Several years ago director Matt Reid contacted founding New Model Army member Justin Sullivan, asking if he would be interested in being involved in a documentary about the band and their career. Having shunned the mainstream media for most of their career, it came to Reid’s surprise when Sullivan agreed.

‘Between Dog And Wolf’ follows the band from their teenage beginnings in Bradford in 1980, and follows the band's entire history right up to the present day through a combination of live footage, home videos, news clips and, of course, their legendary appearance on ‘Top Of The Pops’. There are also interviews with current and former band members, of which there are a fair few, and many other guest interviewees including Phil Jupitus, Campino from Die Toten Hosen and Dom Joly along with a host of journalists, fans and members of the band's record label, all of whom talk enthusiastically and candidly about their love of the band and about why so many people still hold them in such high regard.

As the only consistent member of the band lead singer/guitarist, Justin Sullivan is, of course, the main protagonist of the piece and, while he is brutally honest and at times cutting, he remains sincere and perfectly self-aware throughout. He also seems more than willing and able to look back at things, and to see the funny side as well as the regrets that are likely to come about having spent thirty years in a band. With ‘Between Dog And Wolf’, we hear all sides of the band's ups and downs throughout the years including the early formation, the various line-up changes as well as the departure of original bassist Stuart Morrow and the unfortunate passing of long-time drummer Robert Heaton.

There is also footage of the night after the unfortunate Christmas time fire of 2011 in which the band's studio was destroyed along with gear and a lot of live material and other memorabilia. The band carried on to produce one of their most successful albums, from which the title of the documentary is taken, more than thirty years after they began. This attitude of not dwelling on what has happened or what could have happened helps solidify and show why they are still an important band after all this time. During their thirty plus year career the post punk/alternative band have built a cult following due to their intense and direct delivery and their perfect appeal as ‘outsiders’ who forged a career that has outlived many ‘movements’ and groundbreaking bands. It is evident throughout that New Model Army never held any desires to follow the pack.

There are brilliant, warm and loving conversations with legendary studio engineer/producer Glyn Johns, which while they are all full of praise of each other now finds all parties being able to look back and laugh at the sheer arrogance and pomposity of their respective younger selves. These sort of interactions make for an enjoyable watch rather than a whole hour and half of back patting and sycophancy as many such documentaries do.

The other huge part of New Model Army’s career, is of course their legions of fans. The long time fans and also the newer crop of fans have always been and continue to be an integral part of the band's status and are part of what makes them so unique.

It is probably pointless trying to advise fans of New Model Army to check ‘Between Dog And Wolf’ out as they probably knew about it long before I did. As if to hammer the point home the biggest New Model Army fan I personally know even makes a classic on-the-shoulders, in-the-crowd cameo appearance. The honesty and humanity that comes across through the whole documentary, however, makes it as enjoyable for those that aren’t in possession of clogs and the classic T-shirts already.








Related Links:

http://www.newmodelarmy.org/
https://twitter.com/officialnma
https://www.facebook.com/NewModelArmyOfficial


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