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Wayne Hussey - Scholar Bar, Leicester, 23/9/2014

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 14 / 11 / 2014

Wayne Hussey - Scholar Bar, Leicester, 23/9/2014


Anthony Strutt watches Mission front man Wayne Hussey play an enthralling set to promote his debut solo album ‘Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades’ at the Scholar Bar in Leicester

The Scholar Bar, which is part of Leicester University, is a tiny venue. It is packed by the time I get there a few minutes before Wayne Hussey comes on stage at the early time of 8.30 p.m., but there can’t be more than a hundred people there at this intimate gig. He plays until 10.40 p.m., some minutes after the curfew time of 10.30 and so we get a two hour ten minute set. Wayne Hussey is something of a legend. His band the Mission have delivered twelve albums, starting off with ‘God's Own Medicine’ back in 1986. While he was born in Bristol and has lived for many years in Sao Paulo in Brazil, he spent some of his early life in Liverpool, and his love still for their local football team is shown by the big Liverpool FC flag that he has displayed across his piano., At one point, he asks a punter in front of me an update of the scores as the evening progresses. The Mission still exists and have just announced a festival tour for 2015, but this current tour is mainly to showcase his PledgeMusic funded new solo album, ‘Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades’. The audience tonight, a week out of term, is mainly an older audience that grew up with him, as well as a few odd Goths, one of whom thinks that it is a house gig just for her. She loves every song he plays and makes comments all night, and near the end Wayne says, “If I'm pissed off with you, then I’m sure everyone else is.” I was expecting stripped down songs on an acoustic guitar, but that isn't just what we get. Only one of the songs, played on electric guitar towards the start of the evening, jangles in that familiar Gothic Mission manner. During the set, Wayne entertains us, as well as his acoustic guitar, with songs on an ukelele, keyboards, and a Loop machine upon which he loops his voice rather than an instrument. He also sings solo with the help of a sample and tablet-like piece of equipment. Wayne has a huge back catalogue of songs. Much of tonight's set is unfamiliar to me, and, after a mere few numbers, he throws the running order over to requests, from the crowd. ‘Draped in Red’ is a download, and a love song for Liverpool. It's not until the end, when he does stripped down acoustic versions of ‘Wasteland’, Neil Young's ‘Like a Hurricane’ from the Mission's second twelve Inch EP, and ‘Butterfly on a Wheel' on piano, that the songs become more familiar. Throughout the set, he is, however, very entertaining, Although his short but punky grey haircut, and his dark shades are his trademark, a lot of the songs have an old 1940’s street like credibility, with the craft of the song and the words being the most important components. This was a fantastic way to spend an evening. A wonderful night.

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Wayne Hussey - Scholar Bar, Leicester, 23/9/2014

Wayne Hussey - Scholar Bar, Leicester, 23/9/2014

Wayne Hussey - Scholar Bar, Leicester, 23/9/2014

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Songs of Candlelight and Razorblades (2014)
Innovative and unpredictable second solo album from Wayne Hussey, the frontman with Gothic band, the Mission

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