Live Review: New Model Army/Yur Mum

New Model Army/Yur Mum

Cambridge Junction – 15/11/2019

It’s a testimony to both the strength of song writing and their strength of character in how Yur Mum blitz the Junction crowd even though they are minus their guitarist. Going from a three piece to a duo can’t have been easy but it doesn’t look to have knocked them out of their stride. Carried by rock heavy, actually very heavy, hooks combined with a dirty grunge mix this is a band that truly represents music in 2020. There’s confidence aplenty but it’s not overpowering to the point of swagger. It’s great to see such a large crowd in early to support the support and they’re not disappointed. Who needs six strings anyway when you can make four and a drum kit speak so loudly.

New Model Army must possess some kind of time machine. They’re 40 next year but still sound as fresh as a daisy. Personnel may have come and gone but Justin Sullivan has remained and endured. While the big name rock stars are becoming more and more like tribute acts to their former selves Sullivan manages to simply be himself. He speaks his mind, he clearly loves what he does and he has matured with a dignity others could learn from. He still won’t take requests from the audience, something that has become a bit of a standing joke between him and the adoring NMA fans, the banter playing an important part of the show.  The quality of song writing over the years means the band can play (and do play) almost any song from a collective work of 17 albums and the strength of the set will not be diminished. There can’t be many other acts world wide that can offer that kind of depth from a back catalogue.  Songs written before much of tonight’s audience were even born are still as relevant now as they were when the ink was still wet on the page they were written. That is a testimony to the band, and sadly also the world we live in. Tonight has a party vibe, it’s a celebration of music that you know you’ll find when the ever reliable NMA are playing. There are hints that 2020 and a four decade stretch might see something extra special. You never know, they might even play a song request.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman