FEATURE: NARC. FEST | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Image: Warm Digits by Victoria Wai

We are proud to be partnering with Ouseburn Festival again this year for NARC. Fest on Saturday 13th July for a day of live music, curated by some of the North East’s most acclaimed promoters across six of its finest small music venues: The Old Coal Yard (programmed by Endless Window), The Tyne Bar (who are also celebrating their 30th anniversary), Little Buildings (curated by Flat Four Records), The Cluny 2 (courtesy of Wandering Oak), The Cumberland Arms and The Grove. What’s more, it’s free and you don’t even need a ticket! Read on for more on the line-up…



NARC. Fest brings the best of North East talent to Ouseburn which is justified by the strength of headliners this year. Originally from all corners of the region, Newcastle-based radgie punks Irked have rightfully been given the nod this year after impressing across a couple of recent blazing hardcore tracks. Elsewhere, Leeds’ Galaxians will bring the rhythmic medicine to the party, Sam Grant’s Rubber Oh project promise an “eternal psyche-pop continuum”, plus garage-poppers Wormboys, the krautophonic blizzard-wave (yes, really) of Warm Digits complete the headliners.


Where better to find the next big things than by getting down early and catching some of the opening acts on each stage. So, how about starting the day with Newcastle alt. pop duo Badger’s take on melodic existential crises? Or, the twang and bang surf of The Milk Lizards? Not your cup of tea? How about enigmatic alt. rockers The Timewasters, lo-fi indie-traditionalists Feeble Strength, suites of loud sounds from Frolic Acid or your last chance to dance early doors, Crane House’s soulful alt. folk? Gotta be something there for everyone so… Get. Down. Early.


And what about of those names that are already familiar to many in the local music know? Well, Cortney Dixon has really come into her own after the release of her Summer Love single last year, while bigfatbig remain one of the region’s most underrated pop-punk bands. Fresh from an unlikely recent support slot with Benefits, Melanie Baker (now with a full band) is really settling into a furtive nu-grunge furrow. While No Teeth are already veterans of the noise punk scene, dark wave duo Vigilance State have been casting shadows at our door since lockdown and Muckle are OGs of Leeds’ “sweaty noise complaint” scene.


Finally, it’s the depth of the line-up that impresses this year, so if you still think you can fit a quick food break into your day consider that the line-up also includes experimental music magpies Crimewave, Sunderland synth poppers CHAT, the melody-riddled post-hardcore of Objections, the pickled electronica of Jellyskin and Newcastle rock trio Cheap Lunch. Toon via Ipswich and darkest Northumberland, Look Terrified have been described as clever indie alt. pop while, last but not least, indie rock trio Big Romance’s backstory is a diaspora of North East acts, at least one already mentioned here, and squaring this NARC. Fest circle quite nicely…

Image: Milk Lizards

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