Review: New Model Army at Wedgewood Roomns, Southsea

New Model Army
New Model Army
The Darkness. Picture by

Simon Emmett

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I first saw New Model Army at Reading Festival back in 1986.

The weekend pass with camping cost me £17.95. Yes kids, £17.95. I believe it’s £210.50 this year.

Anyway, after that I was so impressed I saw them numerous times up until the mid-1990s, often travelling hundreds of miles in my brother’s Morris Minor.

Back then, they were a three-piece post-punk guitar band with energy, grit and added melodies and vocals to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

The atmosphere at one of their gigs had to be experienced to be believed.

So, having been going for more than 30 years, and now a five-piece, have they still got it?

The sell-out gig at the Wedgewood Rooms erupted with 20-somethings dancing alongside 50-somethings as they started with Wonderful Way To Go and R&R. Frontman, Justin Sullivan stood powerful at the front, eyes wide, scanning the eager crowd. You could tell this man believes everything he sings from the bottom of his heart.

They returned for an encore with one of my favourite numbers, Green and Grey. The passion and the energy were still in abundance and the songs all stood the test of time.

Have they still got it? Most definitely yes. With their 12th album due for release this summer, New Model Army will keep marching on.