Mike Peters doesn’t have fans – he has an army. He is also a legend, and he is also “fucking loved”.
Sitting in the principality’s finest auditorium amid 1,800 of his devout followers, you hear all this and more, yelled
at the stage with a tight-throated alacrity usually reserved for the Ozzys, Wellers and Springsteens of this world.
There’s an extra dimension to the conviction here as Peters – a past master of old-school fist-in-the-air/mic-to-the-crowd frontmanship – delivers surely the most poignant and powerful show of his career to his home crowd. It’s 30 years after the release of The Alarm’s finest album, Strength, and just four months since he was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. On the Monday after the high of this extravaganza – and that’s what it is, with the Welsh Pops Orchestra, Acquire Choir and Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir crowding the stage behind him, 200 strong – he’ll be back in hospital for intensive treatment for leukaemia.
The long set draws deep from the Alarm catalogue, from must-haves (68 Guns, Spirit Of ’76, Rain In The Summertime) to deeper cuts (Deeside Town, Walk Forever By My Side, The Stand). At the emotional, rapturously received climax, the man in the camo jacket stands, guitar in the air, vowing to “never give up without a fight”, and even the more agnostic among us are converted to his cause. An unforgettable occasion.