The Mission Belfast Limelight Oct06


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The Mission Belfast Limelight

14625292_1892173454347331_528652575_nThe Mission Belfast Limelight14593472_1892173457680664_1806893354_n

Seems like Anniversary tours are the done thing this weather, and 30 years seems like a good reason to dust off the cobwebs, break out the 12 string guitar and why not release a new album while you are at it?

In1986 when the Mission first started out the played the Electric Ballroom to a frantic crowd hoping to hear what was then the engine room of the Sisters of Mercy’s new sound…. Rolling forward over thirty years the Mission pull in a sell out frantic Belfast crowd in the Limelight. Their first visit to the City since March 7th 1990 (well it was my 21st birthday after all, so that’s why I remember that gig)

Like a fine wine (and many bottles of those were consumed by Wayne Hussey) the band has matured into one of the finest live acts the UK has ever produced. Their dedicated family of fans follows them around from all over the globe.

In Belfast they travelled from Canada, Malta, Portugal I did hear a few crazy Scottish lads in there too? A merry band of followers were in Dublin the night before and tonight the band (Well actually the sound desk) had a lot to make up for after the poor sound in the Dublin Academy.

The Irish gigs were split into two mini performances:14593524_1892173461013997_2084627965_n

The first, a taster of the bands new album ‘Fall from the Grace of God’, starting out with the title track of the album it set the ground running… the sound was instantly better than the previous night with clear lyrics Mike Kelly is that special glue that sometime a band needs playing live, his energy and drumming shows in every performance.

The albums second single ‘Tyranny of Secrets’ followed and for those who had not heard the album could see the band harking back to the previous 30 years with a very familiar sounding riff. The home crowd reacted well to this first set with ‘Blood on the road’, ‘Only You and You Alone’, ‘Bullets and Bayonets’ and my personal favourite of the album ‘Never Longer Than forever’. The afore mentioned song was for me the stand out moment of the whole night with Evi Vines vocal’s working brilliantly for this and the other tracks she sang on.

The first set concluded with the first single off the album ‘Met-Amor Phosis,’ which even though it was a new song the crowd reacted to singing along, which isn’t always the case with new material for older bands.14550944_1892175471013796_1973342082_o

So off they trotted for a rest… after all they are in the 50’s now and a cup of Horlicks was probably backstage for them.

Onto the second part of the evening, and the band walked onto the stage lights came on dry ice surrounded and off we went with 18 songs we all knew and loved. ‘Beyond the Pale’ from 1988’s Children album got the crowd into an early frenzy with ‘Hands across the Ocean’ (always nice to her that with all the international fans) ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ and ‘Garden of Delight’ followed and the a few surprise songs ‘Dance on Glass’ and ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ from God’s Own Medicine and Children.

Then a song from the previous album the Brightest Light ‘Everything but the Squeal” something for the Belfast crowd to search out when they got home if they had not heard before. Another track rarely played from Children “Fabienne’ followed along with ‘Afterglow’ from Neverland album (nice to hear the reformed Mission play songs from albums that current members were not involved in)

‘Severina’ with Evi Vine followed then the evergreen ‘Tower of Strength’ and ‘Wasteland‘ to end the second set.

Obviously the crowd wanted a bit more and they did with another one to cherish from Children ‘Black Mountain mist’ and ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ and finally ‘Swan Song’ from the Brightest Light.

14614240_1892174791013864_1822030381_oThankfully it was not their Swan Song…. Yet another encore with the Beatles cover of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, ‘Blood Brother’ and finally ‘Deliverance’

The usually strict limelight security even allowed for a few bodies on shoulders, all in all the night went down very well not just for the Belfast fans but the band itself, even Simon Hinkler managed a little jig exiting stage right.

Don’t leave it so long before returning again please….

Alan Steenson

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