Discovery Centre, Winchester

Wayne Hussey

Tonight the Discovery Centre in Winchester is the place to be for a much-anticipated show by The Mission’s frontman Wayne Hussey. Wayne is part way through a European tour and tonight’s venue has standing room only as all the seats in the newly built modern theatre are filled with excited fans. The hand-picked support is Evi Vine, an artist that impressed Wayne so much that he invited her to come on tour with him.

Evi and her guitarist Steven Hill take to the stage and a polite hush comes over the crowd as they start to play. The music starts with atmospheric; effect-laden layered guitars, coupled with the phenomenally haunting vocals of Evi. Evi’s voice sounds a little like a cross between Julianne Regan of All About Eve and Marie Brennan of Clannad. The duo performs some really epic tunes including the heart-wrenchingly sad “Inside Her” and a sound shaping masterpiece called “Give Your Heart to the Hawks”.

Evi Vine
Evi Vine 1234

The audience is stunned into virtual silence by the alluring music performed by these hugely talented musicians. A beautiful version of All About Eve’s “Martha’s Harbour” adds some perfect familiarity to the evenings proceedings. Evi says that she has been a huge fan and Wayne’s music and it is a huge thrill to be supporting him here tonight. This being said it’s also a huge thrill for Wayne to have such a perfectly matched act to open for him and to thoroughly entertain and warm up his audience. The duo leaves the stage after one final number and a series of cheers, coupled with a huge round of applause is given in appreciation of their evenings’ work.

After a quick set changeover by Wayne’s loyal man-servant Graham Chisnall; Wayne, with his usual bottle of wine in hand, arrives onstage to a very warm welcome. He kicks off with a brand new song called “Sleeping Pills”, a song which is expected to come from a new album. There is always an exciting unpredictability with Wayne’s performances solo; and with the band, as you never know quite what will happen. The great thing about these solo shows is that Wayne is in complete control, and what he wants he usually gets. A few requests from the audience are accepted and many more obscure requests are turned down with a chuckle.

After a fine piano version of the co-written Sisters of Mercy tune “Marian”; and a rarely played beautiful B-Side “Sweet Smile of Mystery”, things take a dramatic U-turn. The emergency lights in the theatre come on and all the power cuts off. After a few checks, it is found that part of Winchester is suffering a power cut! Just when we think that it’s the night over Wayne moves his chair to the centre of the stage and continues to play completely unplugged. His voice is powerful enough to be heard throughout the whole theatre without a microphone. He then moves up onto the stairs in the centre of the audience and continues with a great version of “Severina” and a spine-chilling rendition of “Bird of Passage”.

Wayne Hussey
Wayne Hussey 12345678

With the power now restored we are in for yet another surprise as The Mission drummer Mike Kelly; who was sat in the front row with his girlfriend, is invited up on to the stage to complete the set with some welcome percussion. It was very lucky that he just so had a cymbal, snare drum and tambourine in his car for moments like this! Wayne and Mike play unrehearsed versions of Mission songs including a fantastic crowd -pleasing “Tower of Strength”. The huge smiles on all the faces in the audience members confirm just what a special night this has been, with Mr Hussey giving fans a thrilling show that will be remembered for a very long time to come.

Wayne Hussey
Sleeping Pills
All Along the Watchtower
Island in a Stream
Stay with Me
Black Mountain Mist
You Make Me Breathe
Sweet Smile of Mystery
House of the Rising Son
Kingdom Come
Bird of Passage
Wake RSV
Black Cat Bone
Tower of Strength*
For Ever More*
Wasteland/Luck/Like a Hurricane*
Personal Jesus*

(*With Mike Kelly)

Evi Vine
If it’s Love
Inside Her
How I’m Feeling
My Hands are Tied
Give Your Heart to the Hawks
Martha’s Harbour
Jack’s Song



Words & Video by David Chinery
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace