Two years after the official anniversary, New Model Army is finally touring Europe to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. After two sold-out shows in the Netherlands, the band in Übach-Palenberg continued the extended German part of the tour on a sweltering evening.
What’s unique about this tour – including some special German shows in Berlin and Leipzig with a full symphonic orchestra – that started a few weeks ago, is the departure of Marshall Gill, who has been the band’s lead guitarist since 2005. So now the band is touring the world as a 4 piece band and honestly, they are still so powerful without Marshall. Dean White played much of the second guitar and keyboards and did so ably.
The band gave a beautiful concert of 20 songs. A concert that was almost perfect. With old songs of course, such as the opener song “Bittersweet”, one of the first songs Justin Sullivan wrote in 1982. But also classics from the nineties, such as “Here comes the war”, “Fate” and “Believe it”, three songs from “The love of the hopeless causes” from 1993. These great songs were then supplemented with more recent songs such as “Devils Bargain” from 2014 and the highlight of the evening “Born Feral”, from their excellent “Winter” album (2016).
But just as much fun was the guest appearance of an additional member for the summer tour with our old heroes. It was a young talented violinist who put the icing on the cake during eight songs. Beautiful live versions of “Innocence” and the classic “Vagabonds”, in which he started the song with a very long violin intro.
40 years after his start, Justin Sullivan still does his best on stage. The same energy, the same pleasure to play, the same kindness to the audience and his own sense of humour when he speaks between songs. It was a concert close to perfection, by one of the most authentic bands from England!