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Reliably informed

The July issue of NARC. magazine is out now, free of charge from over 200 outlets across the North East.

Our cover feature this month is on the ace Curious Festival. Claire Dupree chats with festival director Phil Douglas about this year’s line-up, LGBTQ representation in the region and the importance of engaging young people; and Laura Doyle talks to the performers behind two of the festival’s most exciting productions, JG Tansley and Melody Sproates. Exclusive images courtesy of Amelia Read.

There’s bags going on in the News section as usual…Jumpin’ Hot Club Country Cantina; AMPT Alldayer at Westgarth Social Club; The Physics House Band at The Cluny; Tim Eriksen at Star & Shadow Cinema; Sad For Life Warehouse Party at The Auxiliary Warehouse; Folk on the Tyne at Sage Gateshead; BRASS Festival; new venue Bobiks opens in Jesmond; Sounds of the Underground at Victoria Tunnel; The Murder Capital at Independent; Wasteland Festival; Nadine Shah at Playhouse Whitley Bay; Michael Gallagher single release; Here Comes The Summer at Toft House and much more.

Culture-wise, we profile actor and performance artist Hannah Walker, who hosts an In Conversation event at Bobiks with illustrator Alex Collier, and poet Katrina Porteous, who takes part in Apples & Snakes’ Deranged Poetesses event at ARC. Plus there’s previews of Masala Festival; Newcastle Fringe Festival at Alphabetti; John Akomfrah at BALTIC; Heads & Tales at Vane; Sonic Arts Week in Middlesbrough; Improv Festival in Newcastle; South Tyneside Comedy Festival at Customs House; Funny Way To Be Edinburgh preview shows at The Witham; Troy Hawke at Georgian Theatre; Ask Me Anything at Live Theatre; Journeys Drawn at Sunderland Museum & Winter Garden; Louise Young & Anja Atkinson at The Stand; Darlington Comedy Festival and much more, plus reviews of A Self Help Guide To Being In Love With Jeremy Corbyn at Alphabetti, Ockham’s Razor at Dance City, #BeMoreMartyn at Live Theatre and more.

Interview-wise, it’s a bumper edition! Johnathan Ramsay speaks to North East hip-hop veteran Rick Fury ahead of the release of his new album Heart Break Kid; ahead of her show at The Old Coal Yard this month, Michelle Fox talks to Grace Petrie about protest songs, gender stereotypes and radical folk music; Jordon Best talks to the not remotely witch-like garage rock trio, LA Witch; Damian Robinson talks to Ronald Raygun’s Sam Kennedy about his new art and music collaboration, AudioVisual; Ali Welford talks to Japanese indie pop band Taffy ahead of their new album release and Gateshead show; Steve Spithray talks to David Turnbull, aka Fax Machine, about his off-kilter debut album; Ali Welford talks to thrilling post-punk band FRET! ahead of their new album release; Damian Robinson uncovers the relentless optimism on Northumbrian band Kkett’s debut album; and Jordon Best talks to Patrick Lawrence about his nostalgic and cathartic new album as Detroit Tourist Board. Plus, Lee Fisher finds out what’s in store at this year’s SummerTyne Americana festival at Sage Gateshead, Claire Dupree uncovers the vibrant line-up for this year’s celebration of Latin and Lusophone cultures, ¡VAMOS! Festival, and The Cumberland Arms’ Jo Hodson gears up for their weekend beer festival with some joyous Mixtape choices.

In the review pages, we review demos by Jake Hen, Ihrsan, Laughing-Tears, Benjamin Belinska and Men Behind The Sun; albums by The Flaming Lips, Tycho, Freya Ridings, BABii, Baltra and more, plus new singles from PussyWillowFurryVenus, Mausoleums, User Dreams, District Attorney and Beth Macari among others. We also report back on live shows from Emmy The Great, Flamin’ Groovies, Imperial Wax, TV Face, The Shining Levels, Marbled Eye and many more.

Enjoy!