about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln_may2016001002.jpg
Thursday 5th May 2016
The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK
Reviews by Hannah Sylvester; Photography by Mark Holmes
Bagpipes. That’s one way of getting an audience’s attention. That combined with a piper (followed by the rest of the band) coming onto a stage draped with flags showing their Celtic motif and the words “fkn louder”, I think it’s safe to say, for those of us seeing Band From County Hell for the first time, that no one was under any underestimation that we were in for a decent slice of folk rock. With an exuberant energy from the off, you can see why they’re one of the few Lincolnshire bands to have escaped “County Hell” and graced many a festival stage as well as bagging a tour support with Stiff Little Fingers. Sauntering on stage (with her handbag?!) for the second song, singer Julie McLelland added her incredibly strong vocals to the mix, which really brought out an extra dimension to their material. With a fair crowd response, albeit slightly stilted in places, they weren’t helped by a pretty shocking (and amazingly variable) sound mix, and a few off-kilter harmonies towards the end, but the star of their set really was their fantastic violinist, who’s technicality and musicality shone out above anything else.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
New Model Army at The Engine Shed in Lincoln, UK, 5th May 2016
Photograph copyright © 2016 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
37 years. The amount of time New Model Army have been together and, also, the amount of time it’s taken for them to play a gig in Lincoln. Better late than never, eh? But as Justin Sullivan himself says towards the end, “it was worth it”, and several hundred family members agree. Ahead of their scheduled full tour at the end of the year, promoting their upcoming album, ‘Winter’, tonight was effectively a one-off warm-up for their appearance at the Holmfirth Festival of Folk.

Kicking off with ‘Thunder and Consolation’s ‘225’, the pace of their 15-song set is relentless, from start to finish, with between-song banter kept to a minimum. Musically, it’s as tight as you could hope for and, lyrically, everything’s sung with wild eyes and passion, and with that ever-lush vocal tone that Sullivan clearly hasn’t lost over the years.

Airing tracks from across their repertoire, it’s clear to see why they have the vast and varied following that they do, given their penchant for refusing to conform to musical ‘scenes’. From the folk-edge of ‘Purity’, to the more rockier tracks like ‘Stormclouds’, bare-chested men enjoy the friendliest mosh to be seen, while goths with Nephilim-painted leather jackets nod heads in enjoyment and folkies jig happily away. Which all makes for one of the happiest and most pleasant gig environments I’ve ever witnessed.

Musically, the entire band is on fire tonight, clearly relishing their time on stage, and bassist Ceri Monger’s percussion excerpt is a glorious sight to behold. New song ‘Die Trying’, introduced by Sullivan with a hint of sarcasm: “get your bootlegging machines ready”, succeeds in going down a storm too, despite one whinging punter in front of me, clearly not appreciating the well-balanced setlist, declaring loudly that he wanted some more old stuff.

“Hang on, we have to go through this every time: Mr Security, we signed to say that it’s their own fault if they fall off” declares Sullivan later in the set, as he stops mid-track, to make sure that three shoulder-standers don’t fall foul of Showsec personnel. The band-fan respect is clear to see. Ending on ‘High’, the seemingly customary second encore doesn’t disappoint either: “we didn’t know if you were still here, but we wanted to play more anyway” Justin announced, walking back on stage, and several hundred sweaty, but very happy fans agreed. Just don’t leave it too long before you return to the Shire again, NMA.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_7_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_9_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_6_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_8_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_1_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_4_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_2_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_3_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_10_thumb.jpg bandfromcountyhell_lincoln2016_5_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_5_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_4_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_9_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_14_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_7_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_12_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_1_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_8_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_3_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_13_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_11_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_10_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_15_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_6_thumb.jpg newmodelarmy_lincoln2016_2_thumb.jpg