Give Me Love, Give Me Hope, Give Me Strength” – The opening words from The Alarm’s 1985 UK / US Top 40 hit song ‘Strength’ which gave its name to the band’s career best selling album that will celebrate it’s 30th anniversary in 2015.
Following on from the hugely popular ‘Declaration Tour 2014’, Mike Peters one man band ‘Alarm’ concept will present ‘Strength’ in a similar contemporary style featuring performance, stories and images to honour the legacy the album left on the decade it helped define and the continuing significance it holds for listeners who can still relate to it’s timeless themes of love, hope and strength.
The Alarm’s debut album ‘Declaration’ was powered by unique electro-acoustic guitars that by the time of the follow up ‘Strength’, had evolved into a much fuller arena rock sound that paralleled U2 and Springsteen’s E Street Band in its scope and ambition. A sound that would see The Alarm break America on a grand scale and peak with a live appearance before an audience of 26,000 fans at a concert in Los Angeles watched by millions around the world via MTV’s first ever live satellite broadcast.
Packed with powerful yet personal songs like the autobiographical ‘Spirit Of ‘76’ and ‘Walk Forever By My Side’, ‘Strength’ went on to become The Alarm’s best selling album of the 1980’s charting in the Top 40 on both sides of the Atlantic. This is The Alarm record that brings together for the first time, the aforementioned themes of love, hope and strength now so synonymous with Mike Peters and his long running battle against cancer.
Two times cancer survivor Mike Peters is fast emerging as one of the most visible advocates and activists for those living with and beating cancer around the world. Over the last four years, his Love Hope Strength Foundation has found over 1100 potentially life saving bone marrow donor matches; built the first ever children’s cancer center in Tanzania; supported the Bhaktapur Cancer Center in Nepal with life saving equipment and registered over 70,000 donors through it’s ‘Get On the List’ program. By turning rock concerts into lifesaving events, more than 10,000 international recording artists including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Frank Turner and The Levellers now support the charity by allowing bone marrow registries at their concerts.
Although Peters, is constantly fighting the illness himself (he may ultimately need a bone marrow transplant), he refuses to stop performing. Continually mixing his role as cancer advocate and musician by leading fundraising treks around the Globe and addressing delegates at the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia in December.“Thousands of people from around the world die every year simply because they can’t find a match. The match is out there for everyone; they just have not been found. That is our life mission – seeing that everyone that needs a donor has one. It’s that simple! Equally simple is the process – a simple cotton swab of the cheek – to get on the registry and then, if you are lucky enough to become a donor for someone suffering from blood cancer, the next step is a simple out patient procedure. Most people don’t know this and it is our job to get the message out to as many as possible,” says Peters.
Peters inspirational story and musical exploits to perform awareness raising concerts at altitude on mountains such as Everest and Kilimanjaro (all while undergoing bi-monthly chemotherapy sessions), will be the focus of a new documentary film ‘One Guitar’, being produced in the USA by Kaleidoscope Pictures that will be released in 2015.
The idea to climb mountains and perform concerts came when Mike was in hospital in Wales going through his second battle with cancer. Peters said, “I could see Mt. Snowdon from my hospital window and thought to myself, ‘When I recover, I’m going to hike up that mountain as my symbolic climb back from cancer and raise money with my fans to support the cancer center that helped save my life.’”
30 years on from the original release of ‘Strength’, Mike Peters still has so much to live for, After twenty years living with cancer his songs of love hope and strength have taken on greater meaning and the defiance of his words from the ‘Spirit Of ‘76’ ring truer than ever. “I will never give in until the day that I die. I’ll get myself some independence, carve out a future with my two bare hands”.
Doors Open: 7. 30pm Admission:£18 on the Door
Tickets: £15 + BF from Bristol Ticket Shop, Union Street, Bristol Tel 0117 9299008 www.bristolticketshop.co.uk