The Alarm





THE ALARM live. Gaze and the frame freezes into a gaudy, dust speckled canvas. An old boxing painting. Sluggers with knee-length shorts. Smell of sweat and rough tobacco. Muscles in permanent state of flex. Fists forever raised. Cries of "Hey-ay-ay" from the crowd.

I hadn't seen the Alarm for some time. About a year ago was the last occasion. The first had been a year before that. By dint of their cynicism lacking' freshness, those far off occasions offered something exciting and positive. The Alarm were a thrilling antidote to the prevailing blandness, although still a long way from being a total remedy.

Against their optimism all else paled. Yet they rode that attribute with a wide-open naiveté. You could see clear through to to the pitfalls waiting ahead. The future would be a tricky business.

The last time I saw them I was haunted by that opening image. The heroics wore paramount. As the fists gaily punched at the empty air, the guitars were held aloft in some tragic salute to pithless, pointless nostalgia. And it rained applause.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

© mick sinclair

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