Former THE ALMIGHTY frontman Ricky Warwick has made the following announcement:
"It was last September; I woke up in Dundalk, Ireland in agony and couldn't see out of my eyes (hung over again I hear you all say!). No, this time I wasn't. I was on my first solo headline tour of Ireland with my band and after a packed sweaty Belfast show had come off stage and instead of going straight to the dressing room to dry off I stood talking to the good folks who had parted with their hard earned cash to come see me perform.
"The result of this was a highly allergic reaction to the hair gel I was using combined with the sweat it had gone into my eyes and infected them. (Yes, yes I know. It is a pure 'Spinal Tap' moment). So there I was in Dundalk feeling very sorry for myself and left with no choice but to cancel the evening's show. I called Sophie who does a fantastic job of running my website for me so she could post the news ASAP on the site.
"Sophie came on the phone and before I had the chance to tell her what was going on she told me that my good buddy (and her boyfriend at the time) and ex-THE ALMIGHTY bandmate Floyd London had been diagnosed with leukaemia! I went numb, my eye infection seemed entirely insignificant and I felt like a fool. Sophie remained entirely composed on the phone and told me that basically they were going to start chemotherapy the following Monday. Floyd and Sophie were due to come over to Dublin that weekend to see my show. I said I would call her the next day and put the phone down. I think I spent the next 30 minutes sitting on my bed in my hotel room saying the word 'Shit' over and over again.
"I was well enough to do the following night's show in Limerick and called Sophie to check on Floyd, she informed me that he was feeling pretty crap but they were coming to Dublin as with the chemo starting on Monday this would be Floyd's last chance to drink and hang out.
"When I saw Floyd in Dublin he looked pale and thin, but he was the same old Floyd knocking back the beers joking and not complaining once. But that's Floyd, he is the most unassuming nicest guy but underneath it all he is a tough little fucker!!!
"The cancer was in for one helluva fight and my money was on Floyd all the way. As the night wore on Floyd got weaker and by the end of it he needed to go back to his hotel and get an earlier flight back to London. Before he left he told me he was really glad he had come, I gave him a hug and told him we all loved him.
"I was in the process of moving to Los Angeles and flew back the following week. When I got home to LA I sat and had a few beers with my fiancée Tina, I had told her many stories of the fun and crazy times I had when I was in THE ALMIGHTY but this night I found myself telling Floyd stories like the night when we were in the Studio in Cornwall and we dropped acid, Floyd convinced me and Stumpy that THE CURE were playing a concert in his beanie hat he was wearing…and sure enough me and Stump will still swear to this day that Robert Smith and Co were giving it loads inside Floyd's hat…He also convinced me to listen to the playback of the songs we were recording and watch his shoelaces as they were singing along to every word. I also recall he once told me he wanted to go sunbathing, nothing unusual about that you might say except that it was 2 am in the morning and January, of course he stripped down to his boxers and off he went.
"Floyd used to room with Pete when THE ALMIGHTY were on tour, myself and Stump would regularly break into their room and trash it, Pete would curse at us and try to resist, as well he should. Floyd would just lie on his bed smoking a spliff as the carnage went on all around him.
"But I will save the best Floyd story to last. THE ALMIGHTY were in New York City, it's a day off soooo we hit the bars, get drunk and fall back into our hotel in the wee small hours.
"11 am is check out time so I'm down in the lobby when our tour manager Martin Walker says to me, 'Did you hear about Floyd last night?' 'No, I thought he went straight to bed,' I replied.
"Apparently not. Our man Floyd did get in the elevator and walk towards his room, but noticed the room next door was open, empty and it was a suite. Floyd who never trashed anything that I know about decided that, if he couldn't have a suite no one would. So in he goes and totally and utterly smashes it up, then passes out lying on the floor with all the carnage around him. He is awoken by the hotel security guard who asks him what the hell happened? 'I've been in a fight,' Floyd informed the NY security dude. 'Who with?' asks the security guard. Floyd thinks about this for a couple of seconds then quite proudly states 'Myself.'
