Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom
Saturday 16th April, 2022
Some bands represent the best years of our lives. The Mission being one of them. Back in the Olden Days, when life was about the party, and nothing but the party and pursuit of Alternative Night Clubs, Beavers,Bensons and Time And Place in Bradford, Le Phonographique, The Wharehouse and Central Park in Leeds and The Xclusiv in Batley spending hours and hours in preparation, Hair makeup and wardrobe. Every night was like prep for a stage performance. being a New Romantic was a full-time occupation back in the olden days.
Looking that good took maximum time and dedication. not to mention courage because West Yorkshire was pretty aggressively homophobic. LGBT and Trans Rights were pretty low in peoples awareness back then, in fact am sure the very suggestion of such a thing would have been quite a toe curler for most. Clubbing back then was tribal with dance and displaying our peacock feathers to full effect despite the ever-present threat of violence from stiffs that disproved, the only solution was to dance harder and wear more makeup.
Safety in numbers, The Tribe. It was a time when being on the dole was a perfectly respectable occupation as Thatcher had broken industry in the north of England the plus point of that was having lots of time to look fabulous and it didn’t matter if one slept through the day as long as one made it to sign on once a fortnight. So Nightlife was life. It was a lesson in not needing much money to have a really good time.
It was in Leeds, Le Phonographique that The Sisters Of Mercy first worked their way into my subconscious and a new kind of alternative culture was been being born, for without this iconic band the term “Goth” would never have been coined. Its when post-punk styles morphed to create a new kind of Rock N Roll rebellion from the hardship of the northern working-class culture of the time. With Wayne Hussey and Andrew Eldrige fighting for the creative helm after releasing their one and only album together. The Sisters Of Mercy’s iconic and brilliant.
“First Last And Always” After which creative tensions became too much. Andrew Eldrich continued The Sisters Of Mercy and Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams formed The Sisterhood (To piss Andrew Eldrige off) releasing one album called “The Gift” Legal wranglings followed and Mr Hussey had no choice but to change the bands name to “The Mission”. Both bands would become incredibly successful and further expanding the culture of looking amazing and having a really Good Time.
When I saw The Mission at Bradford, Saint Georges Hall in 1988. They were brilliant, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, I think I had a subconscious loyalty to Andrew Eldrige too. But when I saw them live it really really rocked and I loved The Waterwheel stage set. Whereas when I saw the Sisters Of Mercy at the ABC2 in Glasgae I had huge expectations because of how much I love the Sisters but was really underwhelmed by the performance because of how quiet it was. Maybe it was the wrong venue. But with the Mission performing The Barrowland Ballroom on the 16th April. There are no volume constraints. Excited you betcha Good Time Divine ❤
Wayne Hussey – vocals & Guitar
Craig Adams – bass,
Alex Baum – drums,
Simon Hinkler – guitar
Have just found out that The Rose Of Avalanche are to be The Missions support on Saturday. A band that are equally ingrained into the Divine subconscious A band that invokes Good Time memories from an age of creativity, brilliant mates and lashings of lovemaking. And just like The Mission, originated in Leeds and was another band that helped shape the fashions of alternative culture.
(From the Rose Of Avalanche Press Release)
They went their separate ways in 1992. 27 years of silence followed. Various rumours of a reunion surfaced over the intervening years, and there was still clearly a demand from a passionate fan base. In August 2019, seemingly out of the blue, the impossible happened. The band announced it was reforming the original lineup and played a secret friend and family gig at the Fox and Newt Leeds in September 2019.
The reaction to The Rose’s triumphant return was overwhelming, and history repeated itself some 30 years later – the band had again appeared from nowhere and within weeks were being offered headline gigs in the UK and Europe and were confirmed as main support for the UK leg of The Mission’s upcoming UK tour.
Now, this really is a Divine scoop. Gothic Yorkshire is coming to Glasgow. Yeeeeha Is it any wonder I am so excited ❤ I just know that The Barrowland Ballroom is going to be the perfect venue for both bands Its going to be one long boogie and a reason to get gothed up.
Raymond Mundito O’neill is on photographic duties for this prestigious resurrection of two of Yorkshire’s prestigious bands. The Rose of Avalanche were a lot closer to the Sisters Of Mercy in sound and texture. I couldn’t think of a better Support for The Mission. Because everyone that loved dancing to The Sisters Of Mercy and The Mission. Loved dancing to The Rose Of Avalanche too. They were a lot more underground and didn’t quite have the fame, (Or luck) Because they are equally as good. When I listen to “L.A Rain” I can hear just how much future bands would take part of The Rose Of Avalanche’s musical style and make it their own The Rose Of Avalanche were undoubtedly inspired by The Velvet Underground with a vocal style not far removed from that of Lou Reed. The Rose Of Avalanche were romantic art-rock. All the faces of Alternative Yorkshire had a Roses Of Avalanche album or two.
Rose Of Avalanche Band Line Up.
Phillip Morris – vocals;
Glenn Schultz. guitar
Paul James Berry – guitars;
Alan Davis – bass guitar;
Mark Thompson – drums.
Neighbouring City, Bradford had its fare share of successful post-punk art rock bands too, The Southern Death Cult, New Model Army and Ghostdance but to name a few.. Back in the 80;s Yorkshire birthed culture, It was good time to be alive. New Model Army and Ghostdance are still touring and recording too.
The Divine Verdict.
I love Glasgow, Glaswegians are really friendly and put that extra bit of sparkle into looking good. As I headed to Central Station for my rendezvous with my photographer of the night and his beautiful cousin, talented performers were everywhere on Argyle Street giving their best, for the entertainment of the busy shoppers, shopping. It made me smile a beaming smile.
I set out to have a really good dance because I knew that the combination of The Rose Of Avalanche and The Mission would set my feet on fire and I wasnae disappointed.
First up, The Rose Of Avalanche took to the Barrowland Ballroom stage and they were hot, dripping with rock fineness, masters of their instruments. So many different influences wrang out through the body of work that they delivered. It reminded me of what made them so good back in the day. They were sexy, very sexy. The four guitarists were on fire. Each of them stars in their own right, the rhythm section were really tight. The vocalist Phillip Morriss I think was battling his own demons in a beautifully expressive way, art therapy and the building of confidence, he stated to the audience that a journalist had stated that they looked bored when performing a gig earlier this week. Baby you were hot and your audience at The Barrowland Ballroom received you beautifully and with the supporting band of expert musicians backing that deep wonderful voice. Yes The Rose Of Avalanche have work to do in instilling just confidence in their frontman. Its about working the art isn’t it, working that fine body of brilliant songs with confidence. It is seldom I have experienced an audience demanding an encore from a supporting band. But tonight that is what happened.
Confidence shone from Wayne Hussey as The Mission took to the stage to recreate the very essence of the reverence that this band have always summoned from the loyal following, that worship the ground that these guys perform on. Hit after hit ripped into The Ballroom, Severina, Butterfly On A Wheel, Tower Of Strength et al and a very interesting arrangement of Wasteland that incorporated the guitar licks of The Sisters Of Mercy’s classic “Marian” Hmm this is interesting My beautiful dancing partner of the night agreed wholeheartedly as we rocked out together and then it came in the encore. A full-blown rendition of “Marian”, worked very well, The packed ballroom agreed wholeheartedly. As they bounced on the sprung dancefloor and created human pyramids and offered choreographed hand gestures, in a way that only a loyal Mission fan can, closing proceedings with Deliverance. Another fully satisfying live experience at the Barrowland Ballroom.
Words:Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Mundito O’neill