Planning for a new year, or as it’s more commonly known logistics madness ;-)

I’m pretty open about things in life, and I’m not always sure that it is such a good thing, but at the same time it’s better than being so closed off that nobody on the planet knows who you are, and from a Mental perspective it can definitely help when you aren’t completely isolated in your own head, so talking to people about some of the difficulties of trying to look after your mother and when your little boy needs a little more attention than others has helped me not go over the deep edge in the last month, but it’s definitely been touch and go at times. Stress levels through the roof, not sleeping, generally feeling crap, but I’ve decided to still call this week part of last year as it contained a day – next week we start afresh, got to start getting into work for 7am and out at 4 again, it won’t be easy to get back into that rhythm of early mornings again, but it’s getting too difficult to get from work, to mams and home again before my wife goes to work, change the times and reduce some of the stress……..  have to get a family holiday in the mix too, and this time around on the Wild Atlantic Way we are planning to finish off County Donegal and finally get a look at the famous cliffs at Slieve League, they look amazing, so camera will be brought along and we will see if we can catch some birds, wildlife, butterflies insects anything really around the cliffs too, a bit of nature certainly won’t hurt us, maybe even another trip later in the year if we can stretch to it.

 

So it being early January, Christmas done and dusted and the Gig/Festival list for 2019 damn full already for someone who’s time isn’t really his own, it’s Logistics time, when planning travel to a show or a Festival it’s not all about the Flight prices, a lot of the time it’s about making things work, Flying to a different Airport because it’s cheaper and you have to get a Train/Bus anyway, or flying into one place and out another because you have more flight options on the way back. So far I’m already bringing on the madness certainly for one show in March, where I’m staying in East Midlands Airport after a show in Nottingham and getting the 6:30am return flight to Dublin, but hey one more time on the red eye won’t kill me – will it ?

 

Flight out to a Fest in March sorted, but the flight back is causing me a lot of stress, flying back on St. Patricks Day to Dublin really shouldn’t be a big deal, especially as it’s a Sunday, but apparently it is and all Airlines have hiked up the prices very significantly, but looks like I’ll just have to bite the bullet and take the hit, but it’s very annoying…….the extra money for a single flight would pay for return flights for another show., but there has to be some reason for it as flights from other UK Airports on the same day are not really expensive, if you can figure out the weird combination of prices that I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks you are a better person than me, seeing a hotel that you stayed in last April for more than double the price is mindboggling……….. And initially planning to go to just one day of Bloodstock next year, but bloody hell, with bands I really want to see Friday and Sunday it’s gotta be a weekend, Fri-Sunday anyway, ticket bought more planning to do. Might try and get an Arena Photo Pass this time around. Would love to have the Privilege of shooting a Festival I really love. Also hoping to get to Amplified for the first time this year, with the people that I know involved with the Festival and the good things I’ve heard it sounds right up my street, and I love the lineup too 😉

 

This coming year will certainly be the last that I will be able to make a decent number of Festivals, more time will be taken up with  family, and I think by the time those situations change I will certainly be retired from the perspective of hitting 6-7 Fests a year, even if my own health holds up, age will eventually take it’s toll on top of everything else, but until then full steam ahead. On top of that I’m hoping to get to shoot a lot more smaller local shows this year, get back to Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Heats which start on Jan 19th. If all goes to plan it should be a very interesting, busy and rewarding year so time to light the touchpaper.

 

 

New Model Army – Button Factory, Dublin – 07-12-2018

The bizarre weather continues on a Friday evening in Dublin having been a tropical 14ºC the previous day we were not down 6ºC with strong winds on the way and a definite chill in the air. But that’s pretty irrelevant as to what’s going to happen inside the venue tonight, we are here to catch a band that I’ve been a big fan of for more than 30 years, bloody hell that sounds crazy, but at the same time brings that warm glow of anticipation as you wait to hopefully hear some of your favourite songs during the set.

The show is opened by a 3 piece punk/rock band from Dublin, and they put in a really enjoyable set, with two lead vocalists it certainly lended a different vibe to the sound, and as it worked really well it also seemed to go down well with the assembled crowd, although at this stage the crowd wasn’t large. These guys just powered through their set, hardly any talking, and it meant I didn’t even catch their names, but they wanted to get through their songs, and that was a nice work ethic, hopefully will catch them again soon and put the name thing to writes, good start to the night.

After a fairly quick stage setup change it is time for the main act of the evening, having not played Dublin for 5 years it’s great to see the guys back, and it’s no surprise to hear so many difference accents in the crowd. The couple on one side were over from Sweden for the weekend, on the other German fans and a fair smattering of accents from across England as you would expect, one thing is for sure NMA fans remain as fervently passionate about the band and the music today as they have always been.

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Justin Sullivan – New Model Army – Button Factory, Dublin – 07-12-2018

“The Family” is still strong, as you look back from the stage there are still fans standing high in the air on top of each others shoulders, the moshpit is still active, perhaps not as much so as 20 years ago, but still plenty of movement, and it’s really the singing that hits you mostly, some of the songs tonight are, as ever, being absolutely belted out, word for word, great timing and as a band you must love hearing this. Thankfully the venue has filled up quite rapidly as the time approached for NMA to hit the stage and the venue looks almost full as I take a glance around the room. The set tonight is really well balanced, not just covering the bands career but also blending really well together one song rolling into the next, and the tracks from 2016’s Winter album fit beautifully in the list, especially the wonderful title track. A smashing version of “White Coats” running headlong into the brilliance of “Better Than Them” would have been just about enough for me this evening to make it a night to remember, but add in a full on brilliant version of “Green And Gray” which as Justin mentions is very poignant at the moment capped it all off, just before running into a cracking encore including one of my personal favourites “Stupid Questions”. The band would need to be playing 4hr sets in order to satisfy everyone’s favourite songs in a set these days, and sure I’d have loved to hear “Poison Street” or “Smalltown England” but maybe next time, the guys do vary their sets more than enough.

 

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Ceri Monger – New Model Army – Button Factory, Dublin – 07-12-2018

 

Telling us that they will be back in another 5 years raised a few chuckles and plenty of “you’ll be back quicker than that” responses from the crows the band close the show with a pumping powerful rendition of “Get Me Out”. With the bands 40th Anniversary rapidly approaching lets hope that the guys manage to include an Irish date or two in the coming Tours, a full house, an enthusiastic crowd and a band still on the top of their game is always something to look forward seeing again and Dublin definitely has a love for NMA, long may it continue.

 

Have thrown in a couple of low quality phone pics and wished I’d brought along a decent camera on the night, all words by me, Stephen Brophy.

 

Setlist – 

Whirlwind

Burn The Castle

Drag It Down

Devil

States Radio

A Liberal Education

Brother

Winter

White Coats

Better Than  Them

Too Close To The Sun

Guessing

Today Is A Good Day

Autumn

Fate

Green And Grey

 

Encore – 

DrummyB

Stupid Questions

Get Me Out