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Apparently this is short for 'F#Newey', as the song has also been called (on the Bizarre Festival 1996 Video). # is a key in music (major) and F# a chord; so this is a new song in F#.

Another Stevie appears in Eleven Years.

The date is possibly also refered to in Eleven Years.

Royal Standard:
A pub on Manningham Lane in Bradford that was demolished around 1997. The 1979 Ruts gig there is mentioned in several interviews as a life changing experience for Justin Sullivan.
- Justin Sullivan interview with eGigs -

Many thanks to Bob for pointing out the interview and giving further detail on the club.

The Ruts:
A band Justin named as influence in several interviews. The London based band that mixed punk with reggae formed in 1978. In the same year they released their single "In a Rut", a song which New Model Army used to cover at live performances. October 1979 saw the release of their famous debut album "The Crack". After their singer Malcolm Owen died of a heroin overdose in 1980, the band continued under the name of Ruts DC with considerably less success.
- Read more: All Music Guide -

[ Back to F#NY | Back to Eleven Years ]


11,000 feet:
Roughly 3,353 metres. In comparison: Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, measures 8,848 metres or 29,028 feet; the highest mountain in Britain is Ben Navis with 1,344 metres / 4409 feet.

[ Back to Falling ]


M 6:
Motorway 6 in the north of the UK, roughly between Coventry (near Birmingham) and Carlisle near the Scottish boarder.

Looking for family:
One of Justin's favourite subjects (compare BD3, Dawn, Family Life, Home, Inheritance,
March in September, My People, No Mirror, No Shadow and Twilight Home). Justin comes from a large, and as far as I know, happy family. He has three brothers and two sisters. His parents were liberal and supportive. His father Matthew, who died in 1997, was a writer and broadcaster, his sister Francesca, who did many of the band photos, is a successful belly dancer in Cairo. In contrast, Justin's partner "Joolz comes from a dysfunctional blood family, so her instinct was always to try and create an alternate family. The loyalty to the tribe thing and hostility to outsiders is very much her. The way I see it is that there are two value systems; one is to do with tribal loyalties, like when your friend does something really bad but you still have to back them up. And then there's the liberal way of viewing the world - you think your friend is completely in the wrong so you leave them to their fate. My instinct is the latter and hers is the former and that contradiction between the two value systems runs through a lot of what we have done."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in the Between Dog and Wolf Magazine -
- Read more: Matthew Sullivan's obituary - Read more: Yasmina's (Francesca Sullivan's) official site -

Water is thicker than blood:
Blood is thicker than water is an (English) proverb meaning bonds between family members are stronger than other relationships. Connor pointed out to me that the full proverb goes "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb" and means the exact opposite, i.e. that bonds formed in a pact are stronger than family ties. However, while this theory is widely spread online, I could find no original source for that quotation, and Wikipedia, Oxford English Dictionary and Duden (the standard German dictionary) all give the first meaning. In any event, whatever the original meaning, that is also the proverb's common use today.

Thanks to Connor for his comment!

[ Back to Family | Back to Marrakesh ]

Family Life

The song:
"In Stockholm many, many years ago, I met someone there on a dark rainy night, and they told me this story." Accordingly, the refrain's "cities of the far north" seem to be Scandinavian.
- Source: Justin Sullivan live in Hebden Bridge on 25/10/14 -

During the Q&A session on the noticeboard Justin was asked if the song was a nod to Ken Loach's movie of the same title. The answer was: "yes, possibly but I can't remember. I do remember seeing the movie when I was young and it having quite an effect on me." The movie came out in 1971 and tells the story of a young woman who rebels against her restrictive, conservative working-class parents and has a nervous breakdown when they force her to have an abortion.
- Source: Justin Sullivan on the NMA notice board - Read more: IMDB -

One of Justin's favourite subjects. Compare BD3, Dawn, Familiy, Home, Inheritance, March in September, My People, No Mirror, No Shadow and Twilight Home.

Do unto them as they have done to you:
In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus says: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them"
- Source: The Bible. Matthew 7, 12 - Read more: King James Bible -

[ Back to Family Live ]

Far Better Thing

Time to wait:
A passage in the bible goes: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Pete Seeger's well-known folk song "Turn! Turn! Turn! (1950) quotes that passage almost verbatim.
- Source: The Bible. Ecclesiastes 3, 1-8 - Read more: Wikipedia -

It's a far better thing I do / Than I have done before:
Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities (1859) ends with the words "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." This is one of the most famous novel endings in English literature. The novel is about the years leading up to the French Revolution and the ensuing Jacobin reign of terror. The novel's last sentence are the dying words of Sidney Carton, a reformed cynic who sacrifices his life for another man, a revolutionary and husband of the woman Carton loves.
Thanks to Jochen from New Zealand for pointig this out.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Cancer ward:
Jakub suggests that this is a reference to the homonymous novel (1967) by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about a small group of patients in a cancer ward in a Soviet Union that is
changing two years after Joseph Stalin's death.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Thanks to Jakub!

Personally, I am always reminded of Gottfried Benn's expressionist poem "Man and Woman Go Through the Cancer Ward" (1912), but only because of the title:

The man:
Here in this row are wombs that have decayed,
and in this row are breasts that have decayed.
Bed beside stinking bed. Hourly the sisters change.

Come, quietly lift up this coverlet.
Look, this great mass of fat and ugly humours
was precious to a man once, and
meant ecstasy and home.

Come, now look at the scars upon this breast.
Do you feel the rosary of small soft knots?
Feel it, no fear. The flesh yields and is numb.

Here's one who bleeds as though from thirty bodies.
No one has so much blood.
They had to cut
a child from this one, from her cancerous womb.

They let them sleep. All day, all night. - They tell
the newcomers: here sleep will make you well. - But Sundays
one rouses them a bit for visitors. -

They take a little nourishment. Their backs
are sore. You see the flies. Sometimes
the sisters wash them. As one washes benches. -

Here the grave rises up about each bed.
And flesh is leveled down to earth. The fire
burns out. And sap prepares to flow. Earth calls. -

Translated by Babette Deutsch

This verse seems to be about an assassination or attack, like All of This, The Attack and Flying Through the Smoke
as well as Bloodsports, and Breathing.

[ Back to Far Better Thing ]


New Musical Express. A popular British pop music magazine.

The spoilt generation:
I still think it sounds like they sing "my generation" here. The Who and "My Generation" were major influences on Justin Sullivan:
"I first heard 'My Generation' when I was 10 years old and vividly remember that it caused me to run around the house screaming my head off and refusing to 'behave myself'; that and watching Keith Moon on Ready Steady Go - the sound and sights of musical anarchy was a completely life changing moment. Fast forward through the Who's variable catalogue to Quadrophenia, released when I was 17 and the perfect soundtrack to teenage boy angst. The record remains my favourite rock album of all time - with its combination of beauty and violence - the most (and perhaps only) successful marrying of rock and classical music sounds. Like all my favourite records, I keep it for special occasions so as not to wear out its magical powers. It still retains plenty of these for me."
- Source: Justin Sullivan on the official NMA Site -

Here are the lyrics of the song "My Generation":

People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

This is my generation . . .

Why don't you all f-fade away  . . .

This is my generation . . .

People try to put us d-down . . .

This is my generation . . .

Cut my hair:
Probably another reference to The Who. On their album "Quadrophenia", which Justin Sullivan calls "a perfect album" on the "Live 161203" DVD, there is a song called "Cut My hair":

Why should I care
If I have to cut my hair?
I've got to move with the fashions
Or be outcast.
I know I should fight
But my old man he's really alright,
And I'm still living at home
Even though it won't last.

Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents
Five inches long.
I'm out on the street again
And I'm leaping along.
I'm dressed right for a beach fight,
But I just can't explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still
Here in my brain.

The kids at school
Have parents that seem so cool.
And though I don't want to hurt them
Mine want me their way.
I clean my room and my shoes
But my mother found a box of blues,
And there doesn't seem much hope
They'll let me stay.


Why do I have to be different to them?
Just to earn the respect of a dance hall friend,
We have the same old row, again and again.
Why do I have to move with a crowd
Of kids that hardly notice I'm around,
I have to work myself to death just to fit in.

I'm coming down
Got home on the very first train from town.
My dad just left for work
He wasn't talking.
It's all a game,
'Cos inside I'm just the same,
My fried egg makes me sick
First thing in the morning.

[ Back to Adrenalin | Back to Before I Get Old | Back to Fashion ]


I've killed the things that I love the best:
This seems to echo a verse from Oscar Wilde's poem "Ballad of Reading Gaol":

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

- Read more: Project Gutenberg -

Coward's kiss:
I think this is proverbial (see also the Wilde poem above), but I'm not sure what it means. Perhaps it refers to Judas' kiss of betrayl?

[ Back to Fate ]

51st State

The song:
"... a friend of the band, Ashley Cartwright, ... had written it for a local band that he was in called 'the shakes'. The band did not go anywhere and NMA reworked the music and lyrics (Justin added the 3rd verse), and recorded it not thinking that it would become the hit that it did."
- Source: Chris Benn's Chinese Whispers - NMA faq -

The song is a reaction against the American influence on Europe in general and America's military presence with Cruise Missiles in Britain in particular.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. the ruling class of the USA.

Like the national flag of the USA

Union Jack:
The national flag of the UK.

US American.

Reds under the bed:
Socialists and communists are called reds; the phrase was "used during the cold war with reference to the feared presence and influence of communist sympathizers in a society."
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Land of opportunity:
A slogan usually used for the USA.

Corridors of power:
The term was first used by English writer C.P. Snow in his novel Homecomings (1956). It has become a household phrase for the centres of government and power.
- Source: Wikipedia -

In '51st State' this refers to the Pentagon, the American Department of Defence.
- Source: German magazine Zillo 6/93 -

[ Back to 51st State | Back to Killing | Back to Master Race | Back to My Country ]

Fireworks Night

The song:
"Justin's musical monument for Rob Heaton. The relationship between the two was rather difficult. Justin wouldn't call Rob 'friend'. Their problems culminated while working on their album 'Strange Brotherhood' that took three and a half years! 'We had both lost faith in each others artistic work. I did not trust his judgement anymore, and he did not trust mine. Everybody around us wodered what took us so long. We lost perspective. With hindsight it is no wonder that Rob changed, because a tumor the size of a golfball grew in his brain.' The tumor was successfully removed, but after surgery Rob left the band. Only a few years later Rob died of cancer. Justin bravely sang 'Green and Grey' at his funeral, one of the major hits the two had written together. 'It was some kind of death watch and is one of the most difficult things I have done in my live. It was fort Robert, a great musician.' "
- Source: Justin Sullivan in German Online Magazin Uncle Sally's; my translation -

Robert Heaton was New Model Army's drummer for 16 years and co-wrote many of their songs. He died of pancreatic cancer on November 4th 2004.
- Read more: Wikipedia - Rob Heaton on the official New Model Army Site -

Fireworks Night:
The Guy Fawkes Night, which is annually celebrated in the UK on November 5th to commemorate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Further on than I ever went:
Possibly a reference to Justin's near death experience in 1992.

Probably Bradford, which lies between 'hills and moorland' and was Rob's hometown.

[ Back to Fireworks Night | Back to Echo November | Back to Ghosts ]

Flying Through the Smoke

Tunnel vision:
Defective sight in which objects cannot be properly seen if not close to the centre of the field of view.
Informal: the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited objective or view.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Wikipedia -


The bomb in the bag:
This is reminiscent of All of This as well as The Attack and Far Better Thing as well as Bloodsports and

[ Back to Flying Through the Smoke ]

Freedom '91

The song:
Written after Justin took a train trip through the newly "liberated" countries of eastern Europe at the beginning of 1991.
- Source: Lost Songs booklet -

Another song about the end of the DDR is Lurhstaap.

Beautiful city in the former German Democratic Republic. In World War II it was almost completely destroyed by the Allies' air raids. The GDR did not have the means to rebuild or even maintain their cities, so that even today many places still look shabby and broken.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Idiot's gold:
Fools's gold is a substance that looks like gold but isn't.

The caves and the trees:
Where humans lived before civilisation (caves) and before Evolution turned them from apes into humans (trees).

121st Street:
Maybe this refers to the 121st Street in Manhattan, New York City. It's in the middle of Harlem, a neighbourhood with a large African-American population.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

A really nasty synthetic drug.

German cars:
German cars are very prestigious and expensive, at least outside Germany.

Derogatory term for Hollywood with it's superficial glamour.

Malcolm X:
19/05/1925-21/02/1965. American black militant leader who articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the early 1960s. After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story - The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) by Alex Haley - made him an ideological hero, especially among black youth.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

In 1992 his life was made into a movie - called Malcolm X - by Spike Lee with Denzel Washington in the title role.
- Read more: IMDB -

Justin Sullivan explains his interest in the person of Malcolm X: "[. . .] one of my favourite stories - certainly I love the movie very much - is that journey, of someone who starts very materialistic, then finds radical politics, and then eventually finds something much deeper and longer-lasting . . ."
- Source: Allan MacInnis: "New Model Army: Tribal Warfare and Western Civilization. Telephone interview on May 18th, 2008 -

[ Back to Freedom '91 | Back to Lurhstaap ]


A way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Pass by on the other side:
Biblical reference. In the parable of the "Good Samaritan" a traveller is robbed and nearly killed. Several respectable religious men ignore him and "passed by on the other side". Only a Samaritan, a member of a group despised by Jews, helps him. Jesus tells this story to illustrate the nature of Christian charity and to criticise the hypocrisy of a faith that is professed in words but not practised in charitable acts.
- Source: The Bible. Luke 10, 25-37 - Read more: Wikipedia -

Brand new Britain:
Perhaps Britain under Margaret Thatcher, Britain's Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, who cut down social welfare, privatised puplic companies and supported individual responsibility rather than compassion and solidarity.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Frightened ]

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16/11/14; last update 17/06/17