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THE MISSION Crusade Cherry Red (2008)

Dubious stage outfit masks Goth gem...

Mission The Mission have always been one of my favourite bands although I have to say I never bought into the Goth culture - and when I watched this I remembered why!

This is a concert filmed live at Rock City (Nottingham?) in 1987, very early in the band's career following the acrimonious break-up two years previously of The Sisters Of Mercy and all the material, with the exception of '1969', comes from their first two albums - God's Own Medicine and The First Chapter.

When Wayne Hussey flounces on stage in a white dress (which looked to have been borrowed from either Emily or Florence from Little Britain) and you catch your first glimpse of the audience, you think hmmmm…didn't Boots and the nail bar do a roaring trade pre-gig!

But don't let it put you off. This is a top quality, professionally recorded piece of history really, and it never lets up from beginning to end.

They kick off with 'Wasteland', probably one of the band's best-known tracks and definitely a crank handle for the audience - that chiming, echoey guitar sound really hits the spot. '

And The Dance Goes On', 'Garden Of Delight' and 'Let Sleeping Dogs Lie' follow, but it's with 'Serpent's Kiss' that the gig really kicks off together with a fabulous rendition of 'Over The Hills And Far Away'. 'The Crystal Ocean', 'Sacrilege' and 'Stay With Me' keep the pace up until what I thought was the highlight - a pounding version of 'Blood Brother'.

Unfortunately, I felt they peaked too soon as the final track '1969' seemed a bit weak in comparison. Whether there was an encore or not we'll never know as the film finishes at this point.

My only critical observation is that it's a bit one-paced with little in the way of light and shade and, certainly, you really had to be there to get what it was all about, but, as a snapshot of the whole Goth scene, I reckon this is indispensable viewing.


Review by Alan Jones

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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