Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Peters relives punk beginnings during Alarm set in Seattle

Mike Peters of the Alarm in Seattle. (All Andy photos)

By Andy

Mike Peters grinned, raised one hand and informed the crowd that he was about to tell his Sex Pistols story.

The Welshman and leader of the Alarm had probably held court with others a zillion times and excitedly recounted his experience in Chester, UK in 1976, but he was going at it again with a first-time zeal that dragged you right back there with him.

After seeing the Pistols literally destroy the place with their tunes and bravado, Peters — then about 17 years old — shyly approached Johnny Rotten and inquired about anarchy. Peters said that Rotten whirled toward him and barked, “Fuck off!”

Laughter ensued during Tuesday’s night early set at the Triple Door in Seattle.

Peters then launched into a stirring mini version of “Anarchy in the UK” on acoustic guitar, afterward mentioning that not long after his Pistols run-in, he and his mates formed their first punk band, The Toilets.

And then came the Alarm’s epic anthem, “Spirit of ’76,” which was just part of the band’s rousing 1-hour, 45-minute set that featured all the hits off their ‘80s albums, plus the poignant lead track off their debut single, "Unsafe Building," and the later Alarm ripper, "45 RPM."

Peters is the only original member on tap these days — alongside guitarist/bassist and punk mainstay James Stevenson and drummer Paul Davis (Peters’ wife Jules handled keyboards on a few songs) — and the tunes remain as mammoth and meaningful as ever.

PS: I hadn't seen Peters play Alarm songs with a band since 1989, so it was good to watch him belt out these classics again. I witnessed the original foursome in action many times from '86-'89, including the epic "Spirit of '86" UCLA show. Cheers.

They didn't play "Superchannel" or "Two Rivers." (From Jules Jones Peters' Facebook page)

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