Monday, 2 January 2017

The Original Members of The Alarm Supporting The Bowel Cancer CharityBook

One of my ambitions when I started doing the book was to try and photograph the four members in the original line-up of The Alarm, Mike Peters, Eddie MacDonald, Nigel Twist and Dave Sharp. This was never going to be an easy challenge especially with Twist living in the United States. I knew it would be virtually impossible to get the band back together in the same room, as they hadn't appeared together on stage since the Bands Reunited concert back in 2003. I set about contacting them and seeing if I could meet and photograph them. Over the course of 12 months I completed this task, and it is one of my proudest achievements in the book. I will explain why these meetings account for three chapters and not four.

The first member I approached was Eddie, and I was delighted when he immediately came back with a yes. It took some time for us to arrange a meeting, but fate was on my side as he was seeing Twist in London while Twist was over for a rare visit from the States. I met them close to Oxford Street and it was a fascinating experience. It was also the 11th anniversary of the Bands Reunited performance at The Scala. Eddie has been a terrific supporter of the project and last year he sent me a photo of himself with his copy of the book.

Going to watch Mike in concert each January at The Gathering and on his UK tours gave me me the potential for photographing him. His wife Jules said it would be no problem doing a photograph with him, so it was a case of trying to sort out where and when. I ended up doing the photo at Abbey Road, where I took part in The Scriptures recording sessions. It was an amazing day and I got some brilliant photos. I managed to photograph Mike with his copy of the book when The Alarm supported The Stranglers in Reading last year.

As I neared completing the book I still hadn't managed to make contact with Dave. I was going to see him play at Winchester, so I made one final attempt to contact him the week before the gig, and fortune was smiling on me as Dave messaged me saying he would be happy to meet me. This was another great experience as I got to see the sound-check before meeting and photographing him.

Like many fans of The Alarm I have followed the band for over 30 years, and I have some wonderful memories. This experience probably tops the lot, well maybe except for the very first time I saw the band at The Marquee in 1983.

On August 29th, 2016 my Mum lost her 4 year battle with bowel cancer. She fought this awful illness with great courage and dignity throughout. She never complained and bounced back from each operation and round of treatment she had. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if diagnosed early. Not only is the book raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer, but it is also helping to raise awareness. Please support me in this fundraising venture. To see how you can order the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity click here. Over £3250 raised so far, with particularly amazing support from fans of The Alarm.

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