The Alarm – The Garage Glasgow – 2nd April 2022
A mild night in Glasgow as the buzzing Sauchiehall Street filled with weekend shoppers were making their way home, the queue began forming outside the Garage venue to see The Alarm, only 100 yards away from where they opened for U2 on the War tour at Tiffany’s in 1983. Tonight, it’s different, as the band play the venue to mark their 40th Anniversary tour.
Early start at the venue, with the doors opening as founder member Dave Sharp takes to the stage to treat the fans to songs from his 2 solo albums Hard Travellin and Downtown America. He played a short but mixed set including great versions of Last Smillin Villain, Downtown America and a beautiful version of Hard Travellin. Dave chats to the Glasgow audience about how special it is to be back on the road and back in Glasgow, as it is a special place. He delighted the audience with old Alarm favourite from him One Step Closer to Home with no encouragement needed as the Glasgow crowd sang along word for word. You could see he was enjoying the set and as he changed guitar, he performed a song last heard in the Barrowland Ballroom from him, the excellent Tell Me from the Declaration album. As Dave said his goodbyes the Glasgow crowd were buzzing after a great opening support from Dave Sharp.
As the lights went down and strobe affect lighting up the stage it was time for The Alarm, as the band appeared from the side of the stage they were greeted to an amazing welcome from the Glasgow audience. As the band played the opening chords to Protect and Survive, Mike Peters greeted his following at all sides of the stage. The band featuring Smiley, James Stevenson and Jules Jones settled in their positions to what is set to be an amazing night of music from The Alarm.
The opening tracks from the band really set the venue alight with Absolute Reality and the excellent 45 rpm, the atmosphere in the venue was electric, this was going to be a special night, the band on top form, the opening chords of fan favourite Rain in the Summertime had the crowd in full voice, before delivering a powerful cover of Massive Attack song Safe From Harm. New songs from the latest albums mixed well within the set including the powerful Two Rivers. The band left the stage, leaving Mike with his acoustic guitar in hand to perform a The Chant and What Kind of Hell before a brilliant version of In the Poppy Fields. As the band returned, they performed fans favourites including Deeside, The Stand, The Deceiver and Marching On.
It was time for the band to bring out the big guns now with songs going back nearly 40 years still sounding as passionate as they did back in the day, working through an amazing back catalogue, performing For Freedom, Unsafe Building, Knife Edge, Spirit of 68 and the brilliant Spirit of 76, Mike had the Glasgow audience in his hands. The band on a different level tonight performing each song with the same passion as it was written and delivering the power that had the fans wanting more and more. Playing a new song My Town, Glasgow’s fair city was Mike’s, as he stole the hearts of the fans with a storming performance.
As the set was coming to a close, they played Rescue Me before the echoing Blaze of Glory that had the fans hands held high as they honoured their heroes, even as the song came to an end and the band left the stage, the audience knew there was time for one more song.
The band returned to delight of the crowd, opening with the excellent Breathe that had the Glasgow audience sing the song word for word back to the Mike. You could see he was delighted and enjoying every minute of the show, performing the excellent Psalm from the bands Sigma album, before closing the set with Warriors from the War Album.
Leaving the stage, having treated their fans to a 32-song set list, covering the four decades of the band, It truly was a night of emotion for the fans as the band played the songs with pride and passion. This was a 40th Anniversary show that will be remembered for a long time to come. If you get a chance to see the band on the road during their 40th Anniversary year, go see it, you won’t be disappointed. The band did in deed leave the stage in a Blaze of Glory and will be Marching On for a long time yet.
Review by Karen Edmond