THE MISSION UK + HAPPY HOLLOWS @ CLUB NOKIA THEATRE
Photos and words by Debi Del Grande
“Let me ask you a question LA. Have you missed us?” Of course we have, Wayne Hussey! The Mission (known in the US as The Mission UK) hasn’t been here in years and Club Nokia hosted the gothic rock band from the 80s with the crowd in a sea of black. Who is this band you say? Should I even care or listen to them now?
Well, Hussey (lead vox/guitar) and Craig Adams (bass guitar/backing vox) came from the group Sisters of Mercy with Simon Hinkler (guitar) from Artery and Pulp. Never having that one, smashing one-hit-wonder to always remember them by is actually a good thing. The Mission has a steady flow of tunes and many bands today could take a lesson, or have. Their stage presence is strong, no costumes or gimmicks – just in-your-face deep rock and beautiful Schecter guitars everywhere.
Hussey told us at the beginning of the show he was at Cedars-Sinai with laryngitis, stating he has it now. Bollocks! He must have been teasing as his pipes sounded pitch perfect with just the right amount of raspy. I did, however, want to grab the 1/2 bottle of red wine by his side. That can’t be good for laryngitis.
“We have a new album coming out and with impeccable timing, we are touring before its release. That’s how clever we are.” This new album is The Brightest Light.
And as soon as Hussey mentioned they would play a new song and it’s a good one, I thought that this is the time I’m usually let down when I really want to like the new song. I’ve been to many shows when a band comes back around and announces they are going to play a new song from their new album and then it’s just not that good. I mean, it’s been awhile for this English band. But when they busted out “Sometimes the Brightest Light Comes from the Darkest Place,” it was really that good.
The addition of Mike Kelly, who is left-handed, but right-footed was having loads of fun behind his drum ensemble and didn’t miss a beat. The encores brought out former member and special guest, guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite, who we’ve seen with Peter Murphy and Gary Numan this year.
Experience says a lot for a band who has been around and knows how to deliver.
Our very own Happy Hollows opened and I was wondering how this crowd would react to our lovely Sarah Negahdari (vox, guitar, always wearing great boots), Charlie Mahoney (bass, synth), and Matt Fry (guitar). I mean, this was not their usual crowd. But as soon as they fell into a groove, the crowd was moving and gave warm applause. Now, even though Sarah didn’t invite us all into their fancy dressing room, maybe they will on during their October tour.
Black Cat Bone
Beyond the Pale
Naked and Savage
Sometimes the Brightest Light Comes from the Darkest Place
Garden of Delight
Butterfly on a Wheel
Everything but the Squeal
Like a Hurricane (Neil Young cover)
Drag/All Along the Watchtower/Stairway to Heaven
Tower of Strength