16th September 2019
Near Meth Experience (a.k.a. The Sisters Of Mercy)
You have to know how to read hidden messages when you are a SISTERS OF MERCY fan. The first sign for something interesting happening was a short addition to the list of dates for the current tour on the band’s webpage. The new entry said there would be a gig on September 16th in Antwerp but instead of information about the venue or a link to a ticket merchant there was only the note “strangely unavailable”...
Only one day later a picture appeared on social media showing a sign saying “Antwerp have mercy” and the name of the local club Trix. The SISTERS fan base is networked pretty well so things became clearer very fast: there was a NEAR METH EXPERIENCE going to happen. THE SISTERS OF MERCY have played several secret gigs over the years. In 1990, just before the “Vision Thing” tour, they played warm up gigs under the name SPEED KINGS. Several years later there were some secret gigs in Leeds under the name NEAR METH EXPERIENCE and this name was kept for similar events. So here was one more to come. The band’s website also mentioned some mysterious notes which turned out to be names of new songs. That of course raised the excitement among the fans even more.
The Trix is a club with two halls inside one building. One of them is pretty small and has a capacity of 450 people only. It was first come first serve for this free gig and therefore it was no surprise people were queuing in front of the venue more than one hour before the doors were opening. However, the size of the club was just perfect and so everybody who wanted to get in could. Opener of the evening was the classic ‘First And Last And Always’ from the band’s debut album. The choice could not have been better. The whole audience sang along from the very first line of the song to the last. This was a legendary band in close connection with their die-hard-fan base. After two more songs an new instrumental track called ‘Kickline’ was played, followed up by ‘Alice’, another classic from the early years. The audience turned into a dancing crowd with a rough mosh pit in the centre of the club.
Then another new song called ‘Show Me’, another new instrumental and a great version of ‘I Was Wrong’ from the ‘Vision Thing’ LP, followed by one more track named ‘Better Reptile’. The set finally finished with three more classics leaving a happy and thankful crowd. Later on a DJ played for the rest of the evening and the two guitarists + the “Nurse to the Doctor”, the band’s famous drum machine, joined in so everyone who wanted could have a chat with them or take selfies. It doesn’t happen very often these days that you get something for free. However, even if I had to pay for this gig it would have been worth every single cent. A true (and somehow unreal) NEAR METH EXPERIENCE. Thank you guys!
If you want to hear the new songs don’t miss their tour: http://www.the-sisters-of-mercy.com/news/livenews.html
01. First And Last And Always
03. No Time To Cry
06. Show Me
08. Dominion/Mother Russia
10. Something Fast
11. I Was Wrong
12. Better Reptile
13. Lucretia My Reflection
14. Temple Of Love
15. This Corrosion
All pictures by Christian W.