The Alarm back in the UK singles charts? Then anyone can do it...
"Ageing post-punk band The Alarm have scored a top 30 UK chart hit - with a stunt disguising themselves as an unknown younger group."
So runs an article on BBC News. My first thoughts were "Brilliant - respect to them", but, excuse the pun, the alarm bells started to ring when I read these two lines from the report:
"the band, from north Wales, are at number 28 after selling more than 4,000 copies of 1970s-style punk single 45RPM."
"[Mike] Peters said they worked largely 'underground', often avoiding the music business and using the internet to reach their loyal following"
So I thought I would follow the link on the BBC News story to The Alarm's website to check out this use of the internet to reach their loyal following. Now the BBC article says:
Singer Mike Peters said it was done to prove how much image affected sales.
"We decided we would do something where it was judged purely on its own musical value," Peters, 44, told BBC News Online.
He said The Alarm, most famous for their 1983 hit 68 Guns, were not always taken seriously by DJs because of their age and an image perceived to be outdated.
"The Alarm as an entity have been going for 20-odd years and history can go against you - we wanted to break the barrier down."
"We wanted the song to be judged on its merits and stir up the water a little bit, break the mould."
Call me a spoilsport but this seems in marked contrast to this news story posted on The Alarm's official website on February 17th, which looks to be recycling a newsprint story but has a quote from an official spokesman:
Steve Fulton, a spokesman for Peters, said, "The idea was that due to the amount of people in our fanbase, we have a serious chance of a chart position if all fans purchase the three formats of the single.
We have been humbled by the response so far and the incredible amount of pre-orders that have been made all over the country and from around the world.
Now we have our fingers crossed we can score a hit."
They do appear to have proved something about the UK singles chart at the moment. Not, though, as they claim that the chart is biased against unfashionable bands or overly-slanted towards image, and that if only you can get around that singles will be judged on their "musical value". Instead they have shown that if you can convince around 1,500 people to all order the same single in three different versions to be shipped from the UK in one day you can now get a top 30 hit.
Watch this space for the currybetdotnet campaign to get my debut single into the top 75...