THE ALARM + MODERN ENGLISH + Jay Ashton’s GENE LOVES JEZEBEL – Tickets – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC – September 3rd, 2019

THE ALARM + MODERN ENGLISH + Jay Ashton's GENE LOVES JEZEBEL

Neighborhood Theatre & MaxxMusic present

THE ALARM + MODERN ENGLISH + Jay Ashton's GENE LOVES JEZEBEL

Tue 9/3

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Neighborhood Theatre

$30 adv/$35 dos

$3 Under 21 Surcharge at Door (Valid ID required for entry into venue. Under 18 permitted with parent.)

Accepted forms of ID: State Issued ID or Driver's License, Military ID, Passport.

THE ALARM
THE ALARM
The Alarm was made in Wales, UK and by the time of 1981's debut single 'Unsafe Building', featured a daring mix of amped-up acoustic guitars, harmonica and passionate vocals that invited the enduring description “Bob Dylan meets The Clash”.

This is the sound of The Alarm that has been heard around the world ever since, with 17 Top 50 UK singles, a host of successful albums and over 6 million sales worldwide, a career that has also seen founding member Mike Peters sing on stage with the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and U2.

In fact, The Alarm scored their first chart success in the USA in 1983 with 'The Stand', before flying back from America to make their first UK TV appearance on Top Of The Pops, notching up their first British chart hit with the rousing 'Sixty Eight Guns’. The hit 'Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?' was to follow in early 1984 before the release of their debut LP, ‘Declaration', which went to Number 6 on the UK chart.

The Alarm's second album, 'Strength' (the title track becoming The Alarm's first U.S. Top 40 hit), was released in 1985 and spawned the autobiographical 'Spirit of '76'. It was at this time The Alarm made history by playing the world's very first global satellite concert, live from Los Angeles. An estimated audience of 26,000 fans turned up on the day for the original ‘Spirit Of ‘86’ concert that was ultimately watched by millions around the world. The set list included all The Alarm’s greatest hits of the time such as ‘The Stand, ‘Absolute Reality, ‘Sixty Eight Guns’, ‘Strength’ and ‘Spirit Of ‘76’, songs that would see The Alarm break North America on a grand scale.

The 1987 album, 'Eye Of The Hurricane', followed with the international hit, 'Rain In The Summertime', backed by a series of world tours (including an extended US outing with Bob Dylan). The release of the band's first live mini album 'Electric Folklore', furthered The Alarm's reputation for engaging live shows.

'Change', The Alarm's fourth studio album was released in late 1989), and the band saw out the '80’s with a sell-out concert in New York City were they were joined on stage by Neil Young to perform 'Rockin' In the Freeworld'. 'Change' went on to become a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, with 'A New South Wales' reaching the UK Top 40 in 1990 and 'Sold Me Down the River' becoming a U.S. Number 1 Rock Hit.

'Raw' was the last record to feature the original line-up of the band when, in the summer of 1991, the demands of the road were at the heart of a very public swan song at London's Brixton Academy.

A decade of solo action followed with guitarist Dave Sharp releasing 'Hard Travelling' in the month after Brixton and (following a relocation to New Orleans later in 1994), a second solo album - Downtown America.

In 1992, The Alarm became one of the first bands to have a dedicated internet site www.thealarm.com when Mike Peters registered the domain and to coincide, founded ‘The Gathering’, an 'Alarm' event held in North Wales which now attracts fans from all over the world.

Throughout the rest of the nineties, Mike Peters went on to establish himself as a respected solo artist with the release of the independent long player 'Breathe' in 1994 (Number 5 on album chart), followed by 'Feel Free' (1996) and 'Rise' (1998), two records which would document Mike Peters first engagement with the cancer (Leukaemia), that has followed him throughout life ever since. The recording sessions for 'Rise' featured a guest collaboration with the then ex-The Cult guitarist Billy Duffy and in 1998 the two created a short lived band called Coloursøund which (following an appearance at SXSW), attracted widespread interest within the music industry. A headline gig at London's LA2 was seen by original Alarm bass player Eddie Macdonald and The Cult vocalist Ian Astbury. Soon after The Cult was back together and reiginiting their career by playing at the new Woodstock Festival and an album of Coloursøund demos was released retrospectively.

