We decided to do two things differently tonight that we'd not previously done on this tour. The first was to meet in the pub a good hour before doors opened for drinks and lots of reminiscing. This allowed me to meet madwitch, Riley, Matt and a whole load of others whereupon we embarked on tales of misadventure and debauchery in the spring of our youth :p
We also drank the pub out of cider which was annoying as I had to then turn to beer (yuk). Too many Goths drink cider damnit.
The second thing we did differently this evening was to go in the venue at 7.20 so we could catch both support bands (I'd only been catching the main support the last two nights due to not being able to get to the venue any earlier than about 8). Admittedly this early start was largely promoted by the fact that the Dragons were the first support and they are damn good.
It also allowed me to return to cider drinkage which was a blessing. Or atleast it was until the venue ran out of cider...
'Children' was The Missions highest charting album and also my favourite seeing them move towards a slightly rockier sound than they'd previously played with in Gods Own Medicine. It also provided a gothic anthem in 'Tower of Strength' which was accompanied by a video I really liked back in the day.
From 'Beyond The Pale' to 'Hymn (For America)' past the brilliant cover of Aerosmith's "Dream On" this was MY album and I loved every second of it.
With this in mind I strolled along to Day 3 of The Final Chapter...
The 'Children' Night
The Dragons are creating a bit of a buzz. A friend told me about them late last year telling me to look into them. I promptly did and signed them up on my Myspace account to keep tabs on them. I then got the opportunity to see them live earlier this year when they opened for Die Krupps at Dingwalls (which I thought was a strange choice of support but very glad they were chosen).
The Dragons should be destined for big things. They are musically very tight with the various band members having previously done tours of duty with other outfits such as Levitation and Rachel Stamp. There sound falls in the Editors/Joy Division territory for the most part. Everyone I know who has seen them has reccommended them to friends and certainly the people I was with who hadn't previously seen them all seemed to agree that they were, indeed, fantastic.
Which is more than can be said for...
Balaam & The Angel
We shouldn't laugh or take the piss but we couldn't help ourselves. I'm really, really sorry but Balaam & The Angel were dire. I joked that they should have appeared on those bad 80's teen movie soundtracks - onyl for Riley to inform me they had done!
Now I had previously seen Balaam - but it was probably about 18 years ago and I couldn't remember what they were like at all. I even had a Balaam cassette (and for some reason still have it apparently although it might get lost in my next move...). I really don't know what they were like back then but they play bad rock. The picture on the front page of their website has to have been taken when Thatcher was still in power because they certainly don't look like that anymore. We actually tried to play "Who's the least ugly" when watching them for something to do other than bemoan the fact we couldn't smoke (and boy did we need to) . It was a very tight call but the drummer won on the basis we couldn't see him properly.
I'm sorry, I know this isn't a constructive review. There were, it seemed, quite a few people who liked them down the front. We started off down there but ended up at the back. Next to the bar. Waiting for the smoking area to open. But we survived and had a lot of fun while they were on - even if it wasn't for the right reasons.
Actually we did a third thing differently tonight. We also started off the Mission set in the middle of the front of the stage. To be fair it wasn't as hectic as it has been in the past but it was still very, very hot and bouncy.
The Mission played a really good set. Much better than the night before but that might also have been helped by Children being a more upbeat and rockier album as well as their choice of 'other' songs they played during the set.
It was fantastic hearing all the tracks from the album live. Including all 34 seconds of Shamera Kye which they had never performed live before.
Wayne and co had a slight alteration with one of the venue's security guys when a fan managed to get up on stage and the security rushed on to remove him and got into a tugging match with Wayne who fought to keep him on stage. One of the guitarists was also about to get involved when the security guy backed off and Wayne kept the fan on stage for a bit, finishing off the song, before said fan launched himself back into the crowd.
Highlights - and there were many last night - included Beyond the Pale, Kingdom Come, Hymn (For America) with Child's Play and Dream On probably picking up the tracks of the night award.
Simon Hinkler didn't appear until the beginning of the first encore this evening (yay for 1969!) which was a departure from the two previous nights as was the fact they actually finished the set at 10.50 instead of playing right up to 11.
Now we move onto the fourth and final night of not only the Shepherds Bush dates, not only of the tour but of The Mission as a band. They are playing 'Carved in Sand' between 8.15 - 9pm and then from 9.15 until 11 will be a Greatest Hits and Fan Favourites set. Tears will be rolling. Both on and off stage I'm guessing. It's going to be an emotional one...