"Will Never Die"…. are the three words of intent from Mike Peters and The Alarm's 'Sixty Eight Guns' evergreen 1983 hit single which was at the centre of the band's worldwide smash hit album 'Declaration' which will celebrate it's 30th anniversary in 2014.
A unique one man band 'Alarm' tour by lead singer and songwriter Mike Peters will present the album in a contemporary setting with performance, stories and images to highlight the impact this album had on the decade it was born in and it's ongoing relevance as Mike Peters continues his personal fight against cancer with the Love Hope Strength cancer charity 'Saving lives - One Concert At A Time'.
Upon release in February 1984, Declaration debuted at number 6 in the UK charts, achieving gold record status before becoming a top 40 hit in the USA. The Alarm's sound was powered by unique electro-acoustic guitars that no one had seen before, at the time prompting Rolling Stone Magazine to write "One of the best new live bands..., and they've put a lot of that power into their first album".
The album itself, was a pioneering mix of protest punk, folk, americana and stadium rock as described by US reviewer Jim Connely in 1984's Dead Air Diary "While a lot of bands have tried to combine the '60s and '70s, none of them have been as successful as The Alarm. Musically, their secret is that they draw on Punk and then temper it with an acoustic sound while avoiding the wimpiness usually associated with folk. Lyrically, it works because they avoid Punk nihilism and concentrate more on positive personal politics. This is rock and roll at its very finest and U2, R.E.M. and the rest are going to have to work very hard to top it".
Two-time cancer survivor Mike Peters is emerging as one of the most visible advocates and activists for those living with and beating cancer around the world.
Over the past three years, his Love Hope Strength organization has found over 600 bone marrow donor and peripheral blood stem cell matches; built the first ever children’s cancer center in Tanzania; supported the Bhaktapur Cancer Center in Nepal with life saving equipment; and registered over 40,000 new donors through it’s Get On the List! program in the USA. More than 9,000 international recording artists including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Frank Turner and The Levellers now support the charity by holding marrow and blood stem cell registries at their concerts.
Although Peters is once again facing the illness, he recently performed for 3 months across the USA with his other adopted band Big Country. Peters is meeting with politicians, filming his second documentary, climbing mountains, performing at shows where donors are being registered, all whilst undergoing chemotherapy. Ultimately, Peters may indeed need his own marrow donor.
The idea to climb mountains and perform concerts came when Mike was in the hospital in Wales going through his second battle with cancer. Peters said, "I could see Mt. Snowdon from my hospital window and thought to myself, 'When I recover, I'm going to march up that mountain as my symbolic climb back from cancer and raise money with my fans to support the cancer center and nurses that helped save my life.'"
After much petitioning by Peters and LHSF (in partnership with Delete Blood Cancer UK), for the first-time ever, Members of Parliament in the House of Commons had their cheeks swabbed inside Parliament. The symbolic drive illustrated the launch of the first cotton swab testing program, previously only available via blood donation, and an increase in eligible donor age limits from 30 to 55. "Half the people in Britain who need a lifesaving blood stem cell donor do not ever find a match and this initiative will open the registry to millions of new potential donors. Adding donors from the UK and US will not only save Brits and Americans but can save individuals from around the world" says Peters.
Since founding Love Hope Strength in 2007. Mike Peters has taken this message around the world, performing concerts atop some of the world's highest mountains such as Mt. Everest (chronicled in the documentary Everest Rocks), Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, Mt Fuji, Pike's Peak, Mt. Snowdon, Ben Nevis and more.
"Thousands of people from around the world die every year simply because they can't find a match. The match is out there for everyone; they just have not been found. That is our life mission - seeing that everyone that needs a donor has one. It's that simple! Equally simple is the process - a simple cotton swab of the cheek - to get on the registry. In most cases, it is similar to donating platelets or plasma, but most don't know this and it is our job to get the message out to as many people as possible," said Peters.
Founded in 2007, Love Hope Strength Foundation is a UK and US based foundation saving lives through hosting a bone marrow peripheral blood stem cell international registry and fundraising campaigns to establish cancer treatment facilities in underdeveloped areas around the globe. Over the past 3 years, LHS has conducted drives at 900 concerts and festivals each year (Isle of Wight, Beautiful Days, Rewind, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Bumbershoot, Lollapalooza), and have enlisted top recording artists such as Robert Plant, Frank Turner, The Levellers and many more.
Thirty years on from the release of the album that brought Mike Peters and The Alarm to the attention of the world, Mike is still challenging that same audience through the outreach of his music and charitable actions and literally living out the words that open the Declaration album 'Take this song of freedom, put it on and arm yourself for the fight, our hearts must have the courage to keep on marching on and on".
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