Mike Peters // The Caves Edinburgh // Photograph by James Edmond
Mike Peters returns to Scotland’s capital, playing in the city’s old town, in a quaint little venue with arched roof and sandstone walls. The packed venue was eagerly anticipating the return of The Alarm frontman, in the packed venue you could feel the atmosphere building, all around the energy was creating a unique warming buzz inside the old building. The stage was lite with a warm blue and pink glow, the stage hosting the wonderful spiritual backdrop, fronted by one-amp, small bass and snare drum which has various harmonicas laying on top.
The hurricane of change tour celebrates the work of The Alarm’s albums Eye of the Hurricane, Change and Electric Folklore. This was not the album played through their original concept but through a personal journey of Mike Peters.
As the lights dimmed it was time to welcome Mike Peters to the stage, who has split the set in to three sections, Upstream, Downstream and the third act, as Mike acknowledged the packed venue he opened the Downstream section of the show with a brilliant version of “A New South Wales”, followed spine chilling version of “Newtown Jericho”. It was remarkable to hear these versions of the songs, giving them a different light with out losing anything from the original songs.
Mike seemed to be enjoying the journey as much as the audience, going back to the classics and delivering them to a new generation. This is pretty much in the same light as Bob Dylan has done over the years. The one-man band show was full of passion, energy and plenty of crowd singing along, playing “Shelter”, “Only Love can Set Me Free “and “Presence of Love”. The Downstream set finished off with two classics remastered to suit the night in “One Step Closer To Home” and the excellent “Elders and Folklore” to finish, Mike departs the stage having played just over 55 minutes, the lights go up and it was time for a short break.
The atmosphere outside and inside the venue was of excitement, people chatting to others about how fresh the songs sounded, and how much they were looking forward to the second half of the show Upstream. The 15 minute break seemed longer than it was, then the lights went down in the venue and Mike returned to the stage to perform songs from the “Change” album.
The Upstream section opened with “Where a Town Once Stood”, “New Frontiers”, “Hardland” these were played with the new arrangement that didn’t take away from their original sound, just gave them a fresh and more emotional presence. The sing a long was emphasised at the chorus on many of the songs, just with the added details and arrangements, the audience were loving every minute of the performance and after reading about all the sold out shows in England, you can see why. Mike is on top form and performing to the highest standard delivering a musical journey through the period of the three albums and making it present in today’s world.
The set continued with classic songs from Change album including B-sides and fans favourites “How The Mighty Fall”, “Scarlet”, “Devolution Working Man Blues” and “Love Don’t Come Easy”, time was getting on and the Upstream part of the set was drawing to a close, finishing up with “The Rock”, “Rivers to Cross” and “A New Day”. The wow factor was there on the faces of the Edinburgh audience as Mike was leaving the stage before returning for Act Three (Encore) featuring fans favourite including “Strength”, “Spirit Of 76” & “Blaze of Glory”, now it was time for the audience requests before closing the show.
Tonight’s show was a journey back in time, to visit these three albums “Eye of the Hurricane”, “Change” & “Electric Folklore” and bringing them out in 2019 with different arrangements and making them feel new. This amazing work from Mike Peters to take old songs, change them around and make them feel fresh and represent today’s world. Watch out for the “Hurricane of Change Tour” at a venue close to you and if not sold out, go out there and take in this journey you won’t be disappointed, you will be left amazed with the performance from The Alarm front man Mike Peters.