FEATURE: NARC. Fest & Ouseburn Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s hub of cultural wonders celebrates the arrival of summer in righteous style on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July, as the annual Ouseburn Festival takes over the Valley. Beatrix Potter favourite Peter Rabbit and friends provide the theme for this year’s family entertainment, with all manner of weird and wonderful goings-on taking place across the weekend. The newly established Great Ouseburn Market will take over the Valley on Saturday afternoon, with a raft of crafty vendors offering their wares. Join in the fun-filled parade and carnival atmosphere on Sunday afternoon or enter The Cluny’s highly entertaining Duck Race (buy your duck at the bar prior to the weekend); there’s live music aplenty throughout the day, and the Cumberland Arms’ Sunshine Medicine Show features a host of top live music from Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra, Screamin’ Miss Jackson & The Slap Yo Mama Big Band, The Buffalo Skinners and more.

Music is rife on Saturday night too, as our very own free multi-venue musical extravaganza, NARC. Fest, will assault your eardrums with a wide variety of genres and styles thanks to some of the region’s best local promoters.

The Great Northern programme The Cluny’s stage, which welcomes indie rockers Keep Breathing, psych pop from Them Things, alt. rock sounds from A Festival, A Parade, and melodic intensity from Canyons; The Cluny 2 has a jazzy flavour thanks to Jazz North East’s eclectic line-up which includes improv trio Taupe, Zoe Gilby’s new project Watching Sideways, the unique sounds of Not Now Charlie and Sheffield trio Mick Beck, Derek Saw and Charlie Collins; over at The Cumberland Arms, the ever-reliable Tea Pad presents a lively moonshine mix of Romani, Americana and British folk from Holy Moly & The Crackers, infectious swing rhythms from House of the Black Gardinia and skiffle-by-way-of-punk rockers Poor Old Dogs, plus Rob Heron and our very own Lee Fisher will be spinning the wheels of steel.

our very own free multi-venue musical extravaganza will assault your eardrums with a wide variety of genres and styles thanks to some of the region’s best local promoters

A trio of other NARC. scribes bring their promoting prowess to Tanners Arms, the Free Trade and The Tyne Bar; Mark Corcoran-Lettice’s Endless Window returns again to the Tanners with Competition’s heartfelt and witty lo-fi, Mausoleums’ ghostly pop IDM, synth pop and punky hip-hop from FUQ, plus there’s broken down techno and minimalist melodies from headliners Basic House; over at the Tyne Bar, Linsey Teggert’s Confusion Is Next outfit once again provides radgy noise and rowdy tunes courtesy of post-hardcore quintet Shades, Glaswegian alt. rockers Toy Mountains, heavy riffs from Future Horizons, grungy emo trio Bares plus noisy rockers Black Lung Club; while at the Free Trade Inn, Paul Brown’s Tiny Lights Records comes out of retirement for a stonkingly good show featuring surf rock from The Milk Lizards, dreamy pop from E’Spaniel, fuzzy guitar fun from Rushers of Din and synth Goth group Fractions.

Little Buildings’ line-up features the grungy indie of Coquin Migale, otherworldly joy of High Tide 15:47, fuzz rock from Calf and mathy prog from Mongeese; Tower Café’s entertainment spans the whole weekend, things kick off on Saturday afternoon with a storytelling session from Pascale Konyn, alt. country and bluegrass from The Broadleaves, with the night finishing with a rhythm-fuelled bang thanks to Ital Guidance System playing rock, roots, reggae, dub and more until the early hours. Late night fun can also be had at Ernest courtesy of Moon Rocks Live, whose aftershow party features DJ skills from Frankie & The Heartstrings’ Frankie Francis, while earlier in the night their stage also features musical accompaniment from producers Grey Tapes, one-man music maker Life Mechanics and the percussive slap-fingerpicking of Haythem.

NARC. Fest takes place on Saturday 2nd and the Ouseburn Festival takes place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July across various venues in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley.


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