If you are craving “Sixty Eight Guns” in person, you can have it next week! The Alarm front-man, Mike Peters, will be in town playing four intimate shows and hosting a very special Walk and Talk experience.
Speaking to us from a studio in Wales, Peters was looking forward to the weekend and DJing at the club he owns with his wife, Jules. But next week, he is headed to the US, starting in Austin and then to Los Angeles. A small run of shows will give SoCal fans a chance to see Peters perform Alarm favorites like “Rescue Me,” “Absolute Reality,” “Sold Me Down the River,” “Strength,” and “Rain in the Summertime,” along with the new tracks off “Forwards.”
Peters is actually headed out way to attend the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Long Beach. “All the smartest doctors and cancer experts in the world, and me, a rocker!” he laughed. Peters said this event is very important to him and he intends to further educate himself on the changing landscape of cancer research. After decades of experience with cancer and his foundation, we feel confident he has valuable information to add as well.
The Alarm front-man could have let cancer take over his life and given up music, touring, and enjoying life. But, that’s not who Peters is. Since his Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis in 1995 to his continuing treatments for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Peters has turned the darkness of cancer into a flourishing foundation – Love Hope Strength – raising money for research and cancer awareness. Much of their work had to shut down during the pandemic (“A lot of what we do involves saliva, so…” he laughed), but the foundation is bouncing back and gaining traction again.
As for his own health, when we spoke in May, Peters was doing IV treatments every two weeks, but thankfully, that has dropped to once a month. He happily held up a letter from his doctor: “blood cell count normal.” Peters does still have daily chemotherapy medicine that is working extremely well for him, but says he is feeling great and looking forward to touring, “There are plans for shows and festivals in 2024 and even 2025,” he exclaimed.
The setbacks in his health have not stopped him musically either. In June of this year, The Alarm released “Forwards,” an album of “life-affirming song” written while Peters was in the hospital for pneumonia and a relapse of leukemia. Before the album’s release, he told us, “I took my guitar into hospital. I wasn’t intending to write songs or make a record; I just wanted to keep my fingers going and have something to keep myself company in the moments when I could sit up or not have to have an IV in.” He continued, “It became quite therapeutic, and then all of a sudden, songs started to appear out of nowhere or phrases, and then it became an album, really.”
Now that “Forwards” is out, Peters told us it feels wonderful to have it in the world and “the response has been positive across the board.” Fans are loving the new material, and the band is garnering new fans – even teenagers. “We still have photos of us from the ‘80s,” Peters joked, “so they think we are young guys!”
He also mentioned having their music appear in popular shows like “The Stand” and “13 Reasons Why” brings them new ears.
For now, the mini-tour in California includes four dates: October 18th at Canyon Club in Montclair; October 20th at Wiens Winery in Temecula; October 21st at Canyon Club in Agoura Hills; and October 22nd at the legendary Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. While they will not be “full band” shows, they will be more than acoustic thanks to all sorts of wizardry Peters has on hand: “Sometimes even I look behind me for the drummer, even though I am playing the parts in real time,” he chuckled.
Perhaps an even cooler event though; Peters is offering his Walk and Talk experience while he is in the Southland. Fans can take a musical journey with Peters, strolling from the Venice Pier to Santa Monica Pier on October 19th. Featuring acoustic performances and storytelling, this incredible opportunity is a fan favorite all over the world, and now it is our chance to partake. Peters explained, “Music is my escape to forget about cancer and live in the moment, and so too is being in nature. Taking in beautiful scenery, breathing fresh air and walking and talking with like-minded people is good for the soul.” As for holding the event in our area, Peters said, “The weather is always good in California!”
Do not pass up these personal experiences with Mike Peters, and prepare for full-on Alarm shows soon. As always, thank you Mike for taking time to chat with us, and we look “Forwards” to seeing you soon!