NARC. #169 OUT NOW! | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

The February issue of NARC. magazine is out now, available in glorious digital format via Issuu at and from the Magazine section of

Our cover stars are Tyneside art rock band Maxïmo Park, who return with a new album this month; Leigh Venus talks to Paul Smith about nostalgia, melancholia and embracing being in the moment.

We kick the first issue of the year off with tonnes of new releases and online activity from North East artists. Find out about new releases from Faithful Johannes, Kylver, Girl From Winter Jargon, A Festival A Parade, Ten Eighty Trees, John Michie Collective and Infinite Arcade; plus livestreamed gigs courtesy of Darlington’s Tracks collective; a series of performances from North East musicians beamed direct to your screen from Gosforth Civic Theatre; interactive art projects courtesy of ARC Stockton; collaborative zine making from Cobalt Studios; livestreamed performance at Dance City and Newcastle University stream some insightful virtual lectures; plus there’s new work from under-represented voices via Alphabetti’s online programming; a music-themed art exhibition from Workplace gallery online; Middlesbrough’s Pineapple Black gallery goes virtual, along with loads more!

Interview-wise, Damian Robinson talks to Newcastle’s dreamgaze trio Butterjunk about their debut EP; Amy Wardley find out more about the North East’s not-for-profit comedy cooperative, Felt Nowt; Cameron Wright talks to poet, comedian and broadcaster Kate Fox about her new poetry collection, confronting Northern preconceptions and the spirit of catharsis; Jamie Taylor talks to three artists whose work responds to their experiences of Pride as part of Tyne & Wear Museums & Archives’ Must-see Stories platform, and discovers activism, inclusivity and quieter voices have increasingly been left out of the conversation; Damian Robinson talks to Jamie Cook about his livestreamed music show, Howzat TV, which boasts a wealth of regional talent; Claire Dupree talks with Northern Stage’s new Artistic Director Natalie Ibu about her vision for their Spring season, the importance of artist development and reconnecting with audiences; Middlesbrough-based artist and curator Bobby Benjamin explains the genesis of his collaborative project, Picasso Baby; Ali Welford talks to Tomilola Ayilara, aka Reali-T, about his new album, filled with exuberant bars and honest perspectives; Dave Parker and Rob Heron from Newcastle venue The Globe talk to Jonathan Horner about livestreams, the co-op community and their passion for supporting musicians; Steve Spithray talks to prolific Middlesbrough polymath Oli Heffernan about his latest collaboration, University Challenged; North East rap royalty Rick Fury talks to Johno Ramsay about new LP Return Of The King; Beverley Knight discovers the heartbreak and healing which led to Newcastle songwriter Simon Taylor’s new EP, and in Mixtape, Beccy Owen introduces her Changemaker’s Chorus project, and chooses songs that have fundamentally changed her.

The newly expanded Review section features demo reviews of Dr Moon, The Spacebunker Tapes, PADDY, Panthers and Bobby Latheron & Janine Brown; singles and EPs by local artists including Elephant Memoirs, Komparrison, Jamie Ainslie, Wild Spelks, Pete Beat, MARQ Electronica, Pink Poison, Docksuns, The False Poets, Jen Dixon, Charlotte Grayson and Don Coyote; and there’s reviews of new albums from slowthai, Karima Walker, Django Django, Virginia Wing, Bodies of Water, Cloud Nothings, Blanck Mass, Mush, The Hold Steady, Pale Waves, Femi & Made Kuti, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, John Carpenter, Mogwai, Andy Champion & Graeme Wilson and more.


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