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Reliably informed

The February issue of NARC. magazine is available now from over 200 outlets across the North East.

Our cover star this month is Newcastle-born polymath Du Blonde; Ben Lowes-Smith talks to Beth Jeans Houghton about her deeply personal new record. Exclusive images courtesy of Nick Wesson.

In the News section, there’s a whole heap of great events to ease you into February. Check out articles on NARC.’s Stockton Calling line-up announcement; Wozniak at The Cumberland Arms; A Festival. A Parade at Sage Gateshead; Broken Brass Ensemble at Cobalt Studios; Wandering Oak fifth birthday celebrations; The Lemon Twigs at Riverside; Serious Sam Barrett at The Waiting Room; Leif Erikson at Independent; Alt-Shift-J event at Middlesbrough Town Hall; Wrekmeister Harmonies at Trillians; International Teachers of Pop at The Cluny; Chvrches at O2 Academy and much more.

In the Culture pages, we find out more about the Art 50 Weekender at BALTIC and Sage Gateshead; speak to poet and comedian Kate Fox about her Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras show, coming to various venues in February and March; plus there’s Profiles on filmmaker Georgia Bates and theatre maker Luca Rutherford; articles on Dave Johns in Newton Aycliffe and Northallerton; Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at Sunderland Museum; No Miracles Here at Gala Theatre & Northern Stage; Matt Forde at Darlington Hippodrome; Approaching Empty at Live Theatre; Glenn Wool at The Stand; Screenage Kicks at Assembly Rooms; Bacon Knees & Sausage Fingers at Alphabetti; Maximo Park film screening at Tyneside Cinema and much more.

Our writers have been busy chatting to a host of interesting folks this month. Damian Robinson talks to genre-hopping band Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra about baring heart and soul on their new album; Ali Welford talks to Scottish singer-songwriter Kathryn Joseph about her remarkable rise to fame; Austin Tweddle chats to Demob Happy’s Matt Marcantonio as the band bring their stylish sleaze rock back to the city where it all began; Johnathan Ramsay talks to alt. folk duo Tall Shaves about their debut EP; Becca Fergus talks to Aussie fuzzy psych-rockers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets ahead of their debut Newcastle gig; Laura Doyle talks to queer pop punks Queen Zee about DIY values, breaking down gender barriers and unleashing their debut album; The Fishery Commission tell Mark Corcoran-Lettice about their debut album, which has been over a decade in the making and the award-winning Teesside folk band The Young’Uns tell Damian Robinson the extraordinary tale of real-life hero Johnny Longstaff. Compiling our Mixtape, comedian Lauren Pattison waxes lyrical about her favourite songs.

Review-wise, we feature demos by White Collar Rebel, Michael CG, The Intervals, The Warm Collective and William Denton Wilde; there’s album reviews of Sleaford Mods, Beirut, Panda Bear, Teeth of the Sea, Nubiyan Twist and more, plus reviews of tracks from The Dawdler, Adam Littlemore, Swine Tax, Venus, Mt. Misery, Fax Machine among others. Our roving reporters catch live shows from Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, Fucked Up, Vels Trio, Katie Doherty & The Navigators, Young Fathers and many more.

Enjoy!