New from New Model Army

Ok, so it’s been rather quiet round here for the last couple of weeks. No excuses, other than that I have been feeling utterly exhausted.

So thanks to New Model Army for stirring my from my stupor. They have a new album out on August 23, entitled From Here. The first track to be released from the sessions (which took place on the tiny Norwegian album of Giske) is entitled ‘End Of Days.’ And this track reminds me why I fell for New Model Army, a band who inspire fierce loyalty and a devoted following (whatever daft things the music press may or may not have focused on). The albums was written in just two months and recorded in nine days. For a band due to celebrate their fortieth anniversary next year, they are still sounding remarkably fresh and urgent.

There’s a small ‘teaser’ video doing the rounds which whets the appetite still further…

…and there will be a tour (see the band’s website for details), which includes a date in 17 Seconds’ hometown of Edinburgh. You can also pre-order the album here. The artwork was done by the band’s long-term collaborator, the legendary Joolz Denby (a personal hero).

Album Review – New Model Army

New Model Army Wine and Blood

New Model Army -‘Between Wine And Blood.’ (Attack Attack)

Between Wine And Blood follows New Model Army’s last album Between Dog And Wolf almost exactly a year to its release date. That album – rightly – got not only some of their best reviews ever – but also saw them getting their highest chart positions in many years.

Between Wine And Blood is a package to two halves. The second half is a series of live performances recorded in England and mainland Europe. To my ears the finest new version on here is ‘Horsemen’ which closed last year’s album, and still contains the same urgency. Whether leading New Model Army (as he has done for thirty-four years) or solo, Justin Sullivan is a compelling performer and these live performances give an insight into why they maintain a very loyal following and why their last album did so well.

It is, however, the first part of the album that’s the main reason for buying this album. It’s a six track mini-album, recorded earlier this year when drummer Michael Dean was unable to play shows. It’s prime New Model Army, from opening ‘According To You’ (which – again- reminds me that one of the many refreshing things about New Model Army was their positivity) to the closing ‘Sunrise.’ I kept trying to decide which was the standout track here and decided ultimately to admire the whole. There’s a number of excellent additions to the New Model Army songbook here – and a reminder that while the mainstream music press may have treated them shoddily, their fanbase continues to grow and remain loyal. And once more, the record features fantastic artwork from longterm collaborator Joolz Denby.


Between Wine And Blood is out now on Attack Attack.

Joolz Denby – poet, artist, legend

Her Myspace profile describes her as a cultural revolutionary.

It’s a pretty accurate description. I guess one of Ed 17 Seconds’ alltime heroes doesn’t really fit the bill, but it’s true.

She emerged in the eighties, described as a ‘punk poetess’ though there was more to her than that. She hails from Bradford, a city she’s obviously fiercely proud of and is a cultural ambassador for the city. She’s an artist, who worked and continues to work closely with New Model Army, designing many of their sleeves. She wrote thought-provoking poetry and prose, sometimes sad, quite often angry, yet frequently funny and always utterly brilliant (anyone who has a copy of her book Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know should get in touch). In the last decade she has also published four novels that have to be read: Stone Baby, Corazon, Billie Morgan and Borrowed Light, all of which have to be read and re-read.

I finally met her in early 2000 at a New Model Army gig (she’s the long-term partner of singer Justin Sullivan, aka Slade The Leveller) and nervously trotted up to say. I needn’t have worried; she was very approachable, and I later met on three separate occaions, Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Book Festival and at a solo Justin Sullivan gig in Edinburgh. In 2000 when I was writing my Masters dissertation, I corresponded with her, and she gave me some thought-provoking correspondence via email.

She also made some excellent records, mostly in the eighties, and this is one I’d love 17 seconds readers to hear:

Joolz -‘Mad, Bad and dangerous To Know.’ mp3

If you like it, please buy it!

Joolz Denby’s official website

The online shop. You must, you really must!