themselves shortly after with a show-stopping rendition of Sam and Dave's "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," Bruce taking Sam's part and Elvis taking Dave's.
Following a quick break, the two reconvened with talk of family life. Costello praised Patti's role as musician, wife, and mother, and performed an acoustic version of her "Black Ladder." Springsteen discussed the pleasure he felt standing outside of his son's room one evening and hearing him listen to "Chimes of Freedom." "What do you think of it?" he asked. "Epic," his son replied, "it's epic, dad." And who could argue with that?
More than three hours into his own epic discussion, Springsteen expressed fear that the audience would keel over soon and indicated that it was time for the finale. He strapped on an electric guitar and delivered a gut-wrenching version of "The Rising" backed by the Imposters, Bittan, Lofgren, and Costello (who stepped up for the dream of lifes). There was a fiery quality to the performance that was only intensified moments later when the band ripped into "Seeds." Springsteen wailed on the guitar and bellowed like he was half his age or younger, and the crowd was on its feet. The night concluded with a "Radio" medley, connecting Springsteen's "Radio Nowhere" with Costello's "Radio Radio." While the two might not have been the perfect musical pairing to mash together, it was a thematically appropriate and satisfyingly creative ending to a truly unforgettable night.
- Anthony D'Amato reporting - photograph by Frank Stefanko

Point Blank (Audio only) (Costello
and The Imposters)
Like Rain (Lofgren and The Imposters)
She's the One (Costello
and The Imposters)
Wild Billy's Circus Story (Springsteen, Lofgren, Bittan)/American Skin (41 Shots) (Springsteen)
Galveston Bay (Springsteen, Bittan)
Pretty Woman [Aborted] (Springsteen, Costello)
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down (Springsteen, Costello, The Imposters)
Black Ladder (Costello, Springsteen, Lofgren)
Brilliant Disguise (Costello, Springsteen)
The Rising (Springsteen, Costello, Lofgren, Bittan, The Imposters)
Seeds (Springsteen, Costello, Lofgren, Bittan, The Imposters)
Radio Silence/Radio Nowhere/Radio Radio (Springsteen, Costello, Lofgren, Bittan, The Imposters)

©1998-2009 The Backstreets Publishing Empire

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Fearless Music Show featuring The Alarm

Fearless Music show featuring The States, The Prigs, Hot Spur, Black Taxi, Hypernova, The Alarm.

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