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Final Gravity

Title - For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush
Artist - The Mission

For those not in the know, The Mission (known as The Mission UK in the United States) are an English gothic rock band formed in 1986.

Initially known as The Sisterhood, the band was started by frontman Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams (both from The Sisters of Mercy), soon adding drummer Mick Brown (Red Lorry Yellow Lorry) and guitarist Simon Hinkler (Artery and Pulp).

Aside from Hussey, the line-up has changed several times during the years and the band has been on hiatus twice.

Releasing on March 30th, 2018, via Cherry Red Records (UK), For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush is a historic musical account of The Mission spread over an incredible 5 CDs.

Between Wednesday 27th of February and Saturday 1st of March 2008, The Mission took to the stage on four consecutive nights to perform a memorable and momentous collection of gigs, performing live in their entirety – The First Chapter, God’s Own Medicine, Children and Carved In Sand, plus an unbelievable second show on their final night, performing The Mission’s hits and fan’s favorites.

The First Chapter, originally released in 1987 includes the singles ‘Serpents Kiss’ and ‘Garden of Delights’. Gods Own Medicine, originally released 1986 and reaching no.4 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Waste Land’ and ‘Severina’.

Children, originally released in 1988 and reaching no.2 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Tower of Strength’ and ‘Beyond The Pale’. Carved In Sand, originally released in 1990 and reaching no.7 in the UK charts includes the singles ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’, ‘Deliverance’, ‘Into The Blue’ and ‘Amelia’.

For Ever More: Live at London Shepherd's Bush is fully endorsed by the band themselves, and containing full sleeve-notes from Metal Hammer and Classic Rock journalist, DJ and presenter Natasha Scharf.

Disc: 1 (The First Chapter - Wednesday 27th, February 2008)
1. Tomorrow Never Knows
2. Serpent's Kiss
3. Over the Hills and Far Away
4. Naked and Savage
5. Garden of Delight
6. Afterglow
7. Wishing Well
8. Wake (RSV)
9. The Crystal Ocean
10. Like a Hurricane
11. 1969
12. Dancing Barefoot
13. Beyond the Pale
14. Shelter from the Storm

Disc: 2 (God's Own Medicine - Thursday 28th, February 2008)
1. Wasteland
2. Bridges Burning
3. And the Dance Goes on
4. Grip of Disease
5. Dance on Glass
6. Stay with Me
7. Island in a Stream
8. Love Me to Death
9. Severina
10. Let Sleeping Dogs Die
11. Blood Brother
12. Deliverance
13. Garden of Delight
14. Evangeline
15. Sacrilege

Disc: 3 (Children - Friday 29th, February, 2008)
1. Beyond the Pale
2. A Wing and a Prayer
3. Fabienne
4. Divided We Fall
5. Heat
6. Heaven on Earth
7. Dream on
8. Like a Child Again
9. Child's Play
10. Hymn (For America)
11. Forevermore
12. Black Mountain Mist
13. Breathe
14. Kingdom Come
15. Tower of Strength

Disc: 4 (Carved In Sand - Saturday, 1st March, 2008)
1. Amelia
2. Hands Across the Ocean
3. Into the Blue
4. Paradise (Will Shine Like the Moon Tonight)
5. Butterfly on a Wheel
6. Sea of Love
7. Grapes of Wrath/Lovely
8. Bird of Passage
9. Belief
10. Hungry As the Hunter
11. Deliverance
12. Like a Child Again
13. Mr Pleasant
14. Serpent's Kiss
15. Wasteland

Disc: 5 (Bonus Disc - Saturday, 1st March, 2008)
1. Like a Hurricane
2. Over the Hills and Far Away
3. Bridges Burning
4. Dance on Glass
5. Stay with Me
6. Island in a Stream
7. Love Me to Death
8. Dream on
9. Fabienne
10. Severina
11. Wake (RSV)
12. Forevermore
13. 1969
14. Shelter from the Storm
15. Tower of Strength

The first live performance of The First Chapter is, at its heart, nothing short of a Goth rock opera of tracks. Gathering, as the album itself did, the material released on the first two EPs released through the Chapter 22 label, the highlights here for me are both "Over the Hills and Far Away" and the quite brilliant to hear live Neil Young belter, "Like a Hurricane".

Then comes what is, in my humble opinion, the best Mission album by a long shot in God's Own Medicine. One made of pure rock to hear these songs live is a pure unadulterated joy. Sure Wayne's voice is probably the weakest part of the Mission live at this juncture - it breaks when he screams in Blood Brother, and wavers in Garden of Delight - but he still manages to carry the songs.

Next up is the live version of another of their more solid albums, Children. The album, much like the live show, flows beautifully from the opener Beyond The Pale, to the closing Tower Of Strength. There is certainly bombast in these live recordings, but the ridiculous Led Zep rip-off "Black Mountain Mist" could've easily been left off both this set and the actual album.

For their more commercial stab at music, Carved In Sand, Wayne's live vocals are actually on the up here tonight. Maybe having warmed up to this performance by tackling all the other nights beforehand, there's a new a fluidity, a vulnerability, even a femininity, that infuses so much of the Mission's work during this set.

Done live, wow, "Butterfly on a Wheel" demonstrates so clearly more than the album version, where love both breaks and heals the wings. The flower crushed under the snow will rise again in the Spring. However, the irony of "Amelia", the opening cut, is of a more direct nature. "Daddy can love you more than Mummy can," screams Wayne in the guise of an incestuous father.

And it's those impassioned vocals, full of evil, pain, desire and guilt, all at the same time, and the strong beat, relentlessly belt out the irony of lust masquerading as paternal love, that embrace the Bonus Disc of live tracks also culled from their last night.

Infused with a feeling of flesh - sensual and suffering - there's actually something of Jesus in Wayne and these live performances from back in 2008. And while that one's sinking in, there's a lot of poetic irony in the man, which relates back to the rich tradition of ballads, poems, and laments, all laid bare on a bed of melodic rock songs within breathtaking symphonic arrangements.

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