In 1999, Peters went on to record a fourth solo album that formed the soundtrack to the stage play - 'Flesh & Blood', the recording sessions saw Mike Peters reunite with original Alarm song writing partner Eddie Macdonald. Following this collaboration, Mike Peters and Eddie Macdonald decided to reconvene as - The Alarm (without, but with the blessing of Dave Sharp and drummer Nigel Twist). Originally billed as The Alarm MM, the reconstituted band featured Mike Peters and Eddie Macdonald, backed by members of the Mike Peters solo band, namely guitarist James Stevenson (Gen X, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cult), bass player Craig Adams (Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, The Cult) and drummer Steve Grantley (Stiff Little Fingers).

The band's first dates were with fellow Celt Rockers - Big Country but after just eight dates including a concert at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, Eddie Macdonald decided to quit, leaving Mike Peters to forge a path that would lead to the release of new Alarm music.

In 2000, 'The Alarm Complete Collection’ box set was released, bringing together The Alarm’s entire 1980's musical output into a nine-CD box set, along with a bonus ‘audio dedication’ CD personally recorded by Mike Peters.

In 2003, and in just 5 months, the 'In The Poppy Fields Bond' was written, recorded and released (via the alarm.com website). A massive five album, 59 song set, that allowed the new line up to come of age with new music of its own and ready to face the world as a creative force once again.

In late 2003, the cameras of VH1 struck and brought the original band members together to perform for the show Bands Re-United at La Scala in Kings Cross. In the aftermath, everyone once again, went their separate ways with Mike Peters taking the 'new' Alarm back to the USA for the 'The Alarm Make A Stand In The USA Tour', which involved the band playing New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles on a weekly basis over one month.

In 2004, The Alarm's first brand new single of the millennium - '45 RPM' would ultimately take their signature electro-acoustic sound into the UK top 40, into the mainstream rock culture of North America causing worldwide controversy at the same time.

'The Poppy Fields' "fake band" escapade was conceived to conceal the identity of The Alarm from a media concerned with only playing brand new bands and brand new music.

The true identity of The Alarm was eventually revealed by the BBC on Top Of The Pops and instantly triggered a rush of global media exposure, culminating in a US TV appearance on CBS Headline News with Dan Rather.

Following this unlikely success, a new record deal with EMI was signed although The Alarm's return to prominence was halted almost immediately when, in late 2005, Mike Peters was re-diagnosed with an incurable cancer (A rare B-cell form of Leukemia), forcing the band into playing select shows only, dictated by the chemotherapy / treatment regime that has kept Mike Peters alive ever since.

In January 2006, Mike Peters was given the go ahead to resume touring duties and the group continued with the release of 'Under Attack' which was bolstered by another Top 30 record in the shape of 'Superchannel' and live anthem Without A Fight'.

In that same year, Mike Peters was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Welsh Music Awards and also coming eleventh in a Welsh Assembly Government-backed poll of the top 100 Welsh heroes.

Whilst continuing with a lengthy rehabilitation program of constant chemotherapy throughout 2007, Mike Peters founded the Love Hope Strength charity which is dedicated to 'Saving Lives - One Concert At A Time’ and now firmly established as one of the world’s leading rock and roll cancer foundations with over 3,500 lives potentially saved through its 'Get On The List' program.

At the beginning of 2008, Mike Peters and The Alarm recorded an Eight EP Collection - 'The Counter Attack Collective', that gave birth to the single album 'Guerilla Tactics' that was released on the day Mike Peters performed an 'pop up' concert in New York's Times Square. The album's opening cut 'Three Sevens Clash' was released to American Rock Radio and made it's way into the top 5.

In 2010, the Direct Action album followed with the cover version of 'One Guitar', that would later be performed by Bruce Springsteen along with writer Willie Nile, and a guest appearance from Mike Peters. The 'Direct Action' tour saw the band tour North America and the U.K. only this time (following the departure of Steve Grantley to take up a full time role with Stiff Little Fingers), with new permanent drummer 'Smiley' from Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros.

The ‘Sound and the Fury’ album was released in 2011 to mark The Alarm's 30th Anniversary. The ‘Sound and the Fury’ featured re-workings of songs from all eras of the band’s history.

On New Years Eve in that same year, Mike Peters walked out onto the stage at Glasgow's ABC to take up guest vocal duties with Big Country and sing for his long time friend and original Big Country vocalist / guitarist - the late Stuart Adamson, whom Mike had met onstage while performing with U2 back in 1983.

Mike Peters continued to tour with Big Country throughout 2012/13, going so far as to record an album of original material entitled 'The Journey' that was received enthusiastically by fans and critics alike.

