I’d seen The Mission for the first time earlier in the year (GIG 044) at Wembley but now they were playing the smaller, and non-seated, Brixton Academy. A venue that would usually be much more suited for them and to my tastes. I went with a couple of clubbing buddies (Sunil and Mike) and all of us were up for a fantastic evening – even though it was a Tuesday night.
The opening band was The Power of Dreams, who were actually pretty good. I’d not heard any of their stuff before (and admittedly am not sure if I have since either) but they certainly warmed the crowd up for the main act. Along with The Sisters of Mercy, Ghost Dance, and The Fields of the Nephilim, The Mission were one of my favourite bands. We knew pretty much every lyric of every song and every note.
The Mission, however, had started to have alternative ideas around this time. Whilst the earlier gig at Wembley was pretty much ‘play it by the numbers’ some personnel changes and obvious desire to change things had resulted in The Mission changing some of their tracks around – adding in saxophones or something. I can’t quite remember but it was along those lines.
Anyway, I was pretty appalled at the changes (which they kept on a few tracks for a few years after this before finally reverting back to how the songs originally sounded) and thought they ruined some absolutely fantastic tracks. So what I had hoped would be another fantastic gig let me down pretty badly and I came away having preferred The Power of Dreams to one of my favourite bands.
The evening wasn’t a complete waste, The Mission still had some cracking tracks and I also managed to get through the entirety of ‘Tower of Strength’ (which is a long song even before you also add in a crappy saxophone solo…) with Sunil on my shoulders and another part of one of the many human pyramids – so I still had fun despite any disappointment.