02 ARENA LEEDS 17th April

The remaining vestiges of the Goth glitterati are out tonight suitably on Easter Sunday to hold communion with Wayne Hussey erstwhile sage and guru. Its fair to say that Wayne has always been an under rated guitarist and penned many of the Sister’s best songs. These 2 bands are part of my story in Leeds. It is amazing and frightening that it was 32 years ago that I last saw them or even listened to them. The Rose’s singer is now bereft of barnet but his stage performance has improved and the band now have better hooks and riffs. I will always the 7th song is an infectious stand out and I enjoyed their cover of Loose by the Stooges. The audience possesses many males losing their hair yet some with more voluminous heads than ever. There are some titans of this scene including Salvation and some gothic lovelies and the barkeep from the notorious Phonographique. That club was reknown for playing Killed by Death by Motorhead and Hurry on Sundown by Hawkwind.

Pix Johann Wierzbicki

After a long wait and some New Agey rock music The Mission are astride the stage. They now sport a more peaceful bird on their crest, in view of the Ukraine conflict. Simon Hinkler seems to have altered unless he now looks remarkably different. There’s a very young booming new drummer. At one point a man stands up on the shoulders of someone and unfurls a huge black Mission flag. There are many impressive new songs but obviously the old ones are the ones I connect with and reflect.

Pix Johann Wierzbicki

Severina, The Serpents Kiss, About Crowley, Blood Brothers, Beyond the Pale and The Crystal Ocean. Tower of Strength is a magnificent shimmering opus to all they represent from its delicate beginning to its tumultuous endings. This reminds me of the force they were and still are. They threatened to become a magnum opus at one point especially after the John Paul Jones produced Children LP. The guitar sound is twiddly, mystical, artistic and redolent of incense.

I see Raye from Liverpool who now resembles Rolf Harris somewhat. Tie me kangaroo down sport!