NEW MODEL ARMY have been one of the biggest underground music artists for over a quarter of a century. To their global community of fans they mean everything. Yet mainstream success has eluded them. This film is the story of the band and in particular their charismatic lead singer Justin Sullivan. His refusal to compromise his principles has meant that his audience has stayed loyal and their support has helped the band endure some difficult moments. This is a very human story of a man who began life in a liberal Quaker family, yet turned his back on this and headed to Bradford where he met his muse. He found like-minded musicians and formed the band which connected with the mood and anger in Thatcher’s Britain, and quickly rose to prominence. Then as international success is within their grasp, the relationship with Justin’s songwriting partner Robb Heaton founders and he subsequently dies in tragic circumstances. But it is when the band loses their studio and all their equipment that Justin finally comes to terms with the ghosts in his past and pursues the new radical approach to making music which results in what many consider as one of the band’s finest albums.
In 2016 New Model Army released their 14th studio album “Winter”, which was a huge success giving the band their highest charting album for many years. It was their first full studio album since “Between Dog and Wolf” in 2013 and saw them receive the best critical response of their career. This March New Model Army are even going one step further: Following the successful European and North American premieres in 2014 and 2015 the documentary “The New Model Army Story: Between Dog and Wolf”, telling the over 35 years old story of one of the biggest underground music artists, will be the first of its kind to be released on DVD and – for the first time – on Blu-ray outside the UK where it was launched as a limited DVD edition.
This fine and authoritive piece of work will be available in stores outside the UK on March 3rd, 2017.
The documentary features fascinating footage for fans and non-fans alike, twinned with dry, wry commentary from the band, fans, and associates. We get to see their one and only (yet legendary) ‘Top of the Pops’ performance and experience the full disconnect of such an experience. We see Justin Sullivan meeting ex-producer Glyn Johns with the wonderful sparring between them. It’s also worth noting that the film doesn’t shy away from divisive subjects such as the way in which many fans feel about the role of Sullivan’s partner/muse Joolz Denby and the fraught relationships between her and other band members.
This film, much like New Model Army, doesn’t stick to the rules. Director Matt Reid wrote to Justin Sullivan asking if he could make a documentary thinking he would never hear anything back, given Sullivan’s avoidance of mainstream media exposure. But Justin did say yes and the film evolved into a life story of one of Britain’s unsung geniuses. It is painfully honest and has a sense of tragedy as he looks back in a career where there have been casualties along the way.
Yet through determination and self-belief the band emerge stronger as they experience a creative rebirth. This is an ultimately uplifting film with an inspiring denouement.
Matt Reid has made a number of documentaries and comedy programmes for British and American TV and has won and been nominated for awards from The Royal Television Society. Among his best known work are the landmark BBC series with unique access to the Royal Family “The Queens Castle” (2005) and “Monarchy” (2007) as well as the hugely successful ITV series “The Savoy” (2010). “The New Model Army Story: Between Dog and Wolf” is his first feature documentary.
“When I wrote to the lead singer of New Model Army, asking if I could make a documentary about them, to be honest I never thought I would hear back. For over 30 years Justin Sullivan had avoided mainstream media exposure, and even wrote songs about the evils of television. They also named themselves after Oliver Cromwell’s crack anti-monarchist troops and I’d just spent the last 3 years making documentaries on the British Royal Family for national television. If they were to make a documentary, I seemed the man least likely to be allowed to make it. Yet he did say yes to a meeting, and as we built a rapport it emerged that Justin is a man more complicated and interesting than his public profile might suggest and the irony of my interest in them was not lost on him. The film evolved to be the life story of one of Britain’s unsung geniuses. It is painfully honest and some sense of tragedy as he looks back on a career where there have been casualties along the way. Yet through determination and self-belief they emerge stronger as they experience a creative rebirth. I hope for the viewer it is ultimately uplifting film with an inspiring denouement” – Matt Reid
New Model Army Tour Dates 2017
02 March Lille, Le Splendid (FR)
03 March Rennes, L’Etage (FR)
04 March Vaureal, Le Forum (FR)
05 March Lyon, Ninkasi Kao (FR)
07 March Lausanne, Les Docks (FR)
08 March Pratteln, Z7 (CH)
09 March Vienna, WUK (AT)
10 March Budapest, Barba Negra Music Club (HU)
11 March Wörgl, Komma (AT)
12 March Regensburg, Mischwerk (GER)
14 March Augsburg, Kantine (GER)
15 March Ravensburg, Oberschwabenklub (GER)
16 March Karlsruhe, Substage (GER)
17 March Aschaffenburg, Colos Saal (GER)
18 March Dortmund, FZW (GER)
19 March Bielefeld, Ringlokschuppen (GER)
21 March Rostock, Mau Club (GER)
22 March Stockholm, Debaser Strand (SWE)
23 March Göteborg, Sticky Fingers (SWE)
24 March Oslo, John Dee (NOR)
25 March Malmö, Babel (SWE)
26 March Kiel, Max (GER)
28 March Bremen, Aladin (GER)
30 March Rotterdam, Maassilo (NL)
31 March Norwich, The Waterfront (UK)
01 April Bilston, The Robin 2 (UK)
02 April Northampton, Roadmender (UK)
04 April Glasgow, The Garage (SCO)
05 April Newcastle, Riverside (UK)
06 April Sheffield, Corporation (UK)
07 April Southampton, Engine Rooms (UK)
08 April Durbuy Rock Festival (BE)