2013 was also the year of the cinematic release of the Alarm / Poppy Fields inspired movie - 'Vinyl' starring Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia/Blur), Keith Allen, Perry Benson and Jamie Blackley. Rreleased to British cinemas nationwide the 'Vinyl' - Soundtrack Album and Tour featured a collection of brand new Alarm music composed specifically for the film such as the movie's recurring theme song 'Free Rock And Roll' which was recorded by The Alarm with 'Vinyl' star Phil Daniels on guest vocals.

In 2014/15 respectively, The 30th Anniversary of The Alarm albums - Declaration (2014) and Strength (2015), were acknowledged with the release of newly recorded collections (including companion discs 'Peace Train' and 'Majority' respectively).

The new recordings centred on re-imagined takes of all the songs and b-sides from each period. A two year commitment to constant touring from Mike Peters, featured full length presentations of each of the albums via a unique one-one man band 'Mike Peters presents The Alarm' stage show that took Mike Peters all around the world.

In April 2014, the reworked 'Declaration' album was presented 'live' on BBC Wales with a stripped back 'acoustic / orchestral' version of The Alarm and the Welsh Symphony Orchestra. A surprise video message from all the members of U2 singing Alarm anthem 'Blaze Of Glory', went viral on the internet.

A second concert to celebrate the anniversary of the 'Strength' album took place at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff in October 2015 with The Alarm again, backed by a huge orchestra (conducted by arranger John Quirk). The event was filmed and recorded for release as Poppies Falling From The Sky', which took it's title from the moment when millions of red poppies literally fell ‘from the sky’, and down on to the unsuspecting audience during the finale.

The 'Spirit of '86 event was revisited in 2016 as 'Mike Peters presents The Alarm' concert experience returned to UCLA, (the scene of the original MTV broadcast), and performed the exact same setlist at the James Bridges Theatre. An exhaustive tour followed with The Alarm making it's first ever appearance at Glastonbury Festival.

That summer, Mike Peters wife Jules, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and tour dates had to be cancelle. The BBC filmed events surrounding the Peters family in real time and created the documentary 'Mike and Jules - While We Still Have Time', which also featured contributions from long time family friend Bono from U2.

Whilst caring for his wife during this tense time, Mike Peters poured his feelings into song and before the year came to close, took The Alarm back into the recording studio to work on the new material.

2017 opened with a 25th Anniversary Gathering event (that was recorded by the BBC for a National Television Broadcast), and two first ever Gathering events in both New York and Los Angeles. Both the US Gathering events featured guest appearances (from Billy Duffy of The Cult in L.A.), and David Bowie producer Tony Visconti joining the band in New York to perform 'Sold Me Down The River' that he had originally produced in 1989.

The US Gathering events also coincided with premiere screenings of the Mike Peters, Alarm, Love Hope Strength movie 'Man In The Camo Jacket', which received numerous awards on the American Film Festival Circuit and was also screened at the Grammy Museum in Hollywood. A vinyl edition of the movie soundtrack was released on Record Store Day with the band performing live at stores in California and with Jules Peters now in remission and on keyboards, the band joined up with the Vans Warped Tour for select US, for an 8 week 59 date coast to coast run including a special night at The Chapel, San Francisco during which the group were joined on stage by original drummer Nigel Twist.

A UK October Tour (with original Alarm guitarist Dave Sharp joining as special guest), would see The Alarm play out one of the most creative years in it’s history. A new album and tour dates are expected for 2018.
MODERN ENGLISH
MODERN ENGLISH
Modern English are an English rock band best remembered for their songs "I Melt with You," "Hands Across the Sea," and "Ink and Paper". The group disbanded for a period in 1991, but later recorded in 1995 with some new members. The original members reformed in 2009 and are currently touring with plans for a new release in 2016!

Formed in Colchester, Essex, England, in 1979 by Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowell (guitar, vocals), and Michael Conroy (bass, vocals), Modern English were originally known as The Lepers. The group expanded to "Modern English" when Richard Brown (drums) and Stephen Walker (keyboards) were subsequently added to the line-up of the band.

