02 March 2008

Old times revisited

A big trip down memory lane last night, and not just for me by the looks of the audience, with the Mission's "last" gig. The last of 4 nights at Shepherd's Bush Empire to go out in style, each one focusing on an individual album. It was almost 20 years to the day since I saw them for the first time at Liverpool Royal Court on the Children tour, and 22 years since hearing Serpent's Kiss on the radio. I think I only saw them 5 or 6 times, but it was part of what got me into following a band. Every band round that time had their following, hitching round the country, drinking Thunderbird, with their kit bags. For my sins, I ended up following the Rose of Avalanche to 35 gigs. I also had tonnes of Mish bootlegs, from all their tours, including some of the fan club shows.

We got there to find we had tickets for Level 1, not standing, which was a shame as the mosh pit looked good - maybe I'm a bit old, unfit and wimpy for that these days. All the Eskimos were down there like the old days, with plenty of towers going up.

The first half of the show was them playing the whole of Carved in Sand, plus a couple of B-sides. We arrived as they were already into Amelia. The whole album sounds really good live. The set-list for this part was:

Hands Across The Ocean
Into The Blue
Butterfly On A Wheel
Sea Of Love
Grapes Of Wrath/Lovely
Bird Of Passage
Belief (with Simon Hinkler)
Hungry As The Hunter (with Simon Hinkler)
Deliverance (with Simon Hinkler)
Like A Child Again (with Miles Hunt And Erica Nockalls)
Mr Pleasant (with Miles Hunt And Erica Nockalls)

We had upside down leg dancing during Grapes of Wrath. Wayne commented on hating Paradise, but it came together pretty well. The songs with Simon Hinkler were great and Sharon really enjoyed the set.

The second half was a mix of tunes from across the years, but it was quite an odd mix with various things that only rarely got played live. Even more disappointing was the lack of Wasteland, Beyond the Pale, Sacrilege, Blood Brother... In fact, there was little off Children, though apparently they played Wasteland and Serpent's Kiss at the aftershow. The set didn't quite gel and Sharon got fairly bored at times. The set list was something like this, though I think the order may be wrong - Wake may have been later.

Like A Hurricane
Over The Hills And Far Away
Bridges Burning
And The Dance Goes On
Stay With Me
Island In A Stream
Love Me To Death
Dream On
Forever More
1969 (with Simon Hinkler)
Shelter From The Storm (with Simon Hinkler)
Tower of Strength (with Simon Hinkler)

The newer songs Afterglow and Forever More didn't really do it for me, but I'm going to give the albums a listen. I hadn't really bought anything since a bootleg copy of Masque in Bangkok in 1993!

The encores were awesome, remiscent of that famous Tube performance when the Eskimos were in the audience and they did one of the 12 inch mixes of Tower to end with.

So, the end of an era. I'll go back and listen to the songs. Hope to get a record player set up to pull out the vinyl. I think I had all the 12 inch singles for many years.

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