MIXTAPE: Chris Trew, Prancey Dog | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Words: Chris Trew

I’m Chris Trew, and under the Prancey Dog banner I have been promoting live music in Newcastle for almost 20 years. Established primarily to attract touring acts that were bypassing the North East, Prancey Dog has built a reputation for featuring artists played by BBC 6Music presenters Marc Riley and Gideon Coe. We have upcoming gigs with Howie Reeve (24th September @ The Cumberland Arms), The Bug Club (19th October @ Gosforth Civic Theatre) and Blue Orchids (24th November @ The Cumberland Arms) each with emerging and established local talent as support.

The Fall – Middle Mass
Anyone that knows me is aware of my love of The Fall. I struggled to choose just one track, so went for this, my favourite song on my favourite Fall release, the six-track 1981 mini album Slates.

Water From Your Eyes – Barley
My most played track of 2023. It’s all glitchy, and super cool… with a video that merits repeated viewing. This Brooklyn duo has been around for six years, and I look forward to exploring their journey to this year’s superb Everyone’s Crushed.

Geese – 2122
I listen to a lot of new music, and I’m terribly judgmental. Listening to their debut album Projector, I wrote Geese off as prog rock wannabes. The new album 3D Country has changed that perception. It’s an amazing album… but I still can’t get into Projector.

The Fiery Furnaces – Duplexes of the Dead
Consistently in my most-played acts, Fiery Furnaces are brilliantly inventive, and each of their albums has a recognisably different style. This track is taken from side
one of 2007’s Widow City. Listen to the whole side and you’ll be hooked too.

Personal Trainer – Rug Buster
Dutch band Personal Trainer played a storming gig at Cluny2 in May. They’ll be back in Newcastle later this year supporting BC Camplight. Joyous, life affirming brilliance. Buy the album!

The Bug Club – Short and Round
The hardest working band around, they’re constantly touring and yet they’re exceptionally prolific. Moving steadily through the venue sizes, they’re back in Newcastle in November to promote a 47 track double album Rare Birds: Hour of Song.

Lael Neal – Blue Vein
Taken from her debut album Acquainted By Night, this was the first track that I heard by Virginia-based singer Lael Neal. New album Star Eaters’ Delight is equally essential. Her set on a tiny stage in the woods was the highlight of my weekend at last year’s End Of The Road festival.

KOKOKO! – Azo Toke
Everyone’s favourite Congolese experimental electronic dance collective, KOKOKO! play homemade instruments made from scrap, and their lyrics focus on political problems within the country. New music is imminent.

10cc – Art For Art’s Sake
The first band that I ever saw live, 10cc hit their peak with the perfect How Dare You album, and then immediately imploded. 10cc took a creative dip, and the freshly-departed Godley & Creme released the groundbreaking Consequences, L, Freeze Frame and Ismism, the albums that 10cc should have made.

Jonathan Richman – That Summer Feeling
Well… Jonathan Richman has provided me with 45 years of entertainment. An international treasure, from his early days with The Modern Lovers through to his most recent album, Want To Visit My Inner House?. A complete lack of social media presence, and a blatant disregard for convention dictates that this great performer will forever remain an outsider.

Mandy, Indiana – Bottle Episode
Formed in 2016, Mandy, Indiana is an English-French noise rock band fronted by Valentine Caulfield. Catch them in Newcastle at the end of October – you’ll not be disappointed.

Nightingales – Sunlit Uplands (Turn That Frown Upside Down)
The opening track on 2022’s magnificent The Last Laugh, here’s proof that over 40 years after their debut release, Robert Lloyd and his Nightingales remain essential. Probably the best live act on the planet. See also: the new Lloyd/Bean album.

Melt-Banana – Sweeper
The greatest record ever made. It’s perfect. Play very loud.

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