NARC. #190 out now! | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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

This month’s cover star is eclectic art rock artist SLUG, whose new album is released via Field Music’s new label, Daylight Saving Records. Linsey Teggert talks to Ian Black about challenging his listeners, self-character assassination and tinnies with ZZ Top. Images by Andy Martin.

Elsewhere this month, there’s previews of live shows from Heather Ferrier Trio, Jodie Nicholson, Matt Deighton, Crywank, Big Joanie, The Family Rain, Martha Hill, Dirty Dike, Bridie Jackson, Pave the Jungle, The Subways, Rubella Ballet, I Like Trains and many more; plus art exhibitions Breaking Through To Freedom at Shieldfield Art Works, The Home at NewBridge Project and an open exhibition at Gallagher & Turner; there’s comedy courtesy of Josie Long at The Stand, Sara Pascoe at Middlesbrough Town Hall, Alison Spittle at The Stand, Matt Reed at Tyne Theatre & Opera House and bags of brand new talent courtesy of Hilarity Bites at Hops & Cheese, plus loads more! Plus, if panto turns you off and you’ve seen Elf too many times already, let our Alternative Christmas feature guide you through some of the best festive treats in the region for the discerning soul!

Interview-wise, Maria Winter speaks to the leader of sophisticated jazz ensemble Abbie Finn Trio about Newcastle’s jazz scene and their upcoming album; Matt Young talks to composer, arranger and vocalist Catch The Sparrow about her fusion of evocative melodies and folk storytelling; Jason Jones chats with local psych punks TV Death about their acerbic debut EP; Adam Paxton catches up with North East rapper Fletchy about the power of individuality and honesty on his new record; Lizzie Lovejoy chats with musicians Holly Clarke, Anna Hughes and Jess Howard about the importance of queer identity in folk music; Nat Greener talks to soulful pop artist Kate Bond about her enticing brand of feisty ‘fuck you soul’; Adam Kennedy talks to Dan Heptinstall and Lorna Thomas about Skinny Lister’s forthcoming Newcastle show; Cameron Wright talks to Northern Irish songwriter Benjamin Amos about the power of unflinching honesty on his debut album, Letters; Helen Redfern talks to writer and performer Jonluke McKie about The Devil Danced In Our Eyes, his one-person show exploring family, sexuality and the internet; Jake Anderson talks to North East composer Ebb about his new album which embodies feelings of futility and frustration at climate inaction; Damian Robinson talks to ethereal folk artist Shannon Pearl about her sound art project which takes inspiration from the beauty of the North East coast; Matt Young speaks to Aaron Duff about Hector Gannet’s poetic new album; and in Mixtape, Nick Roberts from BBC Introducing in the North East celebrates 10 years of the show by choosing some of his favourite songs.

In the Review section, there’s reports from the front row of The Pretty Reckless, Kendrick Lamar, Bob Vylan, Jarboe, The Bug Club, Pussy Riot, Part Chimp, Divide And Dissolve, Deaf Havana, Rachael Dadd and many more; we feature reviews of local singles and EPs from Mat Hunsley, Darren Holmes, Zamj, Voodoo Black Exorcist, Reali-T, Chris Mardula, NTGB, Early Maze, Belasis, Analogue Blood, Heyman Aums and Crux; and there’s reviews of new albums from John Cale, Hotel Lux, Pure Adult, Ghost Woman, The Subways, Fucked Up, King Tuff, Italia 90, Gaz Coombes, Slug, Billy Nomates, Leftfield, Simon Juliff, Gemma Ray and CVC.



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