BRITAIN'S New Model Army, now 21 years old, plays the Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay next week.

The enduring spouters of social diatribes play South Wales on Friday, December 14 at 7.30pm.

New Model Army, pictured, are promoting their latest album, EIGHT, and a live double album, Nobody Else.

Work has just begun on a compilation album of rarities, which will form part two of a series started in 1994 with B Sides and Abandon Tracks. It will feature unfinished tracks from the recording sessions for the albums Strange Brotherhood and Eight.

New Model Army also released this year, All of this - the 'Live' Rarities, a collection of live B sides and extra tracks from 1985-91.

Meanwhile, band guitarist and vocalist Justin 'Slade the Leveller' Sullivan has been pursuing his solo project Red Sky Coven, which toured earlier this year.

The band formed in 1980 as a backlash to the first wave of Thatcherism and pinched their name from the Thomas Fairfax/Oliver Cromwell revolutionary army.

They successfully weaved folk rock, punk and rock'n'roll chic creating the first step towards the 'crusty traveller' explosion ten years later.

Their first album was Vengeance (1984), an attack on everything establishment, but was good enough for EMI to sign them.

No Rest for the Wicked (1985) was the follow up.

In the intervening period, the band explained to their faithful that in signing to a major label they had not 'sold out' but intended to use the record company as a bank!

As more albums came and went the minimalist, percussive sound of the band's debut fell by the wayside for a lusher, folkier sound and New Model Army enjoyed a series of hits from 1985 to 1991.

But despite their commercial success New Model Army clearly never abandoned their roots. Even on Top of the Pops they caused controversy with their startling anti-heroin T-shirts.