NARC. #162 OUT NOW | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

The June issue of NARC. is available now in glorious digital format via Issuu at or via the Magazine section of

Our cover star is Whitburn native Nadine Shah. Ali Welford talks to the musician about changing attitudes and bucking the trend on her new album.

Elsewhere, there’s still lots of reasons to be cheerful this month. Our region’s creatives are stepping up to the plate and continuing to entertain us (and themselves) with a vast array of music, art, theatre, comedy, film and much more. Find info on new endeavours from Alphabetti Theatre, National Glass Centre, Tees Music Alliance, Workplace Gallery, The Auxiliary and more, plus there’s updates on crowdfunders and support networks.

There’s also news on new releases from Beth Macari, Be Quiet. Shout Loud!, Rob Heron, Roxy Girls, Greg Genre, Sam Slatcher and Pit Pony; festival announcements from TUSK and MUNRO; and new residencies and courses from Generator and Sage Gateshead; alongside online performances courtesy of Gala Theatre and Shoe Cake Comedy.

It’s a busy month interview-wise: Alex Withers finds out more about 24 Hours In Isolation, the series of micro-podcasts made by North East creatives which investigate isolation and solitude; Kristopher Cook talks to Middlesbrough rapper Eyeconic about the release of his ambitious and enticing new project; Beverley Knight talks to funk and soul duo Smoove & Turrell about their new album, celebrating ten years together and their passion for the North East; Lust For Life Drawing’s refreshing art classes have reinvigorated Darlington’s artistic scene, Catharina Joubert talks to Grace Lancaster about adapting their life drawing sessions during lockdown; Jamie Taylor talks to Jona Aal about the Star & Shadow Cinema’s expansion into radio broadcasting; fiery hardcore trio Ballpeen discuss their latest tape, Pachinko, with Mark Corcoran-Lettice; Steve Spithray talks to Middlesbrough-based musician Dale Husband about the ‘finger-style folk’ sound on his new album; Ali Welford talks to Sunderland-born songwriter Marc Bird about his pensive bedroom pop debut; Laura Doyle talks to Orbis’ Jonpaul Kirvan about the incredible community which thrives at Commercial Union House; Beverley Knight talks to Newcastle quartet Primary Colours about the release of their new EP; Damian Robinson discusses group dynamics and genre-blending ideas with Newcastle electro band Shamu; Amy Wardley talks to Jo Burke about Chilli Studios’ continuing commitment to provide creative services for those with mental health conditions; Jason Jones chats to Newcastle lo-fi rockers The Palps about their cinematic and ambitious debut album; Caitlin Disken finds out how North East charity Young Women’s Film Academy is empowering young women to express their experiences through film; Beverley Knight talks to Newcastle music hub Curvy Sounds’ Jessie Mills about their dedication to the local music ecology; Jonathan Horner talks to Middlesbrough hip-hop artist Jister about his triumphant return on new EP Poetry, Not Prose; Damian Robinson talks to Hartlepool singer-songwriter Charlotte Grayson about the release of her debut album; Helen Redfern finds out more about Noir at the Bar’s first crime writing anthology; and Scott Forbes from Gosforth Civic Theatre tells us about some of his favourite songs.

In the review section, there’s demo reviews of Rob Howe, Lizzie Esau, The Finest Drops, Scott Free and No Fox; single reviews of local artists including Cat Ryan, Conrad Ashton, J.P. Riggall, Scrannabis, Luke Rv feat. Nifty Struggle, Indoor Kids, Swine Tax, Laurie Shepherd, Class Gymnast and more; plus reviews of new album releases by Galaxians, Hinds, Bhajan Bhoy, Jehnny Beth, Anthony Gowland, Art Feynman, Pottery, Naeem, Sonic Boom, Courtney Marie Andrews, LA Priest and many more.

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