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THE ALARM/The Last Republic
O2 Islington Academy, London 21 May 2011
Republic have certainly become a tighter live unit since I last saw
them supporting Pure Reason Revolution back in December last year. Shame
that most of the crowd weren't in yet as they missed a treat.
gigs I have seen at this venue one band always seems to be plagued by
sound problems - this time the bass player kept losing sound. But this
didn't stop the band whose music, almost epic and Muse like at times, is
destined for the bigger stages I am sure. Highlights included the new
single, 'The Fear', '(C'Mon) Flood The Gates' and 'Let's Make Bombs'.
Just over a month ago I was enjoying seeing Mike Peters in Big Country,
now he's back in his band. By the time Mike Peters and the rest of the
band took to the stage the place was packed.
has kept the Alarm spirit going, being the sole remaining original
member, helped greatly by such a large and loyal fanbase. The band's
line-up features long time bassist Craig Adams (Sisters Of Mercy/The
Mission), Mark Taylor - no, not GRTR!s Mr Taylor - on keyboards (Simple
Minds), James Stevenson on guitar (Gene Loves Jezebel/Generation X) and
Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard on drums (Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros). The band
are celebrating their 30th anniversary so tonight's setlist features the
80's classics plus some laterday standards.
Starting off on acoustic guitars we get 'Sold Me Down The River', the
blissful 'Rain In The Summertime' and 'Strength'.
single 'Break The Promise' goes down well - the single features over
2,000 fans recorded as part of the Alarm choir. Tonight's audience make
a good effort to replicate that choir. 'Superchannel' and '45 RPM' are
two more modern songs, both with a frantic edge and go down well with
the crowd. Those at the front spending much of the night pogoing along
to the songs.
'Marchin' On', 'Blaze Of Glory' (complete with football like chanting
from the audience) 'Drunk and Disorderly' and 'Where Were You Hiding?'
keep the tempo running along nicely and by the time we reach '68 Guns'
the whole place is bouncing away.
A nice touch
on the encores is a fan joins the band onstage for 'Love Hope Strength'.
The chosen fan is one who has raised or bid the most for spot and all
proceeds go to the cancer charity Mike Peters founded.
encore of 'Spirit Of '76' we get a real treat as former Sex Pistol Glen
Matlock (he has played with Mike Peters before in Dead Men Walking)
joins the band for 'Pretty Vacant' and the show closer, a cover of Neil
Young's 'Rockin' In The Free World'. What a storming way to end a
The band are
on top form and in Mike Peters you have a frontman with more musical
passion and energy than someone half his age. Do yourself a favour and
go see The Alarm as they are one of the best live bands around.