"So Floyd was admitted to hospital to start his chemo and probably the toughest battle he has ever had or will ever have. Sophie, who was now his fiancée, kept us all updated with e-mails to his progress and explaining exactly what the disease is all about and what sort of treatments Floyd was on. I know that Floyd was overwhelmed with the amount of well wishes and support he got and at some points it was touch and go, there were some very dark days indeed. But Floyd, like I said, is a tough wee bugger and he and Sophie amazed everybody with their strength and courage and in March of this year Sophie called me to tell me what we all had been wanting to hear, Floyd was in remission and was leaving the hospital and coming home.
"At that time I was back in Ireland playing a couple of shows and literally days after getting out of hospital Floyd and Sophie came over to Dublin to hang out. They came up to Dundalk (where 6 months earlier I had first heard the news) to see me play the rescheduled show I had cancelled last year. Last September in Dundalk was one of the crappest days I have had, but this time it was the exact opposite.
"This was the Floyd London I knew and loved where as 6 months earlier he had been pale, drawn and obviously nervous and ill, now he was back to his cheeky wee self and looking good. Me and him spent the day after Dundalk in Dublin driving round and drinking Guinness and talking, Floyd telling me how great the hospital had been to him and how short of money they were. Here was a man who would never take any day for granted again.
"It all started in October 1980.
"I moved from Newtownards Northern Ireland to Strathaven Scotland at the age of fourteen a real shitty age to move at. Weeks before I moved I had got my first electric guitar and fallen in love with rock music, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, THE SEX PISTOLS, MOTÖRHEAD etc. At my first day at my new school in Scotland word spread that there was this new Irish kid and he had an electric guitar. Enter Stump and Floyd, Stump had a drum kit, Floyd had a bass within a week we were rehearsing in Stump's Mom and Dad's front room. After a few weeks we had managed to kill his Dad's tropical fish and with endless complaints about the noise from the TSB Bank next door we moved, into an old barn on my old man's farm. It was so cold there we used to rehearse wearing gloves. We talked about how great it would be to be like our heroes and tour the world, get in the charts and be on 'Top of The Pops'… little did we know!!!!
"As Floyd himself put it, 'Once I was in remission, but still hospital bound, we had time to think about the disease, how many people are diagnosed with it each year, how they still don't know why people get leukaemia. Soph wanted to do something about it, raise money for leukaemia research so they can keep developing the drugs that are saving lives (like mine) every day. So much more work is needed; I was lucky enough in that my cancer responded to the treatment I was given. Not so many people do. I have a 50/50 chance of survival. I've got to stay in remission for 5 years until I can safely say I beat it.
"'Soph witnessed first hand my life being saved and thought that if we could raise money for leukaemia research, it might really make a difference. She suggested THE ALMIGHTY could reform to play a couple of gigs for this cause and kept feeding us this idea. We thought 'Why the fuck not!''
"It took a second to say yes as pretty much everyone knows somebody who has been affected by cancer and how terrible a disease it is. So here we are the classic ALMIGHTY line up playing two shows with proceeds going to leukaemia research. It was decided that the line up with Pete, Stump, Floyd and myself would be the line up for the shows with no disrespect to Tantrum, Nick and Gav (who sweated blood for the band).
"This was when the band had most success and the four years that line up was together I personally felt no one could touch us and we were indestructible.
"To be honest, and I'm sure the other guys might say the same, I had no desire to play in THE ALMIGHTY again, we have all moved on and everybody seems very happy in their lives, sure the memories are great and I am happy with that but this is special. Very fuckin special.
"There will be no new songs or anything like that. This is not about making money for ourselves (every penny is going to leukaemia research). This is about Floyd London, our mate, and a chance to get onstage with him and rock out once more because for a few days the reality of being able to do that was very very far away,
This is about pure nostalgia we will play like we always played from our fuckin hearts all the songs you want to hear, It will be a celebration with lots of surprise guests and lots of fun.
"For two nights only the ALFUCKIN MIGHTY will be back. I can't wait.
"So let me extend my hand and warmly say WELCOME TO DEFIANCE!!!!
"Now it's over to you lot and of course the one and only Mr. FLOYD LONDON."
THE ALMIGHTY reunion shows:
Jan. 05, 2006 – Glasgow, UK @ Garage
Jan. 06, 2006 – London, UK @ Mean Fiddler
THE ALMIGHTY lineup for reunion shows:
Ricky Warwick – Guitar, Vocals
Pete Friesen - Guitar
Stumpy Munroe - Drums
Floyd London - Bass