Stream [Hurricane of Change] – (Album)

Stream [Hurricane of Change] is an album released on 1st October 2019 as Mike Peters presents The Alarm and was released on The Twenty First Century Recording Company label as catalogue number 21C112

STREAM [Hurricane of Change] will take listeners on a unique musical adventure that flows both downstream and upstream, telling a moving autobiographical story as lived and breathed by Mike Peters and The Alarm from 1986-1990

The double CD Edition features 39 pieces of brand new recorded musicall joined together by a Mike Peters spoken word essay, that weaves a brand new narrative into the original lyrical DNA of such classic Alarm songs as Rain In The Summertime, Rescue MeOne Step Closer To Home, Sold Me Down The River and A New South Wales. There’s also a host of brand new song recordings including the raging acoustic guitar driven Irish Sea, and the dramatic Ballad of Randolph Turpin

In order to capture the very essence of these classic / new Alarm songs, and to try and further understand what they truly mean to me for this, their 30th Anniversary. I went back and re-examined all the original lyrics from beginning to end,” says Mike Peters. “By reading the collected lyrics in chronological order from the first song created – A New South Wales (written for Eye of the Hurricane, but only released as the last song on Change), I was amazed to discover a whole new perspective, and by putting the lyrics in chronological order (and including songs I was unable to present at the time), I began to realise that I had unknowingly written a very autobiographical account of how my life (and the life of the band), played out in the second half of the nineteen eighties. By starting at the very beginning of the musical structure that these songs were born into, and following the lyrical narrative through to its natural conclusion, I was able to make sense of the songs in a completely new way
“I have often talked in interviews about the experience of leaving Wales at the beginning of the eighties, only to return through the creative process that gave birth to the Eye of The Hurricane, Electric Folklore and Change trilogy of albums”, continues Mike. “By looking at the lyrics afresh, I have now been able to fully realise what I was grasping for as a songwriter and lyricist in 1987-1989. Back then, my confidence had been blunted by a difficult creative process, and I had always privately felt that there was a lot more left to be discovered within the original body of music. With these new recordings, I have been able to realise a torrent of new possibilities and emotions and, in turn, draw them out of the very same songs. By recording STREAM [Hurricane of Change] in this new way, I feel that I have been able to liberate my original lyrical vision and re-present the music in a way that I believe, is just as relevant, if not more vital than ever before”
George Williams (the producer), listened to all my demos and suggested that I should really examine the song sequence”, continues Mike Peters. “George thought that the new directions I had pushed the music towards were really strong, but because there was so much material, a unifying track-listing needed to be found early on. I accepted the challenge, and began reading through the lyrics to see if I could find a common theme that would pull everything together as one. As soon as I looked at the words in this new way, I was inspired to write STREAM as a complete story, which in turn led me towards the idea of using narration as a bridge between the songs
By the time we got to Sain Studios in North Wales to record (just after The Gathering on February 8th 2019,) I proposed to both George and Alarm drummer Smiley, that we create each piece of music in chronological order, so that our individual roles and performances could be informed by the context of the STREAM narrative. It was a revelation to literally go ‘Downstream’ through the music of Eye of the Hurricane on the first session and then a month later (on March 21st), travel back ‘Upstream’ with the songs of Change. A musical journey that inspired Smiley to perform at his absolute best, and myself to give what I believe, are some of the most emotive vocal performances of my entire career. Once we had completed the song cycle and with Jules helping out on piano and backing vocals, we all knew that something truly special had been created, and so from the 27th September, it’s going to be you – the listener’s turn to make the same musical journey as we did
I truly believe that Stream [Hurricane of Change], contains some of the best recorded music of my entire career, and I’m convinced that by sharing and recycling the music in this new exciting way, it will allow everyone who has ever loved the original Eye Of The Hurricane and Change albums to see them in a brand new light and to be able to enjoy them again – reborn” – Mike Peters 2019

Track Listing CD 1 – Downstream
A New South Wales
Newtown Jericho
Ghosts Of Rebecca
The Ballad Of Randolph Turpin
Irish Sea
My Land Your Land
Hallowed Ground
Eye Of The Hurricane
A Rose Beyond The Wall
Rescue Me
Rain In The Summertime
Only Love Can Set Me Free
Permanence In Change
World On Fire
Presence Of Love
A Time To Believe
One Step Closer To Home
Elders And Folklore

Track Listing CD 2 – Upstream
Where A Town Once Stood
New Frontiers
Black Sun
The Firing Line
Change II
Corridors Of Power
How The Mighty Fall
Sold Me Down The River
Breaking Point
Prison Without Prison Bars
Devolution Working Man Blues
Love Don’t Come Easy
The Rock
Rivers To Cross
Change I
A New Day

Musicians & Credits
Mike Peters – 1st Voice, Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Harmonica, Narration
Steve “Smiley” Barnard – 2nd Voice, Drums, Percussion, Tambourine, Hand Claps
Jules Jones Peters – 3rd Voice, Piano, Hand Claps
George Williams – 4th Voice, Piano, Bass Guitar, Organ, Strings & Synth

