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THE ALARM
Manchester Academy

24.06.06

 

(review n pix by roger subway)

 

 

Picture the scene: I was in Denbigh, lying on a young lady's bathroom floor, half wedged under her bath trying to stop a leak that was threatening to bring down her kitchen ceiling when the phone rang for the 300th time that day (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, 200 tops!) The job wasn't going fantastically well bearing in mind Iím an electrician and not a plumber but let's face it, Iíll do almost anything for money!!

 

   Anyway, back to the phone call. Far from being another emergency call it was actually Steve Sync with the welcome news that Martin Wilding (The Alarmís Sound Engineer and ex member of Sons Of Selina) had got us a couple of tickets to see The Alarm that night (much appreciated by the way Martin!) and would I like to accompany him? Damn right I would was the reply and it only took about 30 seconds for Steve to admit he just needed someone to drive him there and he knew I was on call so I couldn't drink! But what the hell, he gets the tickets, I supply the transport... fair deal I suppose!

 

   We got to the venue and headed straight to the student union bar and were delighted to see a huge tv screen with the Argentina v Mexico game just kicking off. Live bands and football, what could be better. All we needed now were naked women wrestling in banana yoghurt and a pint of Pimms and this could have been the perfect evening!!

 

   We completely missed the first support act and only saw a few minutes of the second, the Salford Jets. I must admit I hadn't heard of them before but they had a brief foray into the charts in mid 1980 with the single 'Who you looking at?' then disappeared from the charts never to be seen there again. Unfortunately Steve ran out of beer so we made our way back down to the bar to watch more footy!

 

   We headed back upstairs at 9 and couldn't quite believe the amount of people piling into the room, surely they couldn't all fit in .. the laws of physics seemed to cease at the doorway! We joined the throng who were in fine voice before the band had even taken to the stage!

 

   Soon after, the familiar opening bars to Frankie goes to Hollywood's 'Two Tribes' blasted out as Mike and the boys took to the stage. They opened with 'Superchannel' followed by 'Absolute Reality'. Old and new side by side and going down equally well with the enthusiastic audience. (I say audience but in truth at Alarm concerts ever since the first time we saw them in 1984 the crowd have been more an extension of the band!) Mike then made the announcement that his Leukaemia was in complete remission and all I can say is it was a damn good thing the roof was nailed down securely because that announcement nearly took it off!! Fittingly the song 'Without a Fight' followed.

 

   The set list went on to include 'Something's Got To Give', Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke', Right Back Where I Started From', 'I Never Left I Only Went Away', 'Raindown', 'Coming Home', It's Alright/It's Ok', the classic 'Rain In The Summertime', 'This Is The Way We Are', 'Deeside', 'Be Still', 'Sold Me Down The River', 'Cease And Desist', 'The Drunk And The Disorderly' once again dedicated to the late great Stuart Adamson, 'My Town', 'Rescue Me', '45 Rpm' And 'Sixty Eight Guns'. Never ones to leave the fans shouting in vain for more, the encore started with 'Unsafe Building' and 'Spirit of 76' after which Mike welcomed Dave Sharp to the stage and luckily he brought his guitar! He then joined Mike, James, Craig and Steve for 'Declaration' and 'Marching On' and the ultimate Alarm singalong 'Blaze of Glory'.

 

   All in all another superb Alarm concert (is there any other kind I hear you ask!) You may leave an Alarm gig exhausted but you'll never leave disappointed!!

 

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