Many people, including friends of mine always thought The Alarm would continue without their main vocalist after that fateful night at Brixton in 91. I always felt MP was the main artery of the band. That in no way puts any of the other 3 players contributions in the shade however history as since proven that without him The Alarm were like a football team minus their goalscorer. It has been said by many that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and that is true of the alarm and whatever the things that were said between the band the fact remains, however small the commercial success has been subsequently MP has kept true to his vision and still remains an impressive musician and an honest man. At the time of writing (May 98) he has released three solo albums, ‘Breathe’, ‘Feel Free’ and very recently ‘Rise’. Along the way there has been an acoustic outakes version of the first solo effort, a re-recording of several Alarm rare and b-side tracks called ‘Second Generation’ and a double barreled full acoustic re-recording of all the Alarm songs he had a writing credit on simply titled ‘Red & Blue’. Each and every one of these recordings sees MP taking steps forward musically, sonically, personally and along the way he manages to try and explain his feelings at the time. Most obvious and publicized of these was "Feel Free" which was recorded immediately after he had been given the medical all clear after fearing he had a rare form of throat cancer. One of the best 3 minutes of music in my opinion he has EVER wrote "Regeneration" chronicles this fact clearly, even in the title.

The most recent release is perhaps his finest though like the others it appears it will be overlooked my the critics, the media and the public alike. "Rise" is an awesome album period. It is so representative of music in 1998 yet it manages to pay lip service to some of the great music that has always influenced him along the road too. "Wasting Land" for me is the standout track but they belies my personal musical heritage as the song strongly draws on the new wave of the late 70’s, specifically The Jam but still sounds new. Containing possibly some of the most pertinent lyrics of his career "I drink the poison of the working classes down, if life was an ocean I would drown" the song is a masterpiece and like the majority of his output over the last fifteen years it deserves a much wider audience.

This bemoaned fact brings up to date with the time of writing. Mike has recently entered into what is starting to become a solid music writing partnership with his good friend Billy Duffy (formerly of The Cult) These two guys with backing from Craig Adams (ex mission & cult) on the bass and John Donnelley (Saw Doctors) on the drums look destined for great things. Drawing from their vast musical heritage and experience they can only go up and up. With their brand of traditional rock n roll that would blow the hind legs of a donkey success surely beckons, particularly in The States where this brand of music surely has its greatest pull. MP’s vocals step up a notch to spar with Billy’s original guitar. Although they only have four gigs currently under their belt, the inaugural one being at this years Gathering followed by a mini US tour of SXSW festival in Austin Texas, The Viper Room in LA and The Mercury Lounge in New York the signs are looking positive. They have just finished recording a demo and if the bootlegs of the just mentioned shows are anthing to go by the demo surely will lead to a deal and a proper tour. As the current closing live track screams from the rafters...... "I’m Aaaaaaaallllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiiive !!"

You certainly are Mike and the world is better place for it.

Simmo 4th May 1998