I find myself in the exquisite surroundings of one of London’s finest concert halls, The Roundhouse in Camden Town for what is the first time in ages. For I’m about to catch the last night of The Mission’s Deja Vu World Tour. Whilst it seemed like forever ago when I went to the second warm-up show on the tour in Cardiff but that was only Wednesday, April 12th, 2022. Fast forward a year and I then caught a pretty special show in Barcelona, then in the summer it was a support slot with the Cult before rounding off (Boom Boom) in the Roundhouse for the finale. To be fair they were pretty damn good out of the traps on that opening night warm up but hell, the Roundhouse smashed all my expectations.
Sure Barcelona was hot a sweaty fun and the band had already been on the road for twelve months and the new boy Alex was well and truly in the groove but The Roundhouse they were absolutely on fire. Anyway, later. Firstly thanks to the London crosstown traffic and utterly shite weather we managed to miss Ist Ist which was a shame, but, walking into the already full Roundhouse just as Kirk Brandon and the band took to the stage for what was a fantastic no nonsense set of nine Theatre Of Hate songs plus the Spear Of Destiny ‘Grapes Of Wrath’ and this was the first TOH set I’d seen in years having previously caught Spear Of Destiny sets and Brandon Solo, or as part of Dead Men Walking many moons ago. The Saxophone worked well and as part of a post-punk setup up it was different songs like ‘Conquistador’ that went down a treat and Brandon looked and sounded in great shape which was also great to see.
Not much banter from Brandon it was a case of letting the music do the talking and get on with the job at hand so, ‘Incinerator’, ‘Westworld’, and ‘Propaganda’ were fine ways to sign off that evenings warm up. Excellent song delivered well, and a fine way to catch up with a unique talent that is Kirk Brandon now for the headliners.
The Mission, Its no secret and its fair to say I love the band from the first time I heard them burst onto the scene back in the 80s. They’ve been a constant throughout my youth and into adulthood, seeing the band dozens of times from way back in the day at Cardiffs New Ocean Club back before the debut album hit the shelves right up to this point and the final night of a pretty impressive and mammoth world crusade.
Making the most of it or just trying to draw in every last second I hope it’s not their swans song and there is more to come from the band who to be fair have sounded amazing and this night in the big smoke was an absolute triumph. To be fair I know they rehearse so many songs for the tour and then rotate them I’ve seen a pretty varied list of songs played and with the exception of ‘Naked And Savage’ the Roundhouse set was unbelievably good from the opening excitement of The Dam Buster Theme and into the epic ‘Beyond The Pale’ it was all systems go and the band were on fire. tight and road ready the miles had certainly paid off and Alex sounded so comfortable as it was no time for nostalgia or messing about it was pure business as the phenomenal ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ ripped through the PA as fresh as the first time I ever heard it. My mind was racing trying to take it all in and memories came flooding back as the band went through some big hits early doors it was ‘Crystal Ocean then ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ before one of the newer tunes got a look in and for me, I’ve not been able to get the chorus of ‘Met-amor-Phosis’ out of my head. Sure I love the classics and will never tire of hearing ‘Garden Of Delight’ and ‘Stay With Me’ but equally the newer songs like this and ‘Swan Song ‘ hold similar status in my memories.
Ending the main set with a blustering big mother of a song ‘Deliverance’ delivered. It was time for a drink and then Wayne returned on his own for a quick bit of Sister’s banter and an impeccable ‘Wake’ before the band resumed their positions onstage for an epic one-two of ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Wastelands’, I found myself getting a little emotional saying it was moving too fast and can it go on longer but a glance at the watch said time wasn’t our friend and there was only room for one more, but we’d almost been here for two hours It had simply flown by which only left Wayne and Simon on stage for a stumble through ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before leaving the stage briefly before an absolute monster version of ‘Tower Of Strength’ and a heaving mass of people must have all been thinking the same thing as the band took a final bow and left the stage right. Howling triumphant applause saw the band off it was the least they deserved after such a draining set of songs that were the sound of a band right on the top of their game and a band that could go toe to toe with anyone on this form, simply superb.
I do hope this isn’t the end, but merely yet another chapter for one of the best bands for several decades. Go home, take some time off, and recharge the batteries. look back fondly on an amazing tour where the band got better and better because to go out at this point would be a travesty, especially with significant anniversaries on the horizon. Besides, I want to try a German date next time. This was certainly a taste of God’s Own Medicine and one I will never tire of taking, I treasure these moments that’s for sure. Play on Wayne, Craig, Simon, and Alex that was a special end to some special memories. Nice one.
Author: Dom Daley