The 1865, Southampton

New Model Army

New Model Army has always been a band with a loyal cult following and wherever they play you can be sure to find their legion of fans. Tonight’s pre-tour warm-up at The 1865 in Southampton has brought a sell-out of 750 people and is the first date in support of the band’s twelfth studio album “From Here”. The album was recorded on the Norwegian island of Giske, where the band created their music which is influenced by the isolation of the beautiful Norwegian environment and the majesty of the sea. After tonight’s show the band head across the English Channel to France to kick off the 37 dates UK/European Tour; taking in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Turkey, and Amsterdam.

The support comes in the form of Shattercones, a band that has graced the stage with NMA before and one that some of the fans should be familiar with. They are a fairly new quartet of four gig-experienced musicians featuring Jason Idnani-Powdrill on lead vocals/guitar, Arran Goodchild on drums, Neil Walsk on Violin and Dermot Watson on lap steel/guitar. The band’s set-up is far from standard and they are all about pushing the boundaries to create songs in an original way. The music is dark and atmospheric and at times it feels like a Quentin Tarantino film score. The vocals sound like a cross between Nick Cave and Paul Banks of Interpol, with accompanying music drifting through Folk, Gypsy Jazz, Country, and Rock. From the gentle meandering of “Love On Repeat” to the hard-hitting “The Butterfly Room” they in the short 30-minute set show the crowd the many sides of their creations.

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At 9pm exactly the now full venue greets New Model Army with a very vocal welcome, they have been away for a while and this joyous outburst signals their return. Kicking off with “One Of The Chosen” the band starts an evening that I am sure this Southampton crowd won’t forget in a long time. The early part of the set features some new songs from the album which include “Never Arriving” and “The Weather”. The songs show off the beautifully descriptive writing of Justin Sullivan and his ability to create landscapes from his words which are set to powerfully atmospheric music. The crowd really start to move as the band launch into the ever-popular tune “The Charge”; while “51st State” gets us all singing to this highly political number in which the lyrics still ring true today, since its release on “The Ghost Of Cain” in 1986.

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The setlist itself uses tunes from across the band’s extensive back catalogue and they bravely leave out a host of their most popular tunes in favour of some lesser aired songs. If you are expecting a greatest hits set them you would be disappointed. For the discerning NMA fan there are gems such as “Over The Wire”, “Fate”, and the powerful “Angry Planet”. The 5-piece band work so well together, like a well-oiled machine and every tune is delivered in a really naturally confident way. It’s easy for the 90 minutes that the band is on stage to get lost in their world and of that of their fans who hang on to every note that is played and every lyric that is sung. The band leaves the stage after a highly energetic version of “Get Me Out”, where the crowd swayed around the dance floor like the rough waves upon the nearby windy beaches. It was a great evening full of many highs and the band return to the UK in the middle of November, I’m sure many of these fans will be reliving one of these great evenings once again.

Set List
New Model Army
One of the Chosen
Never Arriving
The Weather
The Charge
Watch and Learn
51st State
Believe It
From Here
Where I Am
Passing Through
Over the Wire
Here Comes the War
States Radio
Angry Planet

Great Disguise
Get Me Out

Love on Repeat
The Butterfly Room





Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery (Chinners).

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