NARC. E-ZINE #11 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Welcome to the eleventh edition of our digital ‘zine! Right here you’ll find all kinds of interesting and unusual diversions, designed to keep you entertained and informed on the region’s alt. music and culture scenes. Video interviews and sound clips, mini-documentaries, live performances, playlists, reportage, reviews and much more are all created exclusively by us as well as by some of the region’s talented creatives.

Spanning music, theatre, comedy, film, art and everything in between, the NARC. E-ZINE is designed as an antidote to doom-scrolling! With the aim of entertaining and informing, we will provide you with a constant source of exciting, surprising and unusual content continually evolving throughout the issue’s lifespan. Dip back in regularly, there’s new content uploaded all the time!

The City: Revolution

The City: Revolution is an immersive, audio-only, fully soundtracked story from Sybil Productions, a new music company co-founded in Sunderland by Marcus Brown (creative director, formerly with Madonna, Seal, Richard Ashcroft, Ozzy Osborne). 
The UK Government has centralised national resources and walled off the City of London. Behind the Walls is everything: power, privilege, safety. On the outside, people fend for themselves in a nation without infrastructure, electricity or technology. Can a band of rebellious inventors break through the City walls and reset the balance? The tale follows Nikolas as he tries to make his way home to London, his lost family, and hope of re-capturing something of what life used to be.
Support this great local project through Kickstarter, where The City: Revolution is available to pre-order until midnight on 17th February.
A full release is expected in the Autumn, here’s a sneak peek at Episode 1. 




Twayn - Mr Perfect (Live @ Blank Studios)

Twin sisters and North-East music makers Twayn recently dropped their single Mr Perfect and now follow that up with a live performance video of the song to accompany the release. The energy and charm of this two-and-a-half-minute pop ditty has been perfectly captured at this Blank Studios session, however, it offers a little bit more of an indie flavour than the recorded version.

Check it out below.

Vice Killer - Marlene's In Trouble Inspirations Playlist

County Durham indie rockers, Vice Killer, drop their latest single, Marlene’s In Trouble. The song, which portrays the struggle of addiction, sees a change in direction sonically, with more classic indie, folk and crooner influences coming through.

To get an idea of some of the inspirations for the new track, the band have put together a playlist.

You can listen to Marlene’s In Trouble here.


In the latest episode of My Writing Life Fran Harvey chats with Oskar Jensen about how he went from children’s fiction inspired by a childhood filled with tales of myth and legend, to the meta-detective fiction of his new book Helle and Death; what the rules of detective fiction are; and the joys of working in genre fiction. Also why writers should use footstools.

Read the transcript here.


In Fran’s latest podcast episode, she chats with Newcastle-based author Martha Lane, a rising star in the flash fiction community. Her expertly realised short stories and novellas have led to a recent nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Martha talks to Fran about her writing process, themes in her work and the importance of creative writing in helping both writers and readers process difficult experiences. Please note this interview contains mentions of pregnancy loss.

Read the transcript of their chat here.


Artist and composer Hanna Tuulikki has teamed up with digital artists Saturn Akin and MV Brown to draw attention to the plight of endangered birds by turning their calls into filters for Instagram, which will transform social media users into human/bird hybrids. The filters are embedded with alarm calls which translate each bird’s alarm signal into protest chants, fusing field recordings with the human voice to sound a red alert for bird life through a cacophony of human and avian harmony, and featuring the calls of capercaillie, curlew, puffin, lapwing and mistle thrush. Avi-Alarm is one of four commissions generated as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project On-Site/Off-Site which is led by Newcastle University in partnership with the Bewick Society, National Trust and Arts & Heritage. 


In the new episode of My Writing Life, in which Fran Harvey chats with writers about their creative process, author Anna Barker chats about her varied career, her recent short story and poetry collections, her inspirations and influences and how she goes about crafting her work.

Read the transcript to their chat here.

Deaf Fiction - Some Time

On Friday 24th November, solo artist and multi-instrumentalist Deaf Fiction, AKA Michael Curran, is set to release their latest single, Some Time, a three-minute pop bop with catchy sing-a-long choruses and hooks-a-plenty.

Ahead of its release, Michael has compiled a playlist of songs that inspired the track…

Kewen & The Crosswalks – My Christmas List

Ready for a serious dose of festive cheer? Kewen & The Crosswalks present their Christmas List -from selection boxes to a Christmas kiss.

It’s the only Christmas song I’ve written but even though I can do cheese well when it comes to my other work (Chapters, A Little Bit of Magic etc), I think Christmas is a whole new level of cheese. So I intended on making this one a little bit different and something a bit more ‘rocky’, highly inspired by Chuck Berry’s Run, Rudolph, Run. The song has a fun theme throughout, listing all the things you would like on your Christmas list.”

Get in the spirit with the tinsel-bedecked video!

Amelia Coburn – See Saw

Teesside artist Amelia Coburn’s new track, See Saw, further demonstrates the artist’s wonderful storytelling style. The track, which was produced by The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones, fuses 60s psychedelia with alt. folk in a pretty music box-style. 

Amelia is gearing up for the release of her debut album next year and a support tour with fellow Teessiders Cattle & Cane. Before then, catch her at The Peacock in Sunderland on Sunday 26th November and ARC, Stockton on Saturday 9th December.

Watch the somewhat sinister video for See Saw here…


Newcastle’s visceral rock ‘n’ rollers TV Death are fully embracing spooky season with the video to their horror-pop single Scarecrow, which was inspired by the trials and tribulations of trying to find love during the pandemic. “I had this tongue-in-cheek line ‘there’s scarecrow in the field of love‘ describing the strange times we were going through where everyone was losing touch with the feeling of a stranger’s touch due to Covid and only putting on their proper clothes to go to the supermarket.”

The B-movie horror inspired video gives us a taste of what’s to come from the band’s forthcoming EP, The God, The One and The Devil, released on 24th November.


In the latest edition of My Writing Life, in which Fran Harvey chats with writers about their craft, Fran talks to North East author, poet, novelist, occasional librettist and sporadic puppeteer Caroline Hardaker about her new novel, Mothtown. Mothtown is a slice of unsettling literary horror that explores questions of perception and grief.

Read the transcript of Fran and Caroline’s chat here


A new audio serial called Caitlin has hit the airwaves in podcast-land. Created by the same people behind the delicious butteredfeet, the weekly online fictional project by Phil McDonald details the mindful and resilient life of a solitary but stoic late thirties woman who enjoys drinking stout alone. “Caitlin is like a succulent that people mistake for a cactus. She spends a lot of time alone with her frozen pizzas for company and scrolling through Etsy on the hunt for new embroidery templates.” Says Phil. “The world doesn’t really get her but perhaps there’s some of her in all of us. People say ‘Oh poor Caitlin…it’s so sad…’ No it’s not. It’s how she likes it. She lives her life in seconds not days.”

Another aural treat, perfect for autumnal days. Give it a listen!


Having recently released their debut EP, Memento Mori, genre-bending pop artist MXYM curates a spooky Halloween playlist for your delectation!

Halloween is the perfect time for Goths to take the Aux cord, and here is my definitive collection of ghoulish bangers!” They explain. “From Rhianna to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and even a few MXYM classics, it’s gonna get weird, it’s gonna get loud and it’s gonna get spooky (and yes I am available for DJ sets…)”


In the latest episode of My Writing Life, Fran Harvey chats with poet and filmmaker David Spittle, whose third book of poetry, titled Decomposing Robert, was published by Black Herald Press earlier this year. They talk about finding confidence as a writer, discovering communities and what readers can expect from his new collection.

Read the transcript here.

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