Live Reviews

Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express – Mid Sussex Music Hall, Hassocks: Live Review

Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express – Mid Sussex Music Hall, Hassocks – 15th June 2023

6 years… Seems incredible that it has been such a gap since Chuck Prophet and his trusty Mission Express last toured the UK. The band were all fired up for a visit to Blighty in 2020 on the back of their new LP The Land That Time Forgot but alas the plans were scuppered by Covid and when things started getting back to normal on that front… a massive health scare for Chuck ! With the world (and Chuck) firing on all cylinders, the band are now back with a bang having just completed 33 dates in Europe and the UK.

The last date in the UK was at the intimate Music Hall in Hassocks where Brighthelmstone Promotion strives to bring the best Americana acts to West Sussex (Bill Kirchen and Laura Cantrell coming up in June and July). After a short but sweet opening set by Jake Pinto where the singer-songwriter displayed a great flair for a good tune, it was time for Chuck and his long serving band to saunter on the stage to give us two hours of exquisitely performed Rock’n’roll.

Chuck, always an amiable host had the crowd on the palm of his hand with hilarious banter including a quasi Motown-ish crowd greeting in the middle of a great take on Dan Penn’s Come On Over. The rhythm section of Vicente Rodriguez and Kevin White kept the whole operation rocking and swinging throughout the evening while guitarist James DePrato proved to be the band’s secret weapon with tasty slide guitar parts throughout! The highlights were numerous with a heavy slant towards their latest album The Land That Time Forgot. Whether it was catchy pop tracks like Marathon ( Stephanie and Chuck’s voices blending splendidly) or Best Shirt On (where our host invited the British to avoid wearing sports clothes outside of the gym) and the ode to one of his musical heroes (High As Johnny Thunders), the band proved that their recording output is still going from strength to strength! 

Leaving the stage with the audience screaming for more after a rip-roaring version of Willie Mays Is Up At Bat, Chuck was cajoled back by some foot stomping from the audience (ah the joys of a venue with a wooden floor…). A solo acoustic Open Up Your Heart (probably one of his greatest songs) during which you could hear a pin drop was followed by a full band version of Summertime Thing. 

Chuck Prophet online: Website / Facebook / Twitter Instagram

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