SURVIVING SELF-ISOLATION: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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April would have been a month packed with excellent gigs, theatre and comedy shows – many of which we’d have previewed and reviewed. We didn’t want to ignore the contribution these artists (and promoters) make to the region, so we asked some of them to give you a few tips on how you can spend your time in isolation.

Absinthe-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll party starters Oh My God! It’s The Church were due to play at The Cluny on 24th April, the Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson promises rescheduled dates soon…

Salutations NARC Team. We are so upset to have had to postpone our Genesis tour until later in the year, especially to all my missionaries in Newcastle – but like Sexy Jesus himself we’ll come back stronger. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming announcements about the rescheduled dates. What crazy times we live in, but fear not sinners because here are my top tips to achieve Salvation in your Self-Isolation.

Podcast – S-Town This is hands down the greatest podcast (and some of the best journalism) I’ve ever listened to. I may be biased because it’s based in my home state of Alabama, but seriously it is a mindblowing TRUE story. Starting with a caller phoning in to a radio station to report the cover-up of a murder in his home town, Woodstock (not that one) Alabama. It quickly sucks you into the world of the eccentric genius that is John B McLemore. Twists and turns, hilarity and heartbreak, this podcast has it all. (But don’t judge the whole of Alabama on the descriptions of Woodstock AKA ‘Shit Town’, lots of great things come from the great state of Alabama – Lionel Richie, delicious potatoes, oh and me your Reverend.)

Book – The Rum Diary by Hunter S Thompson: A lesser-known short tale from the writer of the semi-autobiographical work Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. Despite being a pretty small book and in the shadow of its big sister, this story is great fun. Set in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, it’s mainly a sweaty, drunk romp in the rum and smoke-filled bars and homes of San Juan – which I think could provide all your readers with good training for what to do for entertainment during the months of self-isolation. Besides, it’s what Sexy Jesus would want you to do – get drunk and romp. Romp your little asses off!

Film – Midsommar: Back in the joyful heady days of Summer 2019 – remember them? – when if someone sneezed near you, you simply said ‘bless you’ and offered them a tissue instead of screaming about the end of days and rushing home to decontaminate. Ah, what peaceful times indeed. Well back then Midsommar was released and, if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing right now and watch it! Especially if you, like us, were looking forward to enjoying plenty of music festivals this summer. This movie, set in a remote Swedish village and following some confused tourists observing the strange rituals and celebrations of a pagan cult, will perhaps give you some relief that you’re not out in the glorious sun-soaked fields and are safely tucked up in self-isolation. Watch it. Bring a pillow.

Music – Oh My God! It’s The Church of course! Sure, all our UK Missionaries will have to wait a little longer to see us live. However, not even a global pandemic can stop us from releasing our first ever record, Genesis, this April. It’s been a total labour of love and features real originality, humour and a mix of styles our regular congregation have grown to love from our live shows; it never stays in one place for long! It’s a concept record for sure. I don’t want to give too much away but it will definitely take you on a journey, and now people have a bit more time on their hands they can listen to the whole record as one piece, which is how the good Lord intends it to be consumed! The challenge was to reproduce the fun and chaos of our live church services on recording and I like to think we’ve succeeded. We can’t wait to release it into the world! It hits stores on Good Friday 10th April.

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