Recorded in chronological order at Sain Studios, Caernarfon, Wales 8th-12th February 2019
Recorded in chronological order at Sain Studios, Caernarfon, Wales 21st-31st March 2019

Produced and mixed by George Williams
Assistant recording engineer Aled Hughes
Demonstration tape engineer Mark Warden
Artwork and graphic Illustration by Dan Shearn
Original photography by Jules Jones Peters

Downstream Narration
It was a new day. The pit shaft wheels turned for the last time, and I walked home alone past a church full of mourning souls. As I headed back to where I had come from. a new argument was spilling from the voices of the angry drinkers in the pubs that marked the way
It was a time for change and I knew that nothing I had known would ever remain the way it was. For some it really was the end, but for others it represented a beginning
To come home you have to go away, but in order to depart you must have somewhere to leave from. So, Where Is Home? Who Am I? Where Have I Come From? These were the questions I needed to answer first. For the most part, answers usually lie in the past, and so that is where I began
Was my ‘self’ rooted in the history of a country defined through acts of defiance born in earlier times when the first social resistance movements like the Rebecca, would ride at dawn dressed in petticoats torn, working to reclaim a land for helpless souls like me
Was I made of places that still echo with the distant voices of those who went before me in the struggle that brings us together? Have I really come from a land that nurtured English immigrants like the world champion boxer Randolph Turpin, or my own parents evacuated from London to this fair country during the Second World War?
As I stare out across the Irish Sea that has been my horizon ever since I was born with eyes to see, I understand that I am all of these things and none. I accept that my land is your land and that’s the way it is, the way it should be
The responsibility of life has given to me and taken away, and so it is with the need of others as much as mine, that I walk away from this hallowed ground. The lights go down on a world fading fast and I walk away into the fateful moonlight
“When will I see you again?” I hear voices say through the sound of the wind rushing over hill and the vale. “When the new day dawns”, is all I can answer back. A rose beyond the wall beckoned, and it was into an unknown world of needle and thorn that I descended, cast out by my own free will and branded for carrying a cross into this wicked world
I was running from the destruction of all that I had known, looking for love and a physical asylum, for someone to rescue me. I was literally trying to out run the pain, running so fast, that the sweat and tears fell down from my face and disappeared into the downpour from the rain in the summertime that brought you to me
As my world was crashing down, Only love could set me free. Daylight broke on the streets of my life. Through love, I found a reason to believe. I’d been alone in a city of angels and with a love at first sight, felt like I could set the world on fire, I was walking in the presence of love and with your healing hands upon me, I knew it was time to reconsider, time to believe
So, through love I tore it all down, broke it all up, and started to build it back up again, knowing that the tougher it got and the more that I sweat, I was one step closer to home
In the heart of darkness I had waited for you, to come away with me and to show you treasures never seen
Elder and folklore, it was time to head back upstream

Upstream Narration
It was all still there
Home, where a town once stood, and I knew that even though I was now swimming against the tide, all I had ever wanted was right here, where I started from. A thousand miles lay before us, but there were new frontiers to cross. Borderlines that could take us anywhere
Mo longer sure if I had originally left or run away, I worked my way back upstream and saw a land standing at the crossroads. A tragedy, waiting to explode. Once, I had cut and run but now with you by my side, I knew I had to stand and fight. “This land is nor for sale”, and neither am I
Under the black sunlight in this forgotten place, my dreams became uneasy. I would wake to a dream at the end of everything with a great black sun shining down on me. I was prepared to not give up
I’d been on the outside looking in and spent my time on the firing line not sure who to turn to, or who to turn from. It had been a long time coming and although it was good to be back, I still needed a change
Caught in a no mans land between sorrow and sweet, I took my case to the corridors of power. Who was going to fly my flag? Looking under chairs, I saw how those who reigned supreme now walked on another side of the street. Looking under tables, I saw the mighty fall and stumble in the dark
There was a fire beneath my skin. I’d been sold down the river and was one step away from the breaking point, trapped in a prison without prison bars
In a scarlet rage, I was torn in two by both state and nation, forced to choose between the streets that I spat upon and the soul of my working man blues
I chose life, I chose you, stood my ground and made the best of what I had. True love does not come easy, and I knew that love was the honesty I was looking for when my conscience came to call
Even though I was a man bitten hard on the bullet of silence and had learned to hide pain, I knew you would know me, as I knew you
How many battles must we fight before we start a war? Somehow, we found a way to cross the river that could not be crossed and make peace with ourselves, and the world around us
Change had come, and a new wind was blowing over the mountainside. It said “Today was built on yesterday as tomorrow will be built on today”. And so, for now and forever more, from today and from now on
It was a new day
Written by Mike Peters

(Page updated 15/02/2023)

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