‘Mike & Jules - While We Still Have Time’ Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Friday, 19 May 2017 14:17

This coming Monday (29 May), BBC One Wales is to screen a very special documentary, telling the very personal tale of one of the leading figures in the Welsh rock business, and what is normally a very private battle fought by himself and his family.


In the summer of 2015, after 20 years of living with cancer, Mike Peters, frontman of The Alarm, relapsed for the third time. The chemotherapy was no longer keeping Mike’s leukaemia under control, and his doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital were running out of options. But Mike’s doctor fought to get him prescribed an experimental and revolutionary oral chemotherapy drug.


Mike and Jules Peters


‘Mike & Jules - While We Still Have Time’ follows Mike, and his wife Jules and two young sons, Dylan and Evan, as he takes stock of a music career spanning 30 years, and reaffirms what The Alarm’s music means to himself and the fans. “This could be my last chance to do these things,” he says. 


During one of the busiest years of their lives, the programme follows Mike and Jules as they work through a calendar including US tours, Glastonbury, a bone marrow donor drive at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, the annual Snowdon Rocks event, and Wales’ Euro 2016 homecoming - culminating with 'The Gathering' weekend in Llandudno for legions of loyal Alarm fans.


But there’s a devastating bombshell when Jules finds a lump in her breast and is diagnosed with breast cancer…


Including contributions from U2’s Bono and family friend and former director of BBC TV, Danny Cohen, the programme documents a rock’n’roll love story made in Wales, and a real-life family drama during one of the toughest, but most rewarding, years of their lives.


Last night (Thursday) Über Rock spent an evening in the company of one of the most inspirational couples in music - relentless in a belief that what they do makes a difference and happy for the most traumatic period of their lives to be filmed for the world to see warts and all – as the production company behind the documentary, Avanti Media, hosted a very special premiere in the exclusive and hip surroundings of one of the finest hubs of entertainment in the UK known locally as the Tramshed.  A really impressive concert venue in the heart of Cardiff city centre, it also has an exclusive 50 or so seater private cinema.


Avanti originally had the idea of calling it ‘Being Mike Peters’… but, it quickly turned into a wholly different documentary.


Despite his initial diagnosis several decades ago, Mike continued his career with relentless touring and recording, releasing records as well as being father and husband and spearheading the charity Love Hope And Strength. Being something of a nerdy uber fan I've seen well over 100 performances from Mike and The Alarm, and have been in the studio watching and listening to him record a couple of albums - a place not many fans have the privilege of seeing/hearing one of their favourite artists. 


MP Stage


Mike and Jules always have time: no matter what's going on behind the performers/fan remit, there was always a smile and usually a helping hand. Nothing was too much trouble for the fans – then, like a hammer blow, regardless of Mike’s own personal ongoing fight with the Big C.  His wife and engine room of his support network and the enabler of everything he does to balance his life as a cancer fighter or musician and constant globetrotter as well as charity worker and recruitment driver all tied in with being the husband and dad, Jules was diagnosed with cancer and this documentary took on new meaning as the camera followed the couple on the craziest 12 months imaginable. 


In an incredibly moving and raw documentary, there is no stone unturned as the cameras intrude but aren't intrusive as Jules shows enormous strength to carry on and fight her battle with cancer whilst maintaining normality inside the whirlwind that is Team Peters (I say “normality”, but it will become obvious that nothing about the Peters is normal, well normal as some watching would deem normal)  


There was not a cough nor a rustle of a packet as everyone in the theatre was gripped with the incredibly touching and wonderful love that was unfolding before our eyes. It's not a fanboy film; it’s a must watch piece of film that will touch even the hardest of heart.  A truly inspiring couple making the best for their family in the face of the most traumatic and difficult times imaginable.


I had my own brush with mortality several years ago and had P.M.A. tattooed on my wrist as a permanent reminder that the mind can overcome matter and you should never give in to some of the shit thrown at you, because tomorrow is another day and to see one's children grow is a wonderful thing that, in itself, is worth fighting for with every fibre of your being. Seeing Mike and Jules take on their fight with such dignity and strength makes you feel happy: it makes you feel an incredible amount of "good on you" and indestructibility as the couple took on the challenge before them whilst carrying on and using it in such a positive way to change lives. The respect and admiration for Jules and Mike is immeasurable. 


One of the most inspiring pieces of film I've ever seen! Love Hope And Strength: I couldn't have put it better myself. 


‘Mike and Jules : While We Still Have Time’ will be broadcast on BBC One Wales (Freesat 964/Sky 952/Virgin 864 in the rest of the UK) at 9pm on Monday (22 May), and will also be available on the BBC iPlayer.  I cannot urge you enough to watch it – and afterwards please log on to www.lovehopestrength.co.uk/  to help make a difference and save lives. 


Oh before I go, Mike… I hope you've been taking the bins out and remember what day of the week to do it!