After a single on their own 'Limp' label in 1979, the band signed to 4AD the following year, with two further singles released, and a session for John Peel recorded before the band's debut album, Mesh & Lace, in 1981, the band in the early days showing a strong Joy Division influence. A second Peel session was recorded in October 1981. The follow-up, After The Snow (April 1982), was more keyboard-oriented and was compared to Simple Minds and Duran Duran. It was also released in the United States by Sire Records the following year, where it reached number 70 on the Billboard chart, and sold over 500,000 copies. Grey said of the album, "We used to think 'God, we'll never make a pop record. We're artists!', but things don't always turn out as you planned and when you actually create a pop record, it's so much more of a thrill than anything else". The second single from the album was also a hit in the US, the jangly "I Melt With You" reaching number 78. When he reviewed the album, Johnny Waller of Sounds described the track as "A dreamy, creamy celebration of love and lust, which deserves to be showcased on as 12" single all by itself, with no b-side", while his colleague Tony Mitchell described it as "susburban amateurism at its most unrewarding". The band relocated to New York City and worked on a third album, Ricochet Days, which again made the top 100 in the US, after which the band left 4AD and were solely signed to Sire. The single "Stop Start" (1986) was the last record Modern English record released by Sire, the band splitting up.

Grey and Conroy along with Modern English worked with This Mortal Coil before re-forming Modern English with Mick Conroy and Aaron Davidson for a new album in 1990, Pillow Lips, now on the American TVT label. The album featured a re-recorded "I Melt With You", which was released as a single, and saw the band again in the Billboard top 100. The band split up for a second time in 1991, after contractual problems with TVT, with Grey forming Engine. In 1995, with the legal issues with TVT sorted out, Engine evolved into the next incarnation of Modern English and signed to the Imago label, with Grey and Matthew Shipley (keybaords). This line-up recorded the 1996 album Everything Is Mad.

Robbie Grey toured the US with a new Modern English lineup coast to coast across the US and recorded a new album with Hugh Jones (producer of Melt With You). The songs written with guitarist Steven Walker and other memebers came together on the road and back home in London between tours , after a few years on the shelf this collection of songs was released in May 2010 called "Soundtrack", along side the reissued and remastered "Stop Start" album also released at the same time. The original members reunited & reformed in 2009 and are currently touring; planning for a new release in 2016!

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MODERN ENGLISH
Perspective by Steve Walker (Keyboards)

After the punk explosion in 76/77, Colchester’s first punk band The Lepers formed. With little success and few gigs by the tail end of 78 they were falling apart. The scene had changed and affordable synthesizers had arrived. I was working at Parrot records a small independent and was a friend/helper of the band so it was suggested that if I brought a few synth‘s it would give the band a different sound, moving away from the 2/3 chord thrash which had become old and tired. Mick and Richard had joined and a new direction was being established anyway. I was invited to join and at first just made some weird noises on a few songs which at the time kinda worked. Gradually my sounds improved and I became a full member. I believe it was Richard our drummer who came up with the name, it was from a George Orwell book it seemed very apt at the time for five young cock-sure adolescents who dreamed of leaving a dull and hum drum life for the bright lights etc...

We formed a label and released the first single Drowning Man/Silent World with financial help from Mike Marsh a local entrepreneur who believed in and briefly managed us.
The late/great John Peel played it a few times, enabling us to get some London gigs.
Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent heard it, saw us, liked us and signed us to their new record label, funded by Beggars Banquet called 4ad (though originally it was called Axis).
Swans On Glass followed by Gathering Dust were released, once again John Peel endorsed them and our first session for his show followed.

Smiles & Laughter was released next.

Our first album Mesh & Lace followed and was received well as it climbed the Indie charts.
We then shared a tour with our Essex rivals Depeche Mode as support to Wasted Youth, quickly followed by a short tour with Japan, both bands gave us loads of encouragement and our confidence was high. We did our first gigs around Europe, with good reactions in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy coming back to our first headlining dates in the U.K. Then our first gigs in the States.

Up until then we had self produced everything we had put out although we had great engineers thanks to Mike Kemp(singles) and Ken Thomas(album) and in-house sleeve designers 23 envelope cannot be excluded. A sound and a style had been created.
We now considered ourselves serious contenders. It was albums like Japan’s Quite Life, Simple Minds Sons And Fascination, Psychedelic Furs, Wire, and I would say Echo and the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here, that made us realize that we needed a producer to add that extra weight to our sound.

Enter the God-Like genius of Hugh Jones, in my humble opinion one of the finest there is.
To say we jelled would be an understatement, it was magical.
Previous recordings were rehearsed until we could record in1or 2 takes then add extra parts and overdubs. Hugh stripped us right down and re-built from the drums up. All the instruments were layered and fantastically textured. The band had never sounded so good.

