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The August issue of NARC. magazine is out now, available in glorious digital format via Issuu at www.bit.ly/narcaugust or the Magazine section of www.narcmagazine.com

This month’s cover feature focuses on the region’s comedy scene. The future of live comedy is in crisis; comedian and writer Si Beckwith talks to some of the North East’s clubs and comics about the importance of supporting the scene.

We bring you news on new releases from local artists including Luci Saint, Nice Guy, Victoria Owsnett, Dylan Cartlidge, Kema Kay, Crimson Bloom, Laurie Shepherd and more; the re-emergence of live gigs at Gosforth Civic Theatre, The Stand comedy club and info on the world’s first socially distanced venue, Virgin Money Unity Arena. Plus art exhibitions galore at Pineapple Black, Workplace Gallery and NewBridge Project; livestreamed theatre from Alphabetti, Eliot Smith Dance and Billingham International Festival of Folklore and World Dance; new book launches, a brand new art centre and a round-up of the region’s creative spaces reopening their doors.

Interview-wise, Steve Spithray talks to those involved in revamping and reimagining Middlesbrough’s DIY events space, Base Camp; after curtailing a nomadic existence to put down roots in the North East, only to be brutally assaulted and forced to reassess his work, Ali Welford talks to Newcastle-based musician Benjamin Belinska about his extraordinary debut album; Caitlin Disken finds out how Newcastle gallery Gallagher & Turner are celebrating their 30th anniversary; Ali Welford talks to Eugene Davies (aka Heat Death Of The Sun) about the release of his new single-piece soundscape; Beverley Knight talks to Newcastle psych duo Psydove about their new single; Ben Lowes-Smith discovers the processes behind prolific creator Oli Heffernan’s new album as Ivan The Tolerable; Jamie Taylor talks to Dan Ellis about Jam Jar Cinema’s return to the heart of Whitley Bay’s arts scene; Beverley Knight talks to Newcastle-based writer John Schoneboom about his work-in-progress play which delves into the CIA’s controversial use of LSD to develop torture techniques; local animator, artist and educator Sheila Graber talks to Tracy Hyman about her extraordinary career; Martin Trollope discovers hidden depths to South Shields songwriter Tipps on her new single; Damian Robinson talks to psych jazz duo Warped Freqs about the release of their new album; and in our Mixtape, comedian and podcaster Ian Todd talks about some of his favourite songs.

There’s demo reviews of fresh sounds from Dan Ward, Torn Apart By Lisa, Yes Chef, Bloomsfield and Heaven Below; reviews of new singles and EPs from local artists including Philth Like, Leopard Rays, Prince Bishops, Cache-Cache feat. Elizabeth Liddle, SQUARMS, Darling Cannibal and more; and reviews of new releases from Biffy Clyro, Matmos, Shitkid, Erasure, The Morning Shift, Kid Dad, A. Swayze & The Ghosts, Liv.e, James Dean Bradfield, I Like Trains, Ulver, Samia among others.

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!