NARC. #182 out now | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

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

Our cover stars this month are North East five-piece Komparrison. Evie Lake talks to the band about embracing their loud, proud, Northern identities and kicking against expectations on their debut EP. Exclusive images by Amelia Read.

Also this month, we celebrate our 16th birthday! Download our annual free NARC. Compilation album – which features music from Beccy Owen, Faye Fantarrow, Georgia May, Holly Rees, Jack Fox, Joe Ramsey, Kate Bond, Marketplace, Motel Carnation, Motherland, NE-O, noyou, Viia and Waves of Dread – via our Bandcamp page.

Also this month, check out gigs galore including Rachel Sermanni, Sean Noonan, Oh Wonder, Eades, KEG, Lazy Habits, Cattle & Cane, Gwenifer Raymond, Yucatan, Callum Easter, James Heather, Benefits, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Young’Uns and loads more; there’s also news on theatre shows including The Hunger at Laurel’s, Yours Sincerely at Gala Durham, Opolis at Alphabetti, The White Card at Northern Stage, Head Girl at The Central Bar, GIFT Festival among others; stand-up comedy previews include Raul Kohli at The Stand, Joe Lycett at Globe Stockton and Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Joby Mageean and Neil Harris at Laurel’s, and Hilarity Bites’ three day showcase at Darlington Hippodrome; art exhibitions abound throughout the region, including Grayson Perry at Sunderland Museum, Mounira Al Solh at BALTIC, Bee Lines Through The City at Shieldfield Art Works, Natalie Sharp’s 36000 Sexes of Fungi at Eston Arts Centre and loads more.

It’s a busy edition for interviews… Festival season has arrived! Claire Dupree checks out the offering from Stockton’s original multi-venue festival, Stockton Calling; plus, ahead of the release of a new album and Stockton Calling appearance this month, Leigh Venus talks to Bob Vylan’s Bobby Vylan about the duo’s vital voice in the soundtrack of 21st Century Britain; ahead of his Stockton Calling set, Darlington’s soulful, genre bending artist Luke Royalty chats with Steve Spithray about his debut EP; Damian Robinson discovers how Texan folk rock band Midlake have captured their introspective sound on new album, For The Sake of Bethel Woods; Maria Winter speaks to Northumbrian alt. folk sibling duo The Brothers Gillespie about their new album, childhood memories and their musical inspirations; Cameron Wright talks to forthright comedian Jonny Pelham about how his comedy tackles taboos and diffuses tensions; Hope Lynes speaks to Teesside four-piece Cigar Cigar about their debut EP, lockdown recording and their collaboration with student film-makers; Mera Royle talks to artists Graham and Anthony Dolphin about their new exhibition, Cover Versions, which uses old material to explore themes of originality, ownership and fandom; Linsey Teggert talks to Newcastle stoner rock trio Dunes about their reflective yet optimistic new album; Helen Redfern talks to arts collective Sunderland Indie’s founder Barrie West about creating work which captures the zeitgeist in their new exhibition, Earth Requiem; as The Unthanks finally get back on the road, Lee Fisher asks Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally how it feels to be connecting with people again; Adelle Sutheran chats to the enigmatic frontperson of North East post-punk synth pop band Fiona Liquid; Ali Welford discusses the many and varied joys of the accordion, with virtuoso performer and soundworld creator Heather Ferrier; Cameron Wright talks to performance poet John Cooper Clarke about the chaotic cocktail of his work; as The Cumberland Arms begins celebrating its twentieth year with Jo Hodson as landlady, Lee Fisher asked her what they had planned. Plus, Donny Jevs from TEESSOUND Festival picks his favourite tunes in Mixtape.

Review-wise, there’s reports from the front row at Benefits, Emma-Jean Thackray, Enola Gay, This Is The Kit, CHVRCHES, Stormzy, ZELA and more; we check out Demos from Matthias Proud, Katie C, Emily Bosher, Cam Iyell and No One Likes Us!; there’s reviews of singles and EPs from North East artists including India Arkin, Charts And Graphs, Michael T Ogilvie, Bad Amputee, Faye Fantarrow, The Whippet Beans, Tired of Fighting, Dayna Leadbitter and more; plus reviews of new album releases from brb>voicecoil, Pink Poison, Father John Misty, Walt Disco, SCALPING, Kae Tempest, Pillow Queens, Warmduscher and Kathryn Joseph among others.

Enjoy!

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