Released in 1982 After The Snow, received mixed reviews and initially sold poorly, in fact it’s never really sold well in the U.K. We did get a little dispirited. However in America things started to take off. A new management team Side One East & West and great support from radio, particularly W.L.I.R. and K.R.O.C. and college stations all over.
I Melt With You was the stand out single choice, we made our first video, which received heavy rotation from the newly established M.T.V. Things started to look a whole lot better.

Back in the studio once again with Hugh the band continued to experiment with different instruments enlisting the help of many great musicians including:-Nicky Holland, String Arrangements Kate St John, Cor Anglais and Oboe Caroline Lavelle, Cello. I am still very proud of the Ricochet Days album and believe it to be a forgotten classic.

The singles and songs chosen for radio play failed to make any real impact in the States and I especially had problems recreating some of the songs live. After another lengthy American tour and some internal problems both myself and Richard Brown were dismissed from the band. There was no big fall-out, both of us just accepted it and went our separate ways. I had little or no contact with the band for the next ten years therefore I can’t really comment on the next three albums, Stop Start, Pillow Lips and Everything Is Mad.
Although I had many regrets and was at times bitter about the split, I went back to record shops managing the Beggars Banquet stores in Kingston and Putney, working with music is my passion and the years flew by. They were such great shops to work in that I gave the band little or no thought.

I attempted band management and production with True Colours releasing a single on our own label, Falling apart at the seams on Body and Soul records, before changing their name to; I Can Crawl and releasing Desert on Zinger records a subsidiary of Static records (home of other underrated bands The Chameleons, The Sound and Jeffrey Lee Pierce)enlisting Hugh Jones for production on a few tracks and Martyn Young of Colourbox helped us with the mixing. Sadly I couldn’t drum up enough interest for them and I parted company before they released a second album Lovenest.

A real shame they were a good band with loads of potential. With the dance boom of the late 80’s I started many tracks that never got finished or if I did finish them they were never released, with the exception of a track called The View by Oosh( better known as Soho who had a hit with Hippy Chic) which I re-mixed with Dj Dave Jarvis who worked with me at Beggars.

After ten years with Beggars I set-up IS Records with a partner, Ian Huckle opening two shops in Northcote Road, near Clapham Common selling new and second-hand music, we lasted six great years before the slow down of record sales became very apparent.

We closed up in 2001, I took some time out became a house hubby looking after my daughter, studied gardening and set-up in business doing that.
During the IS years I had met up with Robbie Grey a few time generally for a kick about (football) on the common and got to meet the new M.E. the other Steve Walker and Matt Shipley, there was talk about a new album and were hoping to get Hugh involved. Also I had a fair bit of contact with Mick Conroy who was keeping me informed on all things M.E. even though no longer in the band, he had spent his time playing in Stereo Lab and Moose but that had come to an end. Also Gary McDowell who now lived in Thailand was in the UK and came to my Birthday Party along with Robbie.

Anyway to cut along story short we were all back on talking terms and I began to take more interest in everything that was going on with the band, there had been quite a few cover versions of I melt with you and it had been used for some commercials and was still getting good airplay particularly in America. Then Nouvelle Vague’s version became a bit of a hit both here and the rest of Europe.It was picked up and used by T-Mobile here and suddenly the song was all over peak time T.V.

Soundtrack was recorded with Hugh Jones at the helm in 2001.I never got to hear it then, neither did many others. The owner of the masters died, the recordings were lost for a while and the band kind of fizzled out.

Mick meanwhile had kept in contact with Josh Zieman from our original management team Side One.

They decided there was enough going on to get the original band back together, so he set the wheels in motion, at the same time the masters were returned to Robbie who managed to secure a release of Soundtrack with Darla records and Stop Start finally came out on CD on Wounded Bird I was asked to rejoin along with Gary, Robbie and Mick, Richard has a few problems which I won’t go into now. It was agreed that Robbie’s songwriting partner of the last ten years, the other Steve Walker should be invited also, he’s a great guitarist and has added an extra dimension to our sound also he’s probably played the songs as much if not more than the rest of us. Ric Chandler joined us on drums. Rehearsals began, we did two short U.S. tours in 2010 and are currently putting together more dates for 2016! We are back. Watch this space.
Jay Ashton's GENE LOVES JEZEBEL
Jay Ashton's GENE LOVES JEZEBEL
Gene Loves Jezebel (GLJ) are a British rock band formed in the early 1980s by identical twin brothers.
Venue Information:
Neighborhood Theatre
511 East 36th Street
Charlotte, NC, 28205
http://www.neighborhoodtheatre.com/

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