Rock City Nottingham 06.10.16.
Having listened to The Mission since the mid 80’s, whether I liked it or not I just knew we had to cover this, when the tour first got announced back in January of this year. That original email has been in my inbox since first receiving it and serving as a constant reminder that I must apply to attend (thank you for allowing us to do so). This band are now classed as legends within their genre, some say goth, some rock, I say good music!
There will be more gushing over The Mission in a bit but first we must talk about the only support act of the night, Peter Murphy. Peter is a well respected (man about town) English vocalist, known mostly for his years in the early 80’s with the very popular band Bauhaus. He’s also worked in bands such as Dalis Car, Trent Reznor and The Hundred Men before reluctantly embarking on a solo career, which he’s been successful with mostly thanks to his loyal fan base.
The first thing that struck me with Peter’s set tonight, was that they were only a three piece. I’d though, from the music I’d listened to prior to tonight that there would be a whole orchestra or a keyboard at the very least, but no, three guys, all of whom are very accomplished musicians, especially the bassist! It’s not often you see a bass player switch between the bass and a violin, but there we are, it happened and I’m glad I was there to witness it!
Incidentally, I’m suitably impressed with ‘Lion‘, Peter’s latest full length studio album which was released back in 2014. He has since released a couple of live albums, but I didn’t want to listen to them as sometimes live albums can be hit and miss and I didn’t want to be influenced before seeing the man perform. But after hearing ‘Lion’, I could see the man’s creative genius which after all these years, is still very much alive and kicking. There are few musicians these days, who can release five albums and still stay this creative. Seriously, if you’re a fan of the 80’s electro, post punk era, this album will be a breath of fresh air! Check out the track ‘Holy Clown’ the title alone is very relevant today, what with all these clown sightings but more importantly, it’s a very good track!
Peter, as you’d expect, is still as much about the theatrics as he is the music and I could see that in tonight’s performance which was just that, a performance. Knowing what I know now, it was easy to see why Peter was asked to be main support to The Mission. The two are from the same era and are probably very good mates, yet respect each other musically.
Between sets I got speaking to a guy outside, Brad I think he said his name was, who’d travelled all the way from Canada to see The Mission perform, but not just for tonight as he’d attended the Manchester gig the night before aswell and was following the band on to Bristol and London, now that’s commitment! And it’s this level of commitment that the band are very much aware of and are extremely grateful for as they acknowledged it in their promo material, along with the tour announcement, which reads “Seriously never thought I’d see this day but 30 years is a remarkable achievement. Not one we could have achieved without the support and patronage of our brilliant audience. This celebration is for them as much as it is for our retirement funds.”
As stated, I’ve known of the band since they exploded on to the scene in 1986, as my dad was a massive fan. I can still visualize the album cover of the vinyl LP for “Gods Own Medicine” which has the classic tracks ‘Wasteland’ and ‘Severina’ on it and he still owns that album to this day. I also have very fond memories of the track ‘Tower of Strength’ which I heard many times as a kid. I’m sure the band wont appreciate me saying this, but I was only 6 in 1986, but even at that early age, I knew good music when I heard it.
Having just released their latest album ‘Another Fall From Grace’ back in September of this year, many people who I’ve spoken to state this album is a return to their early years and it’s a welcomed trip down memory lane which allows them to re-live their youth. It also gives fans an excuse to dust off the record player, so they can listen to all their older albums as well as this new release, as it fits perfectly. Timing is everything, I guess!
Personally, I didn’t know what to expect from tonight. When we promote a tour, it’s usually very hard to gauge how popular it’s going to be and the more I do this, the more I’m starting to realize that the less a bands PR agent email’s us, the better the tour is being received by their fans. We may not get a thousand people respond to our posts, but the word is spread out there and it gets about and that was clearly evident with tonight’s crowd, which was near to a sellout and what a crowd!
Having never seen the band live before, I never really knew how fanatical The Mission fans were at a live show. Many of which have met at gigs before, so they all know each other! What I do know is, these guys are worthy of their legendary status, whether they like it or not. Best gig I’ve been to in ages, brilliant! It’s also re-assuring to know there are more of us out there than I realised!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)