Engine Rooms, Southampton

After a couple of other Southern gigs in Brighton and Frome on this tour, The Mission returns to the South Coast for the final time on this run of shows to the Engine Rooms in Southampton. The band recently introduced us to their new drummer Alex Baum and by the looks of things he has more than settled into his role as Wayne’s honorary son, along with being the backbone of the band’s rhythm section.

Go Go Cult
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Tonight’s support are Berkshire’s The Go Go Cult; whose style’s straddle a host of different genres and they could just be the right band to get tonight’s party started. Kicking off with the sinister “You Get Under My Skin”, a track that chugs along entwining the ever-present deep-cut driving bass lines along with a chain of constant drum beats and brooding guitars. Things progress with the more upbeat “Town Call Sorrow” showing some great work from guitarist Matt Neads on his beautiful white Gretsch Falcon. The band’s sound is a wondrous concoction of 50’s surf rock and roll, coupled with a fair injection of punk attitude and plenty of looming goth psychedelia. Frontman’s Nigel Poole’s fine vocal can be found somewhere between that of Nick Cave and “the man in black” himself Johnny Cash. The audience; with many not familiar with the band’s material, slowly warms to what they have to offer. By the final two numbers things are shaping up nicely with a sort of hectic jam of sorts with the foreboding “A Devil In The Process”, segueing into the hectic “It’s A Car Crash”. With lots of guitar feedback, the crashing of cymbals only adds to a thoroughly energetic ending to the set. With that Nigel bids farewell to the crowd “see you later desecrators” and a wall of applause erupts from the well-warmed-up crowd.

By the time The Mission’s intro music starts the crowd has swelled to near full capacity and the heat in this steel-constructed unit, nestled on a small industrial estate on the docks in Southampton is most definitely rising. The band arrives on stage to the familiar sounds of “Beyond The Pale” with the fans arms lifted aloft, singing along with the band in beautiful unison. Next up is a bit of a surprise, a cover of The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” from the Revolver album. Craig’s thrillingly resonant basslines open the track while Simon Hinkler and Wayne Hussey’s atmospheric guitars breathe life into this slice of historic psychedelia.

The band at this stage of the tour are in fine form and have really found their feet after their enforced break. Alex, who was recruited just before the tour started in April is the final piece of The Mission jigsaw puzzle and has fitted in just perfectly. His contribution and ability to learn fast has proved that his hard-hitting style is a great attribute to the band’s sound.

The Mission
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Just before introduction of the single ‘Into the Blue’, Wayne introduces us to his sister who is standing in the front row with a bunch of roses for him. It seems that they have only recently been acquainted and Wayne seems reluctant to tell the story, possibly leaving it for a chapter in his next book.
The magnificent ‘Grotesque’ a controversial song about vegetarianism with the line “barbaric slaughter so you can put meat on the table to feed yourself” sends a ruthless message out to all the meat eaters. During ‘Wasteland’ the crowd recreate scenes from the early Mission shows with showers of confetti thrown high up in to the air as the song kicks in. This song, along with the majestic ‘Deliverance’ show the wonderful chemistry that Wayne and Simon have with their mightily atmospheric guitar work.

With Wayne recently turning 64, Simon aged 62 and spring chicken bassist Craig Adams at a mere 60; it’s remarkable how these musicians have survived the trappings of their fame. The three elder statesmen of the gothic music scene are all still able to considerably deliver to their adoring faithful audience. Historic tunes like tonight’s powerful closer “Tower Of Strength” have the ability to uplift any crowd that hears it. Like Wayne sang earlier in the emotive ‘Swan Song’, “so don’t sing me your swan song, baby there’s still gas left in this tank It ain’t over ’til it’s over until the fat lady sings”.

The Mission
Tadeusz (1912-1988)
Beyond the Pale
Tomorrow Never Knows (The Beatles cover)
And the Dance Goes On
Within the Deepest Darkness (Fearful)

Like a Hurricane (Neil Young cover)
Sea of Love
Butterfly on a Wheel

(Slave To) Lust
Blood Brother
Swan Song

Encore 2
The Crystal Ocean
Tower of Strength

The Go Go Cult
You Get Under My Skin
Town Call Sorrow
Old Nic The Revelator
Wake Up
A Devil in The Process
It’s a Car Crash



Article, video, and sarcasm by David Chinery
Pictures & terrible time keeping by Jon Musselwhite
Morale support and Catherine Wheel Vest wearing by Ross A Ferrone