Gig Review: New Model Army at Rock City

Words: Richard Davies
Photos: Richard Davies
Sunday 28 November 2021
reading time: min, words

New Model Army took to the stage at Rock City on Friday 26 November and Saturday 27 November to perform their entire back catalogue...


The 40th Anniversary tour for any band is a huge achievement, but as New Model Army vocalist and guitarist Justin Sullivan points out when he arrived on stage, this was their 41 and a half year anniversary tour. 

This was actually a 6 hour concert, across two nights in four parts, as the band ran through their entire back catalogue from 1984’s debut release Vengeance to 2019’s excellent From Here.

As the band arrived on the stage, it was eerily dark, with just a haunting light through Michael Dean’s drum kit. The lineup has changed over the years, but backed by Dean on drums alongside Ceri Morgan on bass and Dean White on guitar, the sound was as strong as ever. 


On Saturday night we caught part two, and with Sullivan at the helm the band, New Model Army took their family of fans through four decades of nostalgic indulgence. The band may have graced many large stages in their long and varied career, but there is a special place in their hearts for Nottingham’s iconic Rock City and they have played the venue many many times before. 

They started with an absolute classic from 1984’s Vengeance in Bittersweet which had the crowd bouncing around right from the start. Highlights included Lust for Power, Angry Planet, and Fate. In this section the band performed 12 tracks, ending on the brilliantly powerful Bad Old World. 

Following a short break, Justin led the guys back on stage for the second set. This time, they performed a further 18 tracks. A mix of heavy guitar laden tracks and softer acoustic material made for an incredible mix. 


The second set saw Justin adorn the acoustic guitar for the most part. Family Life had the crowd singalong with Justin right from the start. The set built and you could tell the crowd loved every second. Highlights included Better Than Them, Here Comes the War and Ballad of Bodmin Pill

For many in the audience, 40 years may have gone by in a blink of an eye, but this night was full of memories of festivals and happy days. But, an end must come to all good things, as the night was rounded off with an encore. First up they performed the incredible Vengeance and the atmosphere reached a peak. Still as powerful as it was back then, the crowd sang along loud and clear. An incredible sight. Then finally they finished with I Love the World

The sold out crowd demonstrated that just as much as their life long fans still love their music, they are still gathering new fans, and there is a hunger for New Model Army still. 

What an anniversary, and an honour to be a part of.

New Model Army performed at Rock City on Friday 26 November and Saturday 27 November. 

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