MIKE Peters keeps himself and his band The Alarm busy, busy, busy, always facing down his own health alarms after 25 years of living in the shadow of cancer.

Coming up soon is a York gig at Fibbers on November 30 as part of an eight-date late autumn tour. Already this year, the Welsh rock band have undertaken a marathon 44-date North American tour; released the studio album Equals in June via The Twenty First Century Recording Company; played with the Morriston Orpheus at Cardiff's Midsummer Gathering later that month, and performed an impromptu Beatles-style rooftop concert from Live Nation's New York City headquarters, broadcast live on Facebook with 100,000 views.

During that broadcast, 59-year-old Peters announced The Alarm would be taking part in the Love Hope Strength Foundation's Rock The Canyons event from October 14 to 21, hitting the Bright Angel Trail to perform deep inside the Grand Canyon with The Cult's Billy Duffy and Gin Blossoms' Robin Wilson.

The Love Hope Strength Foundation is a cancer charity founded by Mike in 2007, dedicated to "Saving Lives One Concert At A Time", in response to his own experiences that have demanded he must undergo a chemotherapy/treatment regime ever since he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer, a rare B-cell form of Leukaemia, in late 2005.

York Press:

"I live for playing music," says The Alarm's Mike Peters. Picture: Andy Labrov

"Love Hope Strength supports cancer care in places that don't have access to treatment, such as in Nepal and Tanzania, where we have built on to an existing care centre, so the money raised goes a long way," says Mike.

"From a Snowdon climb, we raised money for the North Wales Cancer Services, as my wife Jules [The Alarm's keyboard player] survived breast cancer two years and I've had Leukaemia; 25 years now, I've had the cancer shadow hanging over me."

Jules was diagnosed during the filming of a BBC documentary about The Alarm. Broadcast as Mike And Jules – While We Still Have Time, the raw footage touched many people’s lives and featured a moving tribute from Bono of U2.

"First I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a correct diagnosis at the time, 25 years ago, and then basically I got lucky because I was supposed to have a bone marrow transplant the day before I was due to go on tour, and I decided to go on tour anyway because it's that thing of 'the show must go on', and I didn't know if I'd be alive in three months," Mike recalls.

"I started to wear Army fatigues because I was going to war in my mind, and when I came home, my blood count had reversed. But ten years later, I was diagnosed with a whole new set of symptoms; that's when I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, and Leukaemia in its early stages can rise or fall, so I probably had it ten years earlier."

York Press:

"The Alarm can walk into the future again," says Mike Peters

For all his own ails, Mike prefers to think of others, and so Love Hope Strength can lay claim to having registered more than 170,000 individuals to the International Bone Marrow Donor Registry through its Get On The List programme in Britain and the United States.

Amid his travels from relapse to remission and back, as documented in Russ Kendall's 2017 American documentary, Man In The Camo Jacket, Mike reckons The Alarm, his solo career and the power of music to uplift have "kept me alive". "It really has," he emphasises. "I live for playing music, and I'm so grateful to the the fans for sticking by us when we've had to cancel tours because of the circumstances."

Stepping off the rock'n'roll treadmill for a while to "look after the kids" when Jules underwent surgery and radiotherapy, Mike "had to vent my feelings about what was happening by writing songs".

"When Jules came through her treatment, I showed the lyrics to her, and she said, 'that's probably your next album, right there". So began the pathway to Equals, The Alarm's latest record.

The title reflects their journey together. "We've got our health back on track; we have equilibrium; and Jules is back playing in the band again," says Mike. "The Alarm can walk into the future again and we've always tried to represent what's happening around us, by having a woman in the band, when all the fans from the past have partners now. So, Jules has become a hero to them and I like to think we represent a relationship surviving for 30 years, trying to make the best of life."

The Alarm play York, on November 30 and Leeds Brudenell Social Club on December 6, supported by Texan band Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts. Box office: York, seetickets.com/event/the-alarm/fibbers/1260014; Leeds, alttickets.com/the-alarm-tickets.