As anticipation builds for the Gathering & the launch of the 4th Smiley solo release "Smiley's Friends Eclectic" an episodic interview is being made available on YouTube with part 1 posted today. Check it out and keep your eye open for the next part..... see you all for the album launch at G25!
LHS UK lead volunteer Lydia Franklin's second book "Racing The Phoenix" is now available in both physical and kindle editions from Amazon. The book covers the fundraising journey that Lydia undertook earlier this year cycling solo from North To South New Zealand and "it is also a story about Love Hope and Strength, the places it leads you and the people you meet along the way. Ultimately however, it is a story about life and how we must make the most of every opportunity we have." Foreword by Jules Jones Peters.
James is the second Alarm band member to confirm they will be taking part in Tim Darvell's new charity book. James joins Smiley in the upcoming book that will raise money to combat bowel cancer (see previous post). More news to follow!
Many of you will know Tim Darvell who has been raising funds to help combat bowel cancer through his "Lives & Times" charity book which featured all members of the original Alarm and was published last year. Sadly Jennifer, Tims mother, who had been diagnosed with the disease in 2012, passed away peacefully in her sleep on August the 29th with her family by her side. Tim has sworn to continue his fight and honour his mothers memory and has already started gathering the people that will feature in the next volume of his book series. The first Alarm connection to be announced is the inclusion of Smiley...whether any more Alarm members past or present will be featured you will have to keep an eye out for announcements from Tim. Information and his previous books can be found at www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk Our thoughts are with Tim and his family at this time.
Ian Wilson is currently writing a book about his time in the music industry and the early years of The Alarm. Mike & Eddie have already agreed to help and Ian is hopeful for the participation of both Dave and Nigel, so fingers crossed! BUT......he needs YOUR help too! He would love to hear from you if you saw the band between 1981-1983 especially if you caught any of the U2 "War" tour gigs in the US in '83. So if you have a story to tell, pictures to share or anything of interest please get in touch with Ian at the following email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
We all know that Smiley shares his immense drumming skills with a wide range of bands and projects and sometimes it's hard to be able to get hold of some of these recordings as they are direct from the bands themselves etc. In April the 3 track self titled EP by Spiderfence hit the virtual shelves of Bandcamp and it features Smiley on 2 songs. The other thing about Spiderfence that will mean a lot to many Alarm fans is it is the brainchild of Randy Kerkman (guitar & vocals) who many will know from attending the Gathering which is another good reason to support this project. Bass duties come from Scott Kerr from the punk ska band Five Iron Frenzy and Randy tags their style as alternative gothpop while also name checking the Psychedelic Furs. I can certainly hear those influences and more and would recommend you check it out for yourselves, it's a very good EP!
The whole 3 track EP is available to stream or to buy by clicking HERE for only $3, that's pretty good even in these post Brexit exchange rate days!
Now the successful Pledge campaign is drawing to a close Smalltown Glory have launched their new website which contains info on the band, photos, videos, a blog and a web store. For those that missed the Pledge version of "The Tenement Commandments Vol. 1" EP it is available in the store alongside T-Shirts and a band print. Check it out and add it to your favourites HERE! (or click on the link on the right side of this site!)
Alarm fan Tim Darvell has released "Lives & Times" a portrait photographic charity book raising money and awareness for Bowel Cancer charities, the reason this is of particular interest here is that it features Mike, Dave Sharp, Eddie MacDonald, Nigel "Twist" and Smiley. So over to Tim for a bit more info.... "I have been fundraising for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity since my Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She had successful surgery to remove part of her bowel but over the last four years the cancer has spread. She has had three lung operations to remove cancerous nodules. Just before Christmas the cancer spread to her brain so she underwent "Cyberknife" treatment. We will know in a month or two how successful that has been. Next week she will have the fourth operation on her left lung when they will remove the lower lob as more nodules have appeared. When I decided to start the book a couple of years ago I wondered if it would be possible to meet the members of my favourite band, The Alarm. The first member I approached was Eddie and he got things started with an immediate yes. He then arranged for me to meet him and Nige when Nige was over from the States at the end of 2014. I photographed Mike & Jules at The Scriptures recording sessions at Abbey Road. Jules was very helpful in making that happen. I had just about given up on getting Dave but right at the death he came through and I had a great meeting with him before his gig at Winchester last year. Smiley appears in two chapters as not only was he in the Mike Peters chapter but I also got to photograph From The Jam in Reading when he was drumming for them. The book took me 18 months to complete and all the proceeds I receive from sales are donated to the charity. To date it has raised about £875. I have had some fantastic support from fellow Alarm fans buying the book. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK." You can choose your preferred format and order the book by clicking HERE!
Steve Grantley's RT-Zed web site has had a rather nice face lift. Steve has also revealed that a follow up to "Zed Hed" is under way promising "to take the electronica of "Return To Zero" and combine it with the more organic "Zed Hed" plus adding a Dub element..." That's definitely going to be one to look out for and in the meantime make sure you check out the new site rtzed.com