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The February issue of NARC. magazine is out now, available in print from outlets across the North East, and digitally via Issuu.

This month’s cover stars are Newcastle metal band Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. As they prepare to unleash their fourth album, they talk to Matt Young about crafting their unique brand of sonic euphoria amid paranoia, introspection and furious energy. Exclusive images by Amelia Read.

Elsewhere this month, there’s previews of live shows from Yungblud, Sweet Baboo, The Comet Is Coming, BILK, Tengger, She Drew The Gun, Loyle Carner, Tokky Horror, Titus Andronicus, Mogwai, Benefits, Gojira, Holy Scum, Lynks and loads more; plus exhibitions of work by Hew Locke at BALTIC, Valkyrie at MIMA, Two Plus Two Makes Four at The Auxiliary, Visions of Ancient Egypt at Laing Art Gallery and Mark Pinder at NGCA; stand-up comedy courtesy of Sophie Duker at various venues, Joe Wells at The Stand, Zoe Lyons at The Witham/The Stand and Alun Cochrane at Bishop Auckland Town Hall; and theatrical productions including The Nature of Forgetting at Northern Stage, Person Spec at Alphabetti, Everyman at People’s Theatre, Just Jam Intl at Dance City, and much more!

Interview-wise, Ali Welford talks to Rachel Unthank and Paul Smith about their burgeoning friendship forged through the medium of song; Claire Dupree discovers how feminism, identity, immigration and racism have shaped visual artist Jhanee Wilkins’ work; Damian Robinson talks to prolific musician David Brewis about challenging his creativity on his debut solo album; Ali Welford navigates the mass of gigs taking place throughout the region celebrating the 10th anniversary of Independent Venue Week; Matt Young discovers how a eureka moment resulted in Jay Moussa-Mann’s rebirth as a bona fide pop star; Claire Dupree talks to comedian Nicola Mantalios about finding catharsis through laughter and vulnerability; Cameron Wright talks to innovative duo Jockstrap about their creative process and forthcoming Newcastle gig; Matt Young talks to rock pop duo The Timewasters about their candid approach to music making; Adam Kennedy talks to urban punk duo Nova Twins about their amazing year and forthcoming Newcastle gig; Claire Dupree finds out how Tees Music Alliance’s On Point music conference aims to help musicians get to grips with the cost of living crisis; Lizzie Lovejoy talks to multitalented cellist, composer and rapper Taliraw about the importance of sharing stories on her new EP; and BBC Tees Introducing presenter and rapper Shakk compiles his favourite tracks in Mixtape.

In the Review section, there’s reports from the front row of Martha, Generation, clipping., Paul Smith & Friends, Crywank, Richard Hawley, Mary Wallopers, Brockhoff, Girls In Synthesis and more; reviews of local singles and EPs from Isabel Maria, Arcade Skies, Mac Turner, Cosial, McCormick, Sisi, Badger, Amplified Man, Deaf Forever, Ten Eighty Trees, The Peevie Wonders and Downtown Lester Brown; Demo reviews of Jade Mia Broadhead, Guri Yeller, Perri Lovaine, Park View and Northeasterner; and new album releases from The Go! Team, The Necks, Yo La Tengo, Quasi, Gorillaz, The Waeve, Young Fathers, U.S. Girls, Free Love, M(h)aol, Screaming Females, Liv.e, Death Valley Girls, Faten Kanaan and more.

Enjoy!