A sumptuous CD/double DVD package, culled from headline club gigs in Cologne, Frankfurt and London.
The Mission: a bit of a soap opera or much-loved Goth-touched bunch of troubadours?
Whichever, their return with a seemingly maturer approach and surprisingly original members Adams (bass) and Hinkler (guitar) is much-loved by fans; and now, for the 25th anniversary, we have a sumptuous CD/double DVD package, culled from headline club gigs in Cologne, Frankfurt and London. The boat is so far pushed out here that you'd need to swim to it, a triple fold digipack, glossy design with logo, nice photos on the unfussy booklet; classy.
The 2 DVD package will be the real fan driver here, the CD not the full experience. In fact, sometimes a dull experience. The gigs look good, all reds and blues shedding an indistinct glow, a burning aura, mixing up the shots, quickly cutting between them. The sound is heavy but clear, with those Dolby expectations. Track listings for the 2 shows appear to be almost the same, leading to inevitable comparisons. And the German show(s) come off worst, the crowd not quite as rabid, the band not quite as energised, the music not quite as pristine. Hussey has a cold and maybe this affects him, but he doesn't seem as connected or happy, rather static and letting guitarist Hinkler do lots of work. The songs are all here and the crowd love a gorgeous, aching ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’, whilst cross cutting to provide energy is not necessary as they pogo to ‘The Crystal Sea’, 12 songs in and the first time we really linger on them. They give a good account of themselves on ‘Deliverance’ too, although Hussey seems a bit aloof. And he gets angry in the encore too. A wag asks for ‘Marian’ and is told to fuck off. Wayne won't let it go either, as he seems to have thought of a reply by the time he returns for the 2nd encore, asking him if he would ask for Mission songs at a Sisters Of Mercy gig.
The London show is almost a revelation by comparison. From the moment we see Wayne stepping from the dressing room, half drunk bottle of wine in hand bantering as he walks to the stage, we know this is a different experience. The lights are the same, the songs are the same. What is different is the atmosphere. They are treated like returning heroes; how can you argue with a crowd boasting 4 blokes in a line, arms outstretched, balanced on the shoulders of their mates - like a Mission formation team! Wayne seems humbler, happier and probably merrier. The music? Tighter, heavier, more connected. Hussey throws some great shapes and really revels in the love. When it has this power, it is clear what all the fuss is about. Some say the Mission have never been given the plaudits they deserve. Well, can't really say that with this package.
This Mission, should you choose to accept them, will not self destruct in five seconds (will they?)