The Mission – Live at the Button Factory, Dublin – 25/05/22
Followers of the so-called goth scene were out in force for the return of late eighties giants The Mission to Dublin. The support band were bonkers Dublin outfit The Nilz, who appeared on stage with a bass player sporting a gas mask and a Fuck Fianna Fáil T-shirt, along with a singer wearing what looked like a silver chain mail mask. Playing an old school brand of punk thrash, the band were kind of compelling, full of sparky energy. So sparky in fact that during their last song, a cover of Gaybar by Electric Six the singer lowered his trousers and inserted a lit firecracker up his ass.
With a Leeds United flag in place the headliners emerged for their set, kicking off with one of their many anthems, Beyond The Pale, one of several numbers tonight that really ignited the crowd, all raised arms and funny hand gestures. It took the band a bit of time to really kick into gear, Serpent’s Kiss and Severina sounded a bit muddy, but they got more into their groove with Grip of Disease, with guitarist Simon Hinkler still note-perfect on guitar. Without a new album to promote, most of their material from the last 30 years was ignored in favour of the classics. More recent material was well-received, though Met-Amor-Phosis still sounds a little close to the Sisters of Mercy’s Dominion for comfort.
There seemed to be a bit of jokey sniping between bass player Craig Adams and singer Wayne Hussey, as all did not appear well in camp Mish. But the atmosphere in the room carried the band through. Wasteland saw the appearance of black confetti, though the momentum was somewhat broken by dragging the song out to overlong proportions. Set closer Deliverance had much of the backcombed hair evident standing straight up on the back of necks. It was impossible not to be carried along by such a big-sounding anthem, which saw the first outbreak of moshing. Strangely at the end, Hussey said to the audience “you’re better than we deserve”.
After a delay, the band re-emerged for two lengthy encores and seemed to enjoy themselves far more. Blood Brothers and The Crystal Ocean’s swirling guitars delighted the moshpit as Hussey slugged wine from the bottle in between wails. The powerful Hungry As The Hunter was a welcome inclusion before they finished with epic anthem Tower of Strength, again Hinkler’s guitar soaring from the stage. In truth, this was very much a night about nostalgia with the oldest material getting the best response. But on reflection, Hussey’s words were probably correct.