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The September issue of NARC. magazine is out now, in glorious digital format via Issuu at www.bit.ly/narcseptember 

Our cover star this month is outspoken Middlesbrough rapper Leddie MC, who talks to Steve Spithray about forging a path as a female MC, experiencing sexism in the scene and finding inspiration in dark times. Exclusive images are courtesy of a ‘virtual photoshoot’ by Gateshead photographer Adam Kennedy.

In the Previews section we check out new releases from Cameron Scott, bigfatbig, Mitch Laddie, Bad Amputee, Nick Pride & The Pimptones and brb>voicecoil; plus there’s live shows from The Lake Poets at Wylam Brewery; stand-up comedy from Carl Hutchinson at Middlesbrough Town Hall; new exhibitions at BALTIC and Biscuit Factory; online theatre festivals courtesy of ConnectLD+ from Lawnmowers Theatre Co., and Northumbria University’s On The Line festival; Laura Lindow’s play Credit is screened online at Alphabetti; Heritage Open Days returns, and loads of cultural venues, including ARC, Discovery Museum, Great North Museum: Hancock, Shipley Art Gallery, NewBridge Project, NGCA, National Glass Centre, Arts Centre Washington and Dance City reopen their doors.

Interview-wise, it’s a busy month! North East quartet Hen Ogledd tell Claire Dupree about their gloriously diverse new album which attempts to find moments of hope amid environmental chaos; Linsey Teggert uncovers the dark side of North East post-hardcore trio Palace Watson; Claire Venus discovers how an annual celebration of sustainable living has been repurposed as an online festival, Thriftfest Upcycled; Claire Dupree talks to the brains behind Tyne Bank Brewery’s forthcoming live gigs; in typically inventive and defiant fashion, the TUSK Festival team has turned the disaster of the pandemic into an opportunity to expand and broaden what is already one of the world’s most forward thinking festivals. Lee Fisher spoke to organiser Lee Etherington about his plans; Damian Robinson talks to punk songwriter Pauline Murray about her highly anticipated third solo album, Elemental; house producer Sim Soden – better known as ako – discusses melodic progression, collaborations and vapourwave with Mark Corcoran-Lettice; Ali Welford chats to Sean Dodds from Newcastle noise pop band Baker Island about a new release of oddities and rarities; Claire Dupree talks to three galleries in Middlesbrough who have joined forces to present the Middlesbrough Art Trail, a trio of superb exhibitions across the town; Damian Robinson talks to David Smith about Durham-based label Sapien Records’ tenth anniversary; Newcastle-based instrumentalists Winter Isle tell Ali Welford about their new release; filmmaker Chris J. Allan reveals the up and coming arts and creative hub in South Shields, Prospect House; Damian Robinson checks out the online highlights of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival’s rich programme of films, talks and new writing; and theatre company Mortal Fools compile our Mixtape.

We review Demos by local artists Don Coyote, Groovebox Adam, Ladalive Lullabies, Igg and Yung Lotus; we check out new singles and EPs from North East musicians including Pit Pony, Living In Shadows, Rojor, LYRAS, Not Now Norman, Lyre & The Lamb, ZELA, Scrannabis, The Dawdler and more; plus there’s reviews of new albums from IDLES, Mint Field, Lafawndah, A Certain Ratio, Young Knives, Richard Skelton, Bill Callahan, Throwing Muses, Pillow Queens, The Flaming Lips, Steve Arrington, Cabbage, Anna Von Hausswolff and many more.

If you have a story for us, or would like to be featured in our next issue, email info@narcmedia.com. Keep an eye on our website for even more new content, and please share the magazine with your friends!