O2 Academy, Bournemouth

The Mission

The last time The Mission visited Bournemouth was on the “Carved in Sand Tour” back in March 1990 and sadly lead singer Wayne Hussey was none too well, suffering from tour flu getting rather frustrated with his struggle to perform. At that time the Mission had a huge momentum behind them after headlining the Reading Festival the year before and performing gigs at Wembley Arena and Birmingham NEC. 2017 sees the band in fine form after releasing their latest album “Another Fall from Grace” with three original members-Hussey, Hinkler and Adams Joined by Mike Kelly on drums. Tonight the tour rolls into Bournemouth with many of the original members of their fanatical following still in the audience.

The first of tonight’s support acts is Pauline Murray of Punk band Penetration. One of her guitarists for a short time in her band “Pauline Murray and The Invisible Girls” was once upcoming musician Wayne Hussey. Pauline is on her own with just an acoustic guitar, which is quite different to how we are used to seeing of her. It’s no mean feat to go on first and perform to a slowly filling, large venue. Pauline captives with some lovely sung stripped down tunes which include “When we were Young”, “After All” and a heart-wrenching song about depression called “Dark Clouds”. There is also a trip into the distant past with a tune written when she was just 18 called “Don’t Dictate”, an angsty teenage protest capturing her rebellious youth.

Pauline Murray
Pauline Murray 12

Next up are The Skeletal Family featuring original vocalist Anne-Marie Hurst who was also in Ghost Dance. These two bands where part of a blooming Gothic music scene in the 1980’s and have an iconic, recognisable sound. The band instantly connects with many older members of the audience and inject some energy into proceedings. Anne-Marie youthfully stalks the stage providing some powerful vocals on tunes which include Ghost Dance’s “The Last Train”, the classic “Celebrate” and a tune no self-respecting Gothic Compilation should include “Promised Land” with its beautifully dark guitar sound. A perfect nostalgic trip back in time, from a much-loved band who continue to deliver.

Skeletal Family
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At 9:15pm the classic intro to Dambusters starts and the atmosphere immediately starts to build. The Mission have always known how to make big entrances and enter the stage to a huge welcome from the excited audience. The unmistakeable and uplifting “Beyond the Pale” kicks things off and the band sound as good as ever and are on fine form. Thankfully The Mission are a band that like to mix things up a bit and each show is really unique, you really never know what you are going to hear next. The new tunes from the “Another Fall from Grace” LP show the band’s continued journey with some fantastic lyrical content, with “Met-Amor-Phosis” and “Tyranny of Secrets” getting instant appeal from the audience.

The older tracks also get a reworking with “Afterglow” really benefitting from some extra dual-guitar work. Wayne Hussey with his 12 string guitar and Simon Hinkler with his atmospheric sounding 6-string, coupled with an ebow creating an atmospheric sound that is really suited to high roofed venues such as this. The first encore features a beautiful duo with velvet-voiced Evi Vine and Wayne on the much loved emotional number “Love Me to Death”. The band then take us to Neverland with something that we believed would never happen, The Mission playing a Sisters of Mercy track. With all the difficult history staying in the past the epic “Marian” gets a brilliant reception from the very appreciative audience.

The Mission
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With the venue illuminated by a row of white spotlights along the back of the stage; the band return for the second encore with an incredible version of “The Crystal Ocean”, before going out on a high with the elevating “Deliverance”. The audience sing the lines “Give me, give me, give me, deliverance. Brother, sister, give me, give me deliverance, deliver me” over and over until the band leave the stage all smiling after a truly triumphant night. It took the band 27 years to return to Bournemouth, I just hope it is not that long until their next visit.

Set List
Intro Music: Dambusters theme
Beyond the Pale
Hands Across the Ocean
Tyranny of Secrets
Canít See the Ocean for the Rain
A Wing and a Prayer
Dance on Glass
Another Fall from Grace
Like a Child Again
Tower of Strength

Love Me to Death
Butterfly on a Wheel
Marian (The Sisters of Mercy cover)

Encore 2
The Crystal Ocean



Words by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite