The past seven (7) days have been absolutely crazy and while there has been no time to write I could not, in could conscience, allow the sun to set on the week without the Flashback.
The alt-rock explosion that emanated from across the Big Pond back in the day was spearheaded by a number of different bands with just as many different sounds. We could debate the merits of the Liverpool versus the London versus the Manchester sound until we were blue in the face. We might even find ourselves coming to blows like a couple of rowdy Hooligans at a soccer match but in the end the only thing that would be accomplished would be…well…nothing. So let’s elevate things to the country level then, shall we? It is my contention that if we are talking the UK here, and we are, the top (4) alternative band from the ’80s would be, in my humble but accurate opinion, Big Country (Scotland), U2 (Ireland), The Clash (England) and the band feature above…The Alarm from Wales–North Wales to be exact.
From their humble beginnings in 1977 as a punk band called The Toilets (good gracious, what were they thinking) to an opening act for U2 and, eventually, a headlining band, Mike Peters, Dave Sharp, Eddie MacDonald and Nigel Twist drew inspiration from their Welsh culture and channeled it into their music. Wrought with raw emotion, The Alarm’s big sound (and hair for that matter) cemented their place at the table and while the original band has been broken up for some time now, it’s hard to argue their impact on alternative music.
“Rain in the Summertime” was released in 1987 on Eye of the Hurricane (IRS Records) and also featured a couple of other Alarm classics, namely “Rescue Me” and “One Step Closer to Home.” Three (3) great songs on what would be a very strong follow up to 1984’s Declaration and 1985’s Strength. For ten (10) years these cats poured it on with classic after classic…“Sold Me Down a River”, “Love Don’t Come Easy”, “Blaze of Glory” and the timeless anthem “68 Guns.”
It was all going so well until Peters announced he was leaving the band during a performance at Brixton Academy. The crowd was stunned and his bandmates shocked. What was he thinking? I’m sure I don’t know but what I do know this; “I love to feel the rain in the summer time…”