Wednesday, 2 June 2010
and blessed with nameless graces”
The Mission at Guildford University in November 1986 wasn’t my first concert. (That would probably be Basil Brush at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon when I was about 6.) But it was my first without any parents/guardians. In fact, I went on my lonesome since I was ‘the only Goth in the village’.
These days, it seems like 15 is the average age at any gig. But back then, when I was 15, I was certainly the youngest in that small, sweltering hall by a good couple of years. But we were all goth brothers. Me and the Eskimos. Snake dancing through the dry ice. Probably just as well I was alone – no-one wants to see that.
Formed from the splinters of The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission had released two great EPs over the summer and even managed to get their (somewhat DIY) videos played on the Indie section of The Chart Show – which in those days was a dazzling achievement for the groups I liked. It’s where I first heard ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ and I was smitten. Now their first album was out and it felt like this tour was a giant celebration – complete with confetti, human pyramids and Newcastle Brown.
My dad picked me up – just down the road a bit of course, to maintain some sense of cool (yes, I said cool – I know the very fact that I was at a goth gig negates any claim to coolness, but whatever). The tour poster was immediately Blu-tacked to my door and the Melody Maker gig guide became a weekly highlight of my teenage years. More of that another time.