Considered beyond-the-pale by diehard Batcavers (who knew what they were talking about when it came to the pale), The Mission nonetheless induce Proustian cider flashbacks in a later black-clad generation.
Born in Bristol in 1958 to devout Mormon parents, Jerry Wayne Lovelock hopped it to Liverpool just in time for the explosion of punk at Eric’s, playing with Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls, then Dead Or Alive with future Celebrity Big Brother diva, Pete Burns.
Co-writing half the songs on their first album, Sophisticated Boom Boom, Wayne Hussey (as he was now calling himself) left before its 1984 release, having inadvertently done himself out of a job by putting his guitar through a synth and creating a disco sound that Burns fell in love with.
Hussey ended up in the Sisters Of Mercy for a year, eventually leaving with bassist Craig Adams because kommandant Andrew Eldritch wanted to tour less while Hussey and Adams wanted to tour more. The result was hard-gigging band, The Mission, who trod the boards from 1986 to 1996 – and again from 1999 to 2008.
During their initial success, The Mission cultivated a uniquely intimate relationship with their fans, sitting down to take phone calls from the fan club once a week and offering “season tickets” to tours. Hussey admitted later that this intimacy became an albatross, destroying the music’s mystique.
For some, this hard-drinking Leeds band were nothing more than U2 with black sunglasses, but Gods Own Medicine – notable for the wind-machine bluster of Wasteland and the looming Severina – was vital in taking Goth out of the crypt and into the student bedsit.
The band broke up in 96 but Hussey and Adams reformed in 1999 without drummer Mick Brown. Adams eventually claimed homesickness after a 48-hour bender and Hussey told him to “fucking go home”. Hussey himself made his home in Brazil where he lives with his Brazilian actress wife and her family near São Paulo.
To celebrate their 21st anniversary, Hussey and his band (which now includes no other original members) released God Is A Bullet – an album of breezy pop rock which shares little with past Mission glories.