A week ago I dragged Bill to the StarBar to see New Model Army play. He’d never heard of them and had no idea what to expect. At the beginning of the evening he looked like this:
A touch skeptical?
Actually, I wasn’t sure what we were letting ourselves in for either. I’d never actually seen them live before and was hoping that after so many years it wasn’t going to be ropey and that Bill wasn’t going to torture me for years to come for taking him to a dreadful gig.
The support band didn’t help my nervousness…they were dire. We had to go hide downstairs until they had finished!
When NMA finally appeared what we actually got was three of them, Justin on guitar & vocals, Dean Whites on keyboards, electric guitar & vocals and Michael Dean on percussion, doing a semi acoustic set and it rocked. Still can’t believe that they played the StarBar of all places! It was nicely intimate.
Loads of people turned out to hear them too which was great to see. The place was packed full of New Model Army fanatics. A lot were quite scary in that they turned up wearing NMA tourshirts from the 80s and early 90s. Bill was amused and couldn’t believe what a undercurrent of hardcore NMA fans Georgia has. No hint of any tie-dye or Conker boots there though, wasn’t a single proper crusty in sight at the StarBar.
Justin started off alone on stage kicking off with Better Than Them, then over the first three songs one by one the others came on and joined him on the deck.
It was really good to go to a show and actually recognise and know the band and their songs. Usually I’m totally clueless. Even when we go to karoake on Monday nights the portfolio of songs that are sung leave me baffled, and when Bill has the radio on it seems that the majority of tracks played are unknown to me. Maybe that’s just me though? Good to have something to get tarted up for too. 😀
So, fuelled by several Shiner Bocks, I bounced lots and as I had my camera on me I took a load of dodgy band photos…hoorah!
They must have played for a full two hours because they came out around midnight and when they had finished after two encores it was gone two. Most memorable were a couple of tracks they pulled out during the encores…Vagabonds an audience request which amused Justin Sullivan as Ed Alleyne-Johnson wasn’t there to play the violin part, but the crowd rose to the occasion and hummed that bit for the guys instead, and 51st State.
While I was taking photos I was approached by an English bloke who asked if I could send him any pics I had afterwards. Strange that of all the people in the bar who could have spoken to me it was a Brit that did. Was good to hear his broad Yorkshire dialect, though surprisingly he didn’t seem to twig I was also a Brit until I enquired whereabouts up North he was from.
Happily I think Bill was quite impressed by NMA and said that it was cool to hear a totally different kind of sound at the StarBar.
Had a great night.