The sun is still blazing in the sky over a hot and sweaty Barcelona evening as a line of people zigzags up a metal staircase to Club Razzmatazz where a packed out room is bathed in dry ice as the PA creaks to ‘Tadeusz (1912-1988)’ and the already sweaty audience breaks out into a heaving mass of football sing-a-long excitement before the band walks on for one last hurrah around Europe on the Deja Vu tour.

The few times I caught The Mission last year they were on fine form breaking in the new drummer just ahead of the UK tour post covid lockdowns and they were (pardon the pun) on a Mission and full of energy. Barca expects and as the band winds up ‘Beyond The Pail’ the club is jumping and with hardly any room to breath its a heaving mass of swathing bodies singing along and I’m imediately taken back to the early days where packed clubs like Bristol Studio or New Ocean Club in Cardiff would see you carried along in a sea of bodies well this was like that. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ was played early doors before the band lashed out ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ and an enthusiastic ‘Over The Hills’ this was warming up to be something special.

The sound was good and the band sounded well rehearsed and full of energy. With a great mix of songs from way back to more recent offerings, it was ‘Within The Deepest Darkness (fearful)’ when we could take a breather and take in just how bloody good a band the Mission are. The show was taking shape in manageable chunks as the audience sang back every word from the epic ‘Kingdom Come’ and ‘Stay With Me’ it was ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ where Wayne let the audience sing back to him and I think he was impressed how loud and in tune it was. the main set was brought to an end with an energetic ‘Wasteland’ before ‘Deliverance’ saw the band leave the stage for the first time. A dozen songs had just flown by and I’d found myself in a pocket of air towards the front as the band returned for a trio of songs culminating in an exhilarating ‘Crystal Ocean’ that was the highlight of the set for me. How or why I don’t know but tonight I was moved by this song even though I’d heard it live dozens and dozens of times the whole experience was uplifting and life affirming and I love that Rock and Roll can do that even in a sea of top tunes one will stand tall.

The band left the stage for a second time before Wayne returned alone to announce that one of the band needed a toilet break but would say who so it was left for a welcome return of ‘Love Me To Death’ which only left an epic rendition of ‘Tower Of Strength’ before it was done leaving only Wayne and Simon to twist out a feedback soaked ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and then it was done. Off to Madrid for one last time as we filed out into the warm night air happy I’d once again seen The Mission deliver the goods and cement their place as one of the best live bands still treading the boards.

I know they’ve alluded to this possibly being their last foray into Europe but I’d ask they reconsider that and maybe do it one last time next year or the year after and I’ll be there and by the looks of it so will a lot of others. Another night of Deja Vu with the awesome Mission. Gracias amigos.



Author: Dom Daley