Wow. When you have a concert ticket clipped on your notice board for over two years and look at it every day it becomes slightly surreal and you do start to wonder if it will ever happen. When you hit a week where you have five live shows in seven days due to all the rearranged shows and praise the Lord none of them have clashed it was just meant to be a special seven days.

As far as venues go I like the Tramshed they always have a great sound in there and with its capacity being just a thousand it’s the right size for me. Originally this was put on as a warm-up show for a Festival way back in the day and as it neared the band booked rehearsals and then three founder members found themselves a man down as the drummer stool became vacant and at such short notice they were lucky enough to recruit Alex Baum who had just two weeks to learn the setlist and become familiarised with all things Mish.

Hooray we’re on our way to the Tramshed it’s a happening kids it’s been such a long few years since we last saw the band play and tonight the support is from Salvation. Tonight minus the rhythm section it’s just the pair of guitars and Danny on vocals. The band looked pleased to be in the Welsh city and bar one reset on the rhythm track when Danny forgot the lyrics totally it was quickly brushed over and the band rattled through a decent set of tunes with ‘Pearl Necklace’ and ‘Why Lie?’ being the standouts packing plenty of punch in an upbeat set, the band looked to be enjoying themselves and the audience got right into it as well. Maybe next time we can get the full band set up, please.

And so The second warm up is here (when is it a warm up and not part of the tour proper?) anyway after the band rearranged the dates because of some global pandemic Cardiff was right at the sharp end of bedding in the new drummer and shaking off the cobwebs from the bands enforced hiatus but to be fair right from the off they sounded fantastic and you could be forgiven that they had only had a fortnight to warm up and this being date number two of the UK run. With a great sound (as always for Tramshed) the band wasted no time opening with ‘Beyond The Pale’ and the years were peeling away in my mind remembering the first time I heard them play the song when they were playing the likes of Wembley Arena it felt a privilege to see them in this size shed running through a career-spanning set that saw them go from the humble beginnings with ‘Serpents Kiss’ right through to the epic ‘Swan Song’ I tried to take it all in and appreciate being able to see live bands again because that hasn’t been the case recently in a very uncertain world it’s great to get some sort of Normal back into our lives and The songs of the Mission seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear right here right now.

The setlist was throwing up some fantastic songs as ‘Like A Child’ made way for the brilliant ‘Swoon’ before my memory was taken way back when I first saw the band and ‘Like A Hurricane’ Was A Staple and such a fresh cover. there were twelve songs from all corners of their catalogue in the main set with an epic run through ‘Butterfly ON A Wheel’ followed by ‘Wasteland’ and being brought to a fever pitch with ‘Deliverance’ which saw the band bring it to a halt as the security got a little overzealous policing the tower builders in the audience and probably not understanding what was going on order was restored and rather than move on ‘Deliverance’ was replayed and played with added purpose and a little venom turning an already brilliant song into an epic and highlight.

The first encore saw the band offer up ‘Slave To Lust’ before ‘Crystal Ocean’ made way for the crowd-pleasing ‘Tower Of Strength’ and it was at this point that I actually noticed new boy Alex which is the best compliment I can pay because he was totally locked in and was a big part of the energy of the music they were channeling from the massive Bass thing that is Craig Adams who was superb tonight.

Returning for a frantic run through ‘Sacrilege’ and Wayne being his charming self when the AC was turned on it only left time for one final play through ‘Swan Song’ which brought the curtain down on a stunning performance and another night of top-class Rock and Roll from a band who just get better and better. Bring on Bristol and another set of Mission songs to marvel at.

Bristol O2 21.04.22

With support from Rose Of Avalanche.

With Rose Of Avalanche on stage about sixty seconds after I enter the arena I thought it was great timing and as the band ran through their set it’s been some years since I last saw the band was Bristol Studio wayyy back in the mid-eighties and I guess its fair to say we all looked a little different than we did back in the day. With the band having been out of action for some years it was reflected in their set and took them a few songs to shake off the cobwebs in my humble opinion but when they got going they sounded great. ‘LA Rain’, ‘Velveteen’ were particularly good and the band sounded in their stride by the time they played the rather splendid version of ‘Loose’ that I’m sure Iggy would have approved of.

With a week since I last saw the Mission, it was a whole bunch of shows for Alex to get immersed into the set and fill our his rhythms a little and he didn’t disappoint, as the set was shaken up from the Tramshed show with a personal favourite being added in the shape of the brilliant ‘Naked And Savage’ I love that they tinker with the set most nights and it might be the best setlist ever but whilst I have my favourites I know its the luck of the draw. There have been some grumblings about some venues having poor sound but I feel blessed as Tramshed was stunning and Bristol was very decent as well. It was the familiar opener of the “made to be a set opener” that is ‘Beyond The Pale’ it never fails to raise the hair on my arms hearing the chord progression reach the tipping point when the band crashes in. Truly epic.

I was trying to remember if it was this very venue or Bristol Ice Rink or Studio where I first saw the band play with All About Eve or have I completely made it up and it was the bierkeller who knows except to say of the several dozen times I’ve had the pleasure they’ve never disappointed even in the Arena days I always kept the faith that they would deliver great performances and all these years later they still turn in brilliant performances. It was onwards with the set as fans favs like ‘Serpents Kiss’, ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ and ‘Wasteland’ being present and correct it was the shuffle of the pack seeing ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘Grotesque’ and the superb ‘Severina’ all adding to the set and the ebb and flow of tonight’s proceedings. There was also some funny banter which saw Wayne poke fun at the city’s poor football teams and try to explain why this Bristol boy found himself supporting Liverpool (Not that he needed to explain, preferring to give the hecklers the flicks and say he wanted to see a team win something) haha and on with the show which saw ‘Deliverance’ delivered without any of the drama we had in Cardiff a week ago.

During the first encore, Wayne applauded his mam and dad for attending tonight’s performance as we had ‘Fearful’ added to the set along with ‘Garden of Delight’ before the first encore was brought to a close with another run through the epic ‘Crystal Ocean’.

Its been a long two years in the waiting and making to get to this point and I’m delighted the band made it without any further setbacks and or cancellations due to the dreaded virus cropping up and it’s a point that wasn’t lost on Wayne who thanked everyone from the crew to the fans for taking the plunge and getting back out there and supporting live music again. there will be some aching limbs in the morning after a vigorous worki=out in the put especially for the encore of ‘Sacrilege’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ before we were all able to get lost in the moment for an epic ‘Tower Of Strength’ before wandering out into the cool Bristol night air and with just the two London dates to run it’s been awesome to see one of the best live bands playing again. Deja Vu done and dusted so until next time it’s farewell and goodnight until the next time that is. Paris and Belgium look nice next April. Can we have ‘Stay With Me’ next time please?

Author: Dom Daley