||THE MISSION LET THE MUSIC DO THE TALKING AS THEY ENTHRAL GLASGOW
The Mission/Peter Murphy: The O2 ABC, Glasgow
Monday 3rd October 2016
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid, Main Stage Photography
The Mission are currently celebrating thirty years since their formation and to top that, they've also recently released 'Another Fall From Grace' which harks back to the classic Mission sound of the Eighties, whilst at the same time bringing them up to date in what is, arguably, a return to form for the band.
What better time, then, than to undertake an extensive UK tour, and the fans came out in their droves on a chilly Monday night in Glasgow to witness the power of the band first hand.
Before The Mission took to the stage, however, there was the small matter of the support band, in this case, Peter Murphy, ex-frontman of English post-punk band, Bauhaus. Murphy's name added to the bill ensured that a sizeable audience turned up early and as the houselights went down, the impatient crowd gathered at the front of the stage as Murphy and his two cohorts took to the stage.
Murphy spent most of the gig seated in centre stage with his guitarist and regular bass player, Emilio Zef China, flanking him and the dark brooding opening number was full of atmosphere which was broken only by Murphy occasionally pointing at a sound engineer who'd obviously got the onstage sound mix wrong.
Murphy's vocals were low in the mix for most of his set and he spoke rarely throughout the set.
"Are you here just to see The Mission or me as well?" he joked nervously in what become the only light moment of an otherwise dull set that promised so much yet delivered little in the way of quality.
The band's second number was blighted by feedback but the trio carried on as best they could but it was obvious that Murphy was rightly less than happy with the situation. These things happen, of course - especially on the first night of a tour - but Murphy was in an unforgiving mood and as he plugged in his acoustic guitar, the sound problems temporarily abated and he finally looked to be turning a corner performance-wise. He paid a heartfelt tribute to David Bowie before playing 'The Bewlay Brothers'.
"This is the first time I've been able to do this," he explained, yet the performance itself seemed forced and stilted.
Murphy finally lost his cool about half a dozen numbers into the set as he stopped the performance mid-song forcefully complaining that his guitar was out of tune and practically launched it at his guitar tech but the rest of the band moved on quickly to the next number, as if the incident had never happened.
'Silent Hedges' showed Murphy at his theatrical best as he once again sat centre stage in the low light (still directing the sound man off stage to adjust the levels) before his performance briefly burst into life.
The heavy bass guitar piled in, dwarfing the vocals in an intense performance but it was a case of too little too late. A planned encore seemed to be scrapped at the last minute and the band don't reappear despite a lowly tech setting up a music stand before it was quickly disassembled it as the house lights come up and the audience headed for the bar.
Peter Murphy's Band are:
Peter Murphy – Vocals
Emilio Zef China – Bass Guitar
At around 9.30pm, as T-Rex's 'Telegram Sam' faded away and the house lights dimmed, the title theme from 'The Dambusters' music burst forth and as the band finally made their way onstage they were greeted with a huge ovation from the packed crowd.
Prior to the tour, the band had rehearsed over forty songs in preparation for the dates and would choose a selection of these each night, making each gig a little bit more special for those hardcore fans who were seeing the band more than once.
Wasting no time, The Mission set to work and produced a solid and dependable performance from start to finish. Wayne Hussey is a man of few words all evening, occasionally saying "thank you" or "cheers" as rich applause filled the air, preferring to let the music do the talking.
The tour is celebrating thirty years of The Mission and to publicise the brand new album, 'Another Fall From Grace' – an album which MetalTalk were first to review (here) - and we were treated to a choice number of cuts from it.
There were three songs from the new album sprinkled around the set with 'Tyranny Of Secrets' early on, 'Phantom Pain' in the middle and then the first single, 'Met-Amor-Phosis', which was left towards the end. Unsurprisingly it was the latter that got the best reception of the all new material.
The band have put a lot of effort into the album and the fact they can play most, if not all, the tracks live, is a sure sign that the new opus will feature in their live set-lists for some time to come, however, there was still plenty of time for the band to bask in the glory of their back catalogue.
Tracks from their 1986 debut album, 'God's Own Medicine', mix well with the newer songs and it was during 'Garden Of Delight (Hereafter)' that the audience really went wild. The song's fast tempo got the place jumping and Hussey and bass player Craig Adams were left stunned as the audience hoisted up a fan, Kevin, in his wheelchair during the song, so he could get a better view.
As the band played 'Severina', also from their debut album, the whole audience seemed to go into overdrive as those down the front pushed as far forward as the crowd barrier would allow whilst others further back were happy to dance along. Likewise, it wouldn't be a Mission gig without 'Tower of Strength' – arguably one of their most well known numbers – and the band didn't disappoint.
Hussey had the audience in the palm of his hand from the very start and played them perfectly with a supreme performance on vocals and guitar whilst the set-list was perfectly placed to keep new and old fans of the band enthralled, although his early exit from the stage was unusual. He later explained that he wasn't feeling too great, so that may also account for his lack of between song banter.
Let's hope he's better for the rest of the UK tour because it's clear anyone with tickets is in store for a real treat.
The Mission are:
Wayne Hussey – Vocals/Guitar
Simon Hinkler – Guitar
Craig Adams – Bass Guitar
Mike Kelly – Drums
Evi Vine – Backing Vocals
The Mission set-list:
Beyond The Pale
Like A Hurricane
Tyranny Of Secrets
Garden Of Delight
Only You & You Alone
Naked And Savage
Like A Child Again
Tower Of Strength
Island In A Stream
Butterfly On A Wheel
The Crystal Ocean
Remaining tour dates:
Wednesday 5th October: O2 Ritz, Manchester (w/ Peter Murphy)
Thursday 6th October: Rock City, Nottingham (w/ Peter Murphy)
Friday 7th October: O2 Academy, Bristol (w/ Peter Murphy)
Saturday 8th October: O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London (w/ Peter Murphy + The Awakening)
Thursday 3rd November: O2 Academy, Leeds (w/ The 69 Eyes)
Friday 4th November: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London (w/ The 69 Eyes)
Saturday 5th November: Whitby Goth Weekend, Whitby
Sunday 6th November: O2 Institute, Birmingham (w/ The 69 Eyes)
Tickets and VIP packages are on sale right here.