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Reliably informed

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

Our cover feature is the amazing Martha Hill; Damian Robinson talks to the Newcastle alt. pop songwriter about her socially conscious debut EP and the beauty of contradictions.

Also this month, we preview a whole host of music, theatre, art, comedy, film and everything in between, including Negativland at The Cluny; Ritchard Allaway at The Auxiliary; Eddie Izzard at O2 City Hall; Baby Punk & Dr Babuyoka at BALTIC 39; Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music; Bodies on Everest at Trillians/Base Camp; Be Quiet. Shout Loud!’s EP launch; Gateshead Open Studios; Status at ARC; Jay Moussa-Mann’s album release; Rewinding the Welfare State at various venues; It’s True It’s True It’s True at Live Theatre; Pulled Apart By Horses at Georgian Theatre; Ben Elton at various venues; Women Warriors at The Exchange; Richard Hawley at Northumbria Uni; Ill at Cobalt; Reasons to Stay Alive at Northern Stage; Nervus at Head of Steam; Elixir Valley Weekend festival at The Cumberland Arms; Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked at Alphabetti Theatre; Mikhail Karikis at MIMA; Alasdair Roberts & Friends at Gosforth Civic Theatre; Newcastle Alternative festival at The Stand and much more.

Interview-wise, there’s in-depth conversations with a multitude of interesting musicians and creatives. Ali Welford talks to Newcastle’s preeminent songwriting genius Richard Dawson about his new album, 2020; Paul Broadhead chats with Twisterella festival organisers Andy Carr and Henry Carden about the delights on offer at the Middlesbrough festival; Michelle Fox talks to Lady Kitt, Joanne Howell and Jim Bond, three of the regional artists finding new inspiration from the Bowes Museum’s collections, from queer icons to a brutal story of domestic abuse; Steve Spithray talks to Durham musician Faithful Johannes about his uniquely lyrical ‘non-rap’ debut album; Durham ‘Satanic lounge jazz’ band Mondo Sadists talk to Ali Welford about their debut EP and forthcoming TUSK festival appearance; Paul Jeffrey talks to Ibibio Sound Machine’s Eno Williams about the power of music, healing and positive energy; Damian Robinson talks to Common Wealth co-director Rhiannon White about I Have Met The Enemy (And The Enemy Is Us), an extraordinary new play which seeks to further our understanding of Britain’s role in the arms trade; Dawn Storey talks to Teesside indie pop band Llovers about their debut EP; Ali Welford talks to James Graham from beloved Scottish band about a career trajectory which has seen The Twilight Sad go from cult outsiders to touring with The Cure; Charlie Isaac talks to Leeds-based heavy alt. rockers Mush about their jagged yet oddly groovy sound; Mollie Field meets Sudanese refugee and playwright Abu-Zayd DeGale and hears about his extraordinary and empowering new production, Living In Limbo; Lee Hawthorn talks to Sunderland rapper Philth Like about his debut EP, World Wide Waster; Ali Welford talks to Hartlepool-born musician STRAIGHT GIRL about identity, mental health and being a sad-dance pioneer; as a host of literary favourites prepare to descend on Durham, Mollie Field finds out what’s in store at the annual Durham Book Festival; Lee Fisher talks to the TUSK Festival team about their mouth-watering line-up; and Hartlepool Folk Festival’s Joan Crump talks about her musical inspirations behind the festival, which takes place this month.

In the review section, we report back from live shows from The Comet Is Coming, Nadja, Edwyn Collins, Dave Johns, Bonnie & The Bonnettes and loads more; there’s demo reviews of music from Jemm, The Wainstones, Faye Fantarrow, Birdman Cult and Sam Cornmell; reviews of singles and EPs from local artists including Lad Alive, The Lulas, The Dawdler, Amongst Echoes, Wax Heart Sodality, Nick Gladdish and more, plus album releases from Bert Verso, Richard Dawson, DIIV, Pizzagirl, Anna Meredith, Angel Olsen, Andrew Johnson, The ÆTHER among others.

Enjoy!