Sunday, 25 March 2012

Mike Returns To "The Village"!

Mike Peters will be playing at the Hercules Hall in Portmeirion this week on Wednesday 28th March as special guest of Simon Townshend. Tickets are extremely limited as the intimate gig has only 120 tickets in total and promises to be quite special. This historic setting may be best remembered (especially by me!) as being the location of the brilliant 60s cult TV show "The Prisoner" and you can even stay there in specially priced hotel and concert packages available direct from the PORTMEIRION SITE (click to visit).

Let us know if you are lucky enough to see this gig or would like to review it for the site! "We want information, information...."!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Mission announce UK dates

After a weekend of speculation The Mission have confirmed UK dates for September and what's more it's a triple headliner affair! The Cult take main headline honours with The Mission and Killing Joke completing an amazingly strong bill...we saw Killing Joke on their current tour and can tell you this is one gig not to be missed!

The dates are....

11th September Metro Radio Arena NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
12th September Motorpoint Arena SHEFFIELD
14th September M.E.N. Arena MANCHESTER
15th September LG Arena BIRMINGHAM
16th September Wembley Arena LONDON

Tickets are available from 23rd March from and are available a day earlier for Live Nation members.

New festival date for Big Country

Big Country are one of the first bands to be confirmed for the SOLFEST which takes place in Cumbria at the end of August. The band will headline the last night of the festival on Sunday 26th August at the Tarnside Farm site, Tarns, Near Aspatria. Other acts already confirmed are Adam Ant, KT Tunstall, Billy Bragg, The South (former members of The Beautiful South lead by Dave Hemingway), The Duke Spirit, Seth Lakeman and the ever popular Bootleg Beatles. All in all that's a pretty serious line up and it's just the tip of the iceberg!

Early bird tickets are available online soon but are available by phone now priced at £85 this is at a discount of £10 to the standard price. For further details check out the Festivals website at

Tickets are available to order HERE

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Big Country warm up shows

The warm up shows for the Isle Of Wight Festival that we reported yesterday have now been confirmed as the 3 consecutive nights running up to the bands appearance on Saturday 23rd June. They will play at the O2 Academy LEICESTER on the 20th, the O2 Academy OXFORD on the 21st then The Forum HATFIELD on the 22nd. Tickets can be purchased from the Big Country website or Ticketweb.
Support on these shows is Sadie & The Hotheads who of course feature Elizabeth McGovern who will be appearing with both bands at the Isle Of Wight.



Archive ready new album

From the Archive Tumblr page
Archive have ended speculation regarding the much anticipated new album by announcing that it is now completed and fully mastered. All that remains is the promotion and artwork and we will update you as news of release dates etc come in!

Big Country confirmed for Isle Of Wight festival

The announcement that many were expecting has been confirmed. Big Country will play the Isle Of Wight Festival appearing on the main stage on Saturday 23rd June and will also feature a guest appearance from the actress Elizabeth McGovern. McGovern has appeared in various films but is probably best known for her current role in the TV series Downton Abbey and will also be appearing on the festivals Garden Stage fronting her own band Sadie And The Hotheads.

There will be 3 warm up dates that were announced on the Big Country twitter feed last night, although no dates have been confirmed the locations have been given as Leicester, Oxford and Hatfield. The press release also confirmed that a new album is due this year.

Tickets for the Isle Of Wight Festival are on sale now and can be ordered from the official website along with further information. Get your tickets HERE

Monday, 12 March 2012

Archive - Controlling Crowds (Parts 1-3) Review

Archive remain largely undiscovered in the UK despite the rest of Europe having taken the band to their hearts. Connected to The Alarm via the presence of Smiley on drums and Steve Harris on guitar (who played with the band at this years Gathering) it is about time you discovered this fantastic band for yourself.

From the earlier "trip-hop" days to the latter full blown modern prog they continue to release albums to critical acclaim, here to introduce those not familiar with Archive is Joff's review of the bands 2009 album "Controlling Crowds (Parts 1-3)".

Not many albums these days really stand out yet alone be considered as classic, but this one does both! The genre free Archive have made some stunning albums over the years but "Controlling Crowds (Parts 1-3)" may well be their masterpiece. The band are so often classed as being a trip hop act but nothing is further from the truth, sure there are some electronic drum loops that wouldn't be out of place on a Massive Attack release, but it is Smileys drumming that gives the sound more depth and feeling. Indeed on songs such as the title track "Controlling Crowds" it gives a deeper experience taking the songs to a whole different level and providing the album with an extremely "meaty" sound.

"Controlling Crowds" is a touching experience completed by it's haunting vocals and atmosphere. There is no need to highlight any stand out track as this album needs to be listened to as a whole, every single note is needed and nothing goes to waste. The importance that the guitar of Steve Harris contributes is sometimes overlooked as the synths and keys of Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths are very prominent thoughout the album but it is Steve's guitar that is essential as it bonds the tracks together and brings the whole experience to life.

Archive do not sit well in any one genre which may be why they remain so little known in the UK where everything must have it's own little box. Some bands produce music that doesn't want to be compartmentalised, it is what it is and that's how it is meant to be, this is where you will find "Controlling Crowds". If you need to picture this is terms of other bands then I would say it would appeal to fans of How To Destroy Angels, Gary Numan, Porcupine Tree, No-Man, latter day Marillion and even elements of Pink Floyd.

If you want an album that will pull you in with every note then I recommend putting "Controlling Crowds (Part 1-3)" on and when it has finished press play again...and again....and again! After that experience then it is time to explore the bands follow up album "Controlling Crowds (Part 4)"!

Friday, 9 March 2012

New beanie hat hits the store!

A new beanie with the 2012 "wings" design has been made available in the Alarm store...a great way to show your support and keep your head and ears warm at the same time! Very nicely priced at £10!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Mission announce European dates

The Mission have announced their first European dates of 2012. June 6th sees the band play in Budapest, Hungary while the following night will be in Prague in the Czech Republic. More dates as we get them folks!

6th June Budapest, Hungary
7th June Prague, Czech Republic

Set List from the Gary Speed Memorial Concert

Photo M.P.O.
In case you were wondering what Mike played last week at the Cardiff Gary Speed Memorial concert/match he played a 3 song set featuring....

New South Wales
Bells Of Rhymney
Can't Take My Eyes Off You

The Memorial saw Wales play for the first time since the death of their Manager last year with the team being lead out by Gary's sons Tom and Ed. Costa Rica won 1 - 0 but despite this disappointment for the home fans the game still raised lots of money for worthwhile charities that were chosen by Gary's family.