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Our cover stars this month are Teesside’s lovable lo-fi duo Mouses, who release their debut album this month. Steve Spithray chats to the pair during their fun-filled photoshoot courtesy of Nick Wesson.

It’s a bumper month for music news, with previews of gigs featuring Electric Eye, Imarhan, The Wedding Present, Trust Fund, The Magic Gang, Jesus & His Judgemental Father, T-Shirt Weather and more. Festival season is still hanging in there, and we preview Allen Valleys Folk Festival, Dronehenge, Home Gathering, Infinite Folk Festival, SQ Festival and We Are Family Festival.

Culture-wise, we meet two theatre makers, Melanie Rashbrooke and Zoe Murtagh, who will be touring their new shows courtesy of the Bridging The Gap programme; we find out what’s hot at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; the International Print Biennale brings visual loveliness to the region; and Northumbria Food & Drink Festival will whet your appetite for foodie fun this month. Elsewhere, there’s theatre galore including previews on 1001 Nights, Spine, Grow Up Grandad, Putting The Band Back Together, Where Do All The Dead Pigeons Go, Jabberwocky Market, An Evening With Savvy B and Anti-Slam; there’s cinematic fun at the Ocean Film Festival in Whitley Bay, Darlington Film Club welcomes a comedic legend and Screenage Kicks are at it again, this time with a potentially blasphemous screening of a Monty Python classic at St Nicholas’ Cathedral; comedy-wise, the dry wit of Rich Hall comes to Tyne Theatre & Opera House and Jason Cook’s comedy club is at Customs House; plus arty delights abound thanks to Chilli Studios’ exhibition at The Holy Biscuit.

There’s interviews galore too! Claire Dupree discovers a blistering debut from Newcastle quintet Bernaccia; Becca Fergus talks genre misrepresentation, transatlantic music making and the American dream with Beth Orton; Lee Fisher spoke to Luminous Bodies’ frontman Gordon Watson about lobsters, defiling and primitive rock ’n’ roll; Lee Fisher spoke to Ian Carter and Nicola Kearey from Stick In The Wheel about identity, empathy and goose feather beds; Rachel Brown talks changing musical landscapes with Kate Jackson; Linsey Teggert talks to instrumental four-piece Kylver about their second album, prog rock and space pirates; Claire Dupree talks to Tchotchke lynchpin Leon Tighe about unpronounceable band names, eclectic sounds and bursts of creativity; and musician Rob Heron lets us peek at his record collection.

Review-wise, we feature demos by Aimee Lambert, Bugman, We Came We Conquered, Tombstone Crow and Uberloon; albums by Pixies, The Handsome Family, Jenny Hval, Glass Animals and more, plus single reviews of Ceiling Demons, Twister, Amelia Coburn, Olivia Kate Smith and more. We also caught live performances from The Pale White, Imelda May, Maximo Park, Low, Pharoahe Monch, Mr Vast and more.

Don’t forget you can listen along with this month’s issue thanks to our Soundcloud playlist.

Enjoy!

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