Battersea is a district of South West London, England and holds an important part in Alarm history. When the band decided they needed to move from North Wales to London to be closer to the record industry, they moved into 13 Emu Road, Battersea where their friend Simon Shaw, who was studying at St Martins College of Art was living. Members of the band and the crew would live at Emu Road through 1981 to 1983
The debut single Unsafe Building, which was recorded at Pluto Studios in Manchester in September 1981, once pressed were put together into the unique tri-fold sleeves in the living room of Emu Road. The picture below shows Dave and Gaz packaging the single up ready for their shows in London
Many of the bands songs started out life at Emu Road with Mike writing lyrics in the back bedroom he used.
“I wrote the Walk Forever back in 1983, while I was still at Emu Road in Battersea, Redeye used to play “Atmosphere” by Joy Division over and over. I’m convinced “Walk Forever” was subconsciously influenced by hearing Ian Curtis vocals, day and night for weeks on end. It has since become a wedding song for many fans all over the world.” – Mike Peters Strength an Oral History
In March 2016 Mike revisited the band’s old base at Emu Road
13 Emu Road has now been split into 2 separate flats and if you wanted to invest in this unique piece of Alarm history, the market value would be around £1million to buy these two flats and turn them back to one house as it was in 1981!
On 3rd February 1983 The Alarm recorded The Stand at Ramport Studios, London, England, this would be the version that was released as the bands third single. The studio was owned by The Who, located at 115 Thessaly Road, Battersea, London. Founded in 1972 and initially named The Kitchen, it was soon renamed Ramport Studios. Although originally intended for the personal use of the band, the high build cost meant that the studio would become a commercial facility and quickly established itself as one of the top independent studios in London. Ramport Studios was built in an old church hall specifically so that The Who could record their landmark album Quadrophenia there. Supertramp’s Crime of the Century and Judas Priest’s Sin After Sin were also recorded there. These days the building is used as a doctor’s surgery
In May 2020 Eddie Macdonald did a live stream which included a film that covered some information about the time in Battersea, Emu Road, Ramport Studio, The Stand. Then to rehearsal space under the railway at Battersea Park Arches where the band recorded demos and rehearsed for their early London shows and included a snippet of a song called Absolution that was demoed whilst they lived in Battersea
Please click image to view the live stream which includes a mix of live songs by Eddie as well as the film. (This is a facebook live image link if there are any issues loading it)
The band used the Battersea area for early photo-shoots and maybe the best know of the images were used on the covers of The Stand and for the Eponymous album, being shot on wasteland in the shadow of Battersea Park Power station and the railway viaducts
(Page updated 28/06/2022)