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Zeche, Bochum, Germany
21st May 2007
The Mission, David R. Black

When THE MISSION are coming to Bochum it is always a special event because Bochum is something the “The Mission Capital” in Germany. When I arrived around 7.30, the venue still was surprisingly empty and I was a bit shocked. But very soon… latest as the support started… the venue was packed! And hot! So hot that even water was dripping from my camera lens! But no one cared about that and the venue was a big happening.

David R. Black

Support was the - for me so far unknown - band DAVID R BLACK from Manchester. The band name is a mix of the names of both vocalists, so it seems. The threesome from UK has toured extensively through UK, Europe and USA with several bands, such as THREE COLOURS RED, LIVING COLOUR, THE TUBES or SPIN DOCTORS. The latest album ‘'Hearts and Stars’ was released in October 2006. Now, the band is opening for THE MISSION as special guest. DAVID R BLACK are David R Naylor (vocals / guitar), Ms Sarit Black (bass / vocals) and Paul 'Pai' Williams (drums). /

The band itself names such bands as NIRVANA, JIMI HENDRIX, PIXIES, FAITH NO MORE or METALLICA among others as their influences. As you can see, this is quite a varied selection of bands from very different musical styles. The press very positively received the recent album ‘Hearts and Stars’ from which also the first six songs of the set list were taken i.e. the singles ‘Silence and Sound’ or ‘Empire Building’. With a combination of brilliant song-writing, clever arrangements and experienced singing, they convinced big parts of the audience at once. The raw and edgy energetic guitar sound presenting a male and a female voice immediately found its lovers within the crowd and so it was not surprising that the songs were welcomed with more than honest applause. A positive surprise for me too. Sometimes it is really worth to be early enough to enjoy the support acts too.

Well, there were these three people on stage - Paul nearly invisible behind his drums on the right, cool Ms Sarit with a huge bass on the left and in the centre David playing guitar. First the band seemed a little reserved but latest during the first song they spread their charm. David was as friendly to announce every song by name - very nice for those people who did not hear anything about this band before. He also thanked Wayne and THE MISSION for inviting them on tour. And we had to thank THE MISSION for that as well because this was a very good idea! Quite unusual for support acts, this band already served quite a good light show with different colour shades and flaring spots from behind. So you got something for the eye too, if the nice look of Sarit wasn’t enough. ;)

01. Silence and Sound
02. No code
03. Empire Building
04. Down to the wire
05. Shot to pieces
06. Signals
07. Circle
08. Serenade

Music 8
Performance 7
Sound 8
Light 6
Total 7.4

The Mission

THE MISSION surely is a big name in today’s Goth-Rock scene. After no new studio album for several years, recently ‘God is a bullet’ hit the stores. The band was founded back in 1985 after Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams had left their previous band THE SISTERS OF MERCY. First wearing the name THE SISTERHOOD they had to rename after protest of Andrew Eldritch. THE MISSION was born and is still very alive today. First criticized as pure copy of THE SISTERS soon it was obvious that the band around Wayne was able to gather their own fans and follow their own path. The band was always able to convince with their mix of mystic and dark sounds.

After some line-up changes the success slowed down, there were problems of working together and the records sold badly. After a split in 1996 the band re-united three years later starting a world tour in 2000 with concerts i.e. in Brazil, Chile, USA, South Africa or Greece. 2001, one of the most successful albums, ‘AurA’, was released occupying number one of German Alternative Charts for several weeks. Extensive tours followed. To celebrate the 20th band anniversary, the DVD box ‘Lighting the Candles’ was released in 2005 containing the new song ‘Breathe me in’. Now the band is back in Germany for just two shows! THE MISSION are Wayne Hussey (vocals & guitar), Mark Gemini Thwaite (guitar), Richie Vernon (bass) and Steve Spring (drums). /

As you might have guessed, the band played several songs out of the current album ‘God is a bullet’ but to my surprise not the single ‘Keep it in the Family’ out of this album; and as you might know, THE MISSION always make some kind of “Best-of” show out of their concerts delivering several of their old hits and besides that, always some lesser known gems like the presented ‘Afterglow’. This was also fact on the night in Bochum. THE MISSION are presenting another stylish and experienced album with ‘God is a bullet’. Lyrically, Wayne Hussey is dealing with the dark sides of life. The dark lyrics are accompanied by straight Rock and pathetic sounds. Un-kitschy ballads are based on acoustic guitars. The band’s not looking backward but forward and created a brave and adventurous new guitar album full of swagger, confidence, catchy tunes and top song writing.

The evening started with the tongue twisting title ‘Hdshrinkerea’ that is a reckoning with the guild of ‘Headshrinkers’ who want to straighten your head. The advanced guitar intro, the pushing drums and the angry chant tie up with old THE MISSION classics. And two of those classics followed right away - ‘Hands across the ocean’ and ‘Like a child’ - and immediately the mood boiled up in the venue and anyone was singing and dancing. As the show started it went on with alternating brand new and classic songs like ‘Butterfly on a wheel’ or ‘Naked & Savage’ with the well-known “uh-uhhhhh” from the audience. Also the faster new songs like ‘Blush’ or ‘ Belladonna’ made the audience dance in the heat of the venue. The main set ended with balladry and moody ‘Grotesque’ from the new album.

After the main set it was long not time for the band to leave. The presented six additional songs mainly included the anthemic classics such as ‘Wasteland’, ‘Serpents Kiss’ or the always heavily demanded ‘Deliverance’. With ‘Still deep waters’ also a current song found its way into the encores. Like so often and to the pleasure of the fans, the show ended with the powerful ‘Tower of Strength’ and left anyone satisfied into the night.

The back of the stage was decorated with a backdrop showing those four little bugs from the ‘God is a Bullet’ cover. Furthermore, the flag of Wayne’s favourite football club, Liverpool, was placed on the stage. When the lights went down, smoke was covering the stage. During the first sounds, the band - first drummer Steve - entered the stage one after another Wayne being last of them holding the obligatory bottle of red wine in his hands from which he took sips every now and then during the show.

The mood was boiling in the hot venue right from the start. Anyone was screaming, singing and clapping. In the middle was a bunch of people dancing and jumping wild. To any animating gesture of Wayne, people were clapping even harder. When the band had left the stage after the main set, immediately loud ‘Give me, give me, give me deliverance’ screams yelled through the hall and only stopped when the band appeared again for more songs. The same “game” was played every time the band left the stage. During the very last song, Wayne demanded anything from the audience. There was a very close contact, also visible when Wayne handed over his wine bottle to the fans or let them sing parts of the lyrics alone. Under huge applause the band left the stage after ‘Tower of Strength’, Wayne waving his Liverpool flag and putting it then around his shoulder.

Additionally to the personal performance of the band I should also mention the extraordinary light show. Rich in different colours and with well used smoke, different moods to the songs were created. There was no need for big video screens, the light engineer painted very well with the spot colours that were reflected by the clouds of smoke in different colour shades.

01. Hdshrinkerea
02. Hands across the ocean
03. Like a child
04. In Silhouette
05. Severina
06. To love and to kill
07. Afterglow
08. Blush
09. Butterfly on a wheel
10. Belladonna
11. Naked & savage
12. Evangeline
13. Grotesque
14. Serpents kiss
15. Wasteland
16. Still deep waters
17. Beyond the pale
18. Deliverance
19. Tower of Strength

Music 9
Performance 10
Sound 8
Light 10
Total 9.3

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / / {jos_sb_discuss:17}

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