Wales’ the Alarm began life as a punk band but began on picking up pop and rock influences to morph into members of Britain’s storied “new wave” musical movement. New wave is a big tent genre, generally encompassing the more alternative end of the UK’s post-punk scene. New wave began to dry up as the scene became more commercially successful, and out-and-out pop artists like the Police, Madonna, and Phil Collins drenched the aesthetic in corporate gloss.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, Mike Peters and the Alarm have had a long and rich career with a devoted audience appreciated their anthemic, folk-rock. The thrived during the new wave era and built on that with a folk influences. Last week, the group released their latest LP, STREAM [Hurricane of Change], which precedes a tour in the future (dates yet announced), and tells the story of their career from 1986 to 1990. The Alarm will be performing their new album in its entirety in the upcoming shows, along with playing the record Change and songs from their live recording, Electric Folklore.
Today we are sharing the Alarm’s latest video for “Ghosts of Rebecca”, a rousing, sing-along number that will sound amazing on those big stages. Mike Peters tells us about the origin of the song.
Peters says, “The Rebecca was a people’s movement in Wales during the mid-1800s. It was a form of social uprising that has lived long in people’s memory and still captures the imagination to this day. Their aim was to take back control of the local roads for the use of local people without having to pay tolls. In Wales, we have a long history of social resistance that rises up whenever it is called for, most notably during the miner’s strike back in the mid-1980s. All of us who are born and bred in the Principality have been influenced in some way by this kind of history and culture. Fighting back against perceived injustice is almost a birthright.
“The song ‘Ghosts of Rebecca’ comes right in the earliest passages of the Stream [Hurricane of Change] song cycle, just when the main character (me?) is trying to work out who he is, and why he feels certain emotions when confronted with change. So, he calls out to the Ghosts of the Rebecca to guide and fortify him as he sets off downstream, on his journey of self-discovery that will take him away from all that he has known.”