After the Fields of the Nephilim exited the stage, there seemed to be a huge wave of anti-The Mission feeling gathering up.
"Why are The Mission headlining?" you could hear people saying. Well, actually it was a joint headlining tour, so each band took turns in playing last and each band had the same amount of onstage time. Clearly however, the night was over for some people, but those of us who stayed for The Mission were treated to the second great performance of the night.
There were huge cheers as vocalist Wayne Hussey finally took to the stage and the band mean business from the get-go with 'Black Cat Bone' giving an atmospheric start courtesy of their minimal light show. Having only seen The Mission once before myself, (in Newcastle supporting The Cult in September 2012), as 'Beyond The Pale' blasts out, a less experienced gig-goer could be forgiven for thinking that Jimmy Page was frontman for The Mission these days, such is Hussey' similarity when viewed further back in the audience.
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Hussey is just effortlessly cool in his demeanour and wastes no time in getting the audience singing along. 'Severina' has the crowd singing along before the large video screen at the back of the stage comes into its own during 'Sometimes The Brightest Light Comes From The Darkest Place'.
The whole band are firing on all cylinders – especially drummer Mike Kelly whose solo ends with Hussey quipping: "I should have brought the drum machine," to the delight of both band and audience. Indeed, the highlight for some of the audience down the front actually happened towards the end of their set when Hussey decides to take an impromptu walk into the audience (complete with microphone) – fantastic showmanship.
It's not all electric, however, as an acoustic guitar from Hussey heralds the arrival of 'Naked And Savage' as the dry ice does its best to encapsulate the band but once again fails miserably, but the set is pulled back up to pace once more with 'Wake (RSV)'.
'Butterfly On A Wheel' has a solid intro from Kelly which manages to get the audiences hands in the air once again, and features some great guitar work from Simon Hinkler too.
The band close up their set with 'Wasteland', 'Deliverance' and the ubiquitous 'Tower Of Strength' which leaves the crowd wanting more. The band are thoroughly entertaining and the co-headline tour may not bring them any new fans as such, but it's a great night with two great bands so what's not to like really?
Well, maybe the guy controlling the dry ice machine should be told to tone it down a bit, but that's all!
Black Cat Bone
Beyond The Pale
Sometimes the Brightest Light Comes from the Darkest Place
The Girl in a Fur Skin Rug
Naked and Savage
Butterfly On A Wheel
Everything but the Squeal
The Crystal Ocean
Tower of Strength
The Mission are:
Wayne Hussey – Vocals
Simon Hinkler - Guitar
Craig Adams – Bass Guitar
Mike Kelly – Drums
The Mission Online:
Official Website: http://themissionuk.com