NEWS: NARC. FEST 2016 – THE FREE TRADE INN | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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NARC. Fest takes place at a multitude of venues across the Ouseburn Valley on Saturday 2nd July. The free festival is the musical arm of the annual community Ouseburn Festival, which celebrates creativity and culture in the Valley.

Today’s stage focus comes courtesy of Tiny Lights Recordings, who bring pop-tastic sounds to The Free Trade Inn.

Words: Paul Brown

Free from such mundane modern fripperies as ‘a web presence’, or ‘recordings’, The Milk Lizards are very possibly a new name to your hungry ears. Indeed, such were they to your promoter as well, until a mysterious text message along the lines of ‘HERE’S SOME ROUGH LIVE RECORDINGS, BOOK MY BAND PLEASE!’’ dropped squarely out of the blue onto his mobile telephone. So enraptured was he, he immediately texted back ‘YES, INDEED. YOU ARE IN’, and voila, here’s your opening act for Tiny Lights’ NARC. Fest stage at the Free Trade Inn. Expect a set chocker with instrumental surf-rock thrills to launch you headlong into an evening of pure fun.

Following The Milk Lizards, we’ve got E’spaniel. Having served many years in several sickeningly underrated bands (including the dear departed Pale Man Made), the trio could rattle off half a dozen perfectly-formed indie pop songs in the time it’d take most bands to think of an opening chord. Their songs are wistful, dreamy and catchy as can be, and the perfect accompaniment to a sunny night spent looking down the Tyne wondering why you’d ever want to be anywhere else.

Rushers of Din are up next. Fronted by Adam Schofield, the North East’s answer to Lee Ranaldo, they’ve been quietly cooking up new music for a while, and it’s sounding pretty fantastic. Their recent single High Density in particular is a wonderfully heady bit of fuzzy guitar-pop – at once experimental as well as thoroughly visceral and direct. Grab your pals round the shoulders, hoist your drink in the air, and get yourself drenched in noise (and maybe beer, I dunno).

Our headliners will be everyone’s favourite synth-wielding Goths, Fractions. Now armed with the enormous voice of Natasha Haws and a clutch of new songs, their presence will add a fittingly dark twist to proceedings as night falls on the Free Trade. Somewhere between M83 and My Bloody Valentine, prepare yourselves for wave upon wave of blissfully chilly noise to send you home with an altogether pleasant tingle in your bones.

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