The Mission

In March 2008 The Mission played a four-night stand here at the Shepherds Bush Empire as part of a series of farewell shows. It seems frontman Wayne Hussey is not content with hanging up his guitar just yet; and they are back with a celebration for their 30th Anniversary, with a brand new album “Another Fall From Grace”. The album revisits the band’s past, being the long lost missing link between the Sisters of Mercyís “First & Last & Always” and The Mission’s “God’s Own Medicine”. The record has been celebrated by critics and fans alike and shows that there is still a demand for this much-loved band. Tonight we have two handpicked supports: Peter Murphy from Bauhaus and from Johannesburg, South Africa The Awakening.

The Awakening arrive on stage to a really warm welcome from this sold out crowd and give it all they have with their Goth-tinged dark Rock. Frontman Ashton Nyte seems confident and gives the hard to please Mission faithful a set that features some epic sounding effect-laden, atmospheric guitars on tunes like “The Dark Romantic”, “Maree” and a nicely reworked cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “the Sound of Silence”. This is the first of 17 dates with The Mission and a dream come true for Ashton; who used to attempt to play “Butterfly on a Wheel” on acoustic guitar in his bedroom as a teenager, and is a lifelong fan of the band.

The Awakening
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When you think of British music history Peter Murphy is synonymous for sitting in the armchair on the TV advert promoting Maxell cassettes, as well as being the iconic frontman for Bauhaus. Peter tonight stands flanked by two fellow musicians and a drum machine. He opens his set with “Cascade”, the title track of the 1995 album of the same name. His powerful voice comes across really well, sounding like a cross between David Bowie and Neil Diamond. The audience mostly listen patiently and there are outbreaks of generous applause for more familiar songs like “A Strange Kind of Love”, and Bauhaus number “Silent Hedges”. The rearrangements of these songs feature some lovely haunting violin work; coupled with 6 and 12 string guitars, though not to everybody’s taste I thought they came across well; gently persuading some of us to dip into the back catalog.

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The entrance of the headliners is heralded by the familiar intro tune of the “Dambusters”, which then leads straight into “Beyond the Pale”. The crowd reach their arms to the sky and they sing the words “Sail me down the river and out to sea” right back at the band as most have done 100’s of times before. A notable change in the band’s line-up on this tour is the introduction of the velvet-voiced “Evi Vine” who takes the parts formerly sung by All About Eve’s “Julianne Regan” on many of The Mission albums. The band’s setlist mainly deals with the past; with a trio of new tracks “Tyranny of Secrets”, “Blood on the Road” and the epic “Met-Amor-Phosis” standing firmly side by side with the classics.

Wayne is not having the best of times up on stage tonight as he is suffering with a head cold, and he has a few technical problems with the venue intercom affecting the guitars. He gets frustrated at times but only because he really cares, and wants each show to be the best for the very loyal following. The band belt out a cracking version of “Wasteland” and confetti cascades down over the dancing hordes. The combination of Wayne’s epic sounding 12 string guitar, combined with Simon’s atmospheric ebow-enhanced six string just optimizes the Mission’s sound. Evi Vine returns to the stage for a beautiful acoustic version of “Black Mountain Mist”, before adding her considerable voice to a beautiful version of “Butterfly on a Wheel”

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The evening ends with an unexpected appearance by Rob Holliday (The Mission, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, and Gary Numan) who joins the band for the final two songs of the night. They leave the stage after yet another fantastic night of celebration of a band that keeps on returning time after time due to the massive loyal support from their fans who have been with them through thick and thin, with many following the whole tour around the UK and Europe. The 40th Anniversary is only 10 years away, I just wonder will they still be around treading the boards then………you bet they will. Keep The Faith…….Long Live the Mission!!!

Set List
Intro (Dambusters)
Beyond the Pale
Serpent’s Kiss
Like a Hurricane
Tyranny of Secrets
Naked and Savage
Garden Delight
Blood on the Road
Like a Child Again
Tower of Strength

Black Mountain Mist (Acoustic)
Butterfly on a Wheel
Swan Song

Encore 2
The Crystal Ocean
Wake RSV (Instrumental)
Sacrilege (with Rob Holliday)
Deliverance (with Rob Holliday)

Pete Murphy
The Secret
All Night Long
Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem
A Strange Kind of Love
King Volcano
Kingdom’s Coming
Silent Hedges



Words, The Awakening Pictures & Video by David “Cracking” Chinery (Chinners)
Pate Murphy and The Mission Pictures by Jon Musselwhite.

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