For the past 35 years, NEW MODEL ARMY roam the planet, have released many records, their fourteenth full-length album Winter last August, were able to celebrate upper chart positions, and have played hundreds if not even thousands of shows. Moreover, NEW MODEL ARMY haven’t lost their energy yet. The Brits are still militant, angry and have one of the most charismatic voices to fight against injustice, social drawbacks and the politics of the mighty: Justin Sullivan, who can also be very soulful, melancholic, personal, and highly poetic.
Although NEW MODEL ARMY were somehow present to me through all those years and played so many tours and festivals… I have never seen them live. Gosh darn it! It’s really about time.
After their highly successful first part of the Winter tour, NEW MODEL ARMY added new dates for a second stint in Europe, and already sold out many of those shows. Exactly this happened to the show at Dortmund’s finest, the :: FZW Club :: (I visit quite often lately ;)). The Saturday evening was rainy and cold but did not scare the fans as the heavy traffic and long queues outside the venue proved. There was some confusion about the show times as the announced start at 8pm was changed to 7.30pm. Thus, I arrived almost too late. However, at the end, they started at 8 and so I had enough time to take a breath and to get ready.
:: pics :: BROOKLAND ::
Support came from Dortmund’s duo :: BROOKLAND ::, a young band I never heard of before. Singer and guitarist Bob Rotten (hahaha, good one, the drummer is called Flix Viscious ;)) told the crowd that they probably secured this slot just because they live around the corner. Musically, BROOKLAND gets described as Noise/Indie/DreamPop - yep, one can say so.
I liked their performance right from the beginning. They were so fresh and easygoing, so brimming of energy, and there was so much delight in play. Yes, these cats had a lot of fun on stage and the spark quickly jumped over. Their songs were played much gruffer than heard on… erm… no CDs… but on their bandcamp-site. In addition, BROOKLAND are pretty old school and releases its music on cassettes.
Again, I found it awe-inspiring how much diversified and dense songs can be played with only two instruments, because there were no electronics from tape or so. Just wow! This show was great! Really! Just way too short. Two, three more songs would have been very nice.
Setlist: Claire, Ok Ghost, Help Me Sin, Jumpin' From Bridges, Anticipating
:: pics :: NEW MODEL ARMY ::
In best mood and with swinging hips I got into the change-over. Now the sold out venue took its toll: oxygen-poor thin air, increasing temperatures and fans relentlessly pushing close to the stage for the best places. In return, I learnt that photographers were allowed to take photos as long as they want or need and that there were no additional photo rules at all. Wow! Gonna give an extra ♥ for a relaxed and professional band.
Compared to the youngsters a half hour ago:: NEW MODEL ARMY :: didn’t fall any short. I was told that NMA shows have been lame in the past. I absolutely cannot image. However, tonight there was raw energy to feel. I even would call the performance aggressive. Guitars and basses were changed flying and bassist Ceri Monger from time to time also switched over to additional drums. And the drum sound was huge!
Front man Justin Sullivan was whirling around, played and sang himself almost in rage. What a voice! What expressiveness. What a charismatic man! Pure energy. Why the fucking hell did I so often miss out on a NEW MODEL ARMY show? Hm…
As expected, NMA focused on the new album Winter they played half of the songs from. Other ones came from the last two records Between Dog And Wolf and Between Wine And Blood, spiced with some classics. Great set, really. Sound and lights were awesome too.
The audience responded enthusiastic, almost frenetic, sang and danced as if there were no tomorrow. I saw some kind of rituals in the crowd. And the fans were rewarded with not one but two encores. Well deserved.
So. What’s left to say? My very first NEW MODEL ARMY show was a great one. Amazing band, fabulous evening. And… more charisma isn’t possible!
Setlist: R&R, Winter, Here Comes The War, Part The Waters, The Charge, Angry Planet, Born Feral, Eyes Get Used To The Darkness, No Pain, Die Trying, Did You Make It Safe?, Burn The Castle, Devil, Between Dog And Wolf, 51st State, Get Me Out // Stupid Questions, Green And Grey // Wired, I Love The World