NARC. E-ZINE #3 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Welcome to issue three of our digital ‘zine! The NARC. E-ZINE contains video interviews and sound clips, curated playlists, reportage, reviews, performance and much more, created exclusively by us as well as by some of our friends.

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!


Two artists on the Polpols label, Wolf House (aka Alex Ross) and Orquesta de la Linterna eScarlata (AKA Jonathan Bidgood) release their collaborative meditation piece Speak Your Own Love / Count The Clouds. The two movements were recorded separately, in Spain and in the UK and then mixed to create a continuous piece of meditative music designed to last the length of a focussed meditation, around 15 minutes.

Alex adds… “The tracks combine vocal manipulation (the entire first movement was made using only one recorded vocal note), field recordings from Jon’s off grid olive farm in Catalonia, and binaural composition. It sits in the same sonic territory as Brian Eno’s Ambient series, Jon Hopkins’ Music for Psychedelic Healing and Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works series.”

If you are looking to enter a zen-like state then enjoy the duo’s latest track along with the mesmerising animated video that accompanies it.


Mr. Matthew Fisher drops his single number 5, The Cash, a catchy alt-pop-rock anthem with a serious message, delivered albeit in their usual playful manner. 

The Cash is about things never quite turning out the way you hoped. Using money as my metaphor, I tried to repeat the feeling of getting a Lego set you’d been longing for when you were little only to find it was half the size you imagined..”- Fisher.

The track is available to listen to here. But if you want to find out more, then check out this fun-filled video of the band interviewing themselves. 


In this podcast episode, Fran talks to Durham-born writer Benjamin Myers about his journey as a writer, from music journalism to award-winning novelist, and his obsessive writing behaviour. His new book, The Perfect Golden Circle, is released on 12th May. Read more about the book in our May issue and read the transcript of Fran’s interview here: 


The North East’s favourite singing cellist Ceitidh Mac joins forces with alt. folk duo Good Habits for a short tour this month, which pitches up at Durham’s Claypath Deli on Wednesday 18th May and Women Are Mint at Cobalt in Newcastle on Friday 20th May. Featuring innovative takes on folk sounds, with stunning storytelling and captivating lyricism, their live shows are a true joy. Don’t just take our word for it, here’s a little teaser…

Never Far From Home playlist

Durham-based songwriter Benjamin Amos unveils the second single from his album, Letters; he describes Never Far From Home as a gift for his sister. “Over lockdown I started to consider the strange feeling of being far away from home, yet close. I started to think of the people in my life who had grown away from me, notably my sister. As a child, I’d watch her come and go, always changing. Every so often she’d pop home for a few weeks and I’d always be sad to see her leave again. She’s now living through lockdowns on the other side of the world to me. I wanted her to know I’ve not forgotten her – I hope she hasn’t forgotten me? I’d find myself awake in the middle of the night wondering if she was on her own, or had someone to confide in.”

Here, he curates a playlist of songs he’s listened to when far from home.

Jesters: Forgotten Stories of North East Comedy

If you’ve not done so already, then check out the first episode (with future episodes released every other Friday) of a brand new podcast focusing on the region’s comedy heritage called Jesters: Forgotten Stories of North East Comedy. It’s co-produced by North-East comedy cooperative Felt Nowt and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, with each episode is presented by stalwarts of the regional north east comedy scene – including Gavin Webster, Si Beckwith, Lee Kyle and John Gibson. 

NARC. TV Episode 23 – Kkett

The final episode in the current series of NARC. TV features a really special set from Northumbrian joycore band Kkett, who perform in the round, showcasing the thrilling energy of their mathy post-glam hardcore rock, and chat with Claire Dupree about the importance of finding the fun in music.

This episode was filmed at The Fire Station, Sunderland by Art Mouse Media

We’ll be back in the Summer with a new series, subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date and keep an eye out for new interview features, performances and more!


Rowan McCabe - Shite Night

Newcastle poet Rowan McCabe gives us an exclusive performance of a poem from his new book, Hopeless Romantic – a collection of poems commissioned by the National Trust and it takes an off-kilter and sometimes humorous look at the pandemic and beyond. 

The book is being launched this evening (21st April) at The Cumberland Arms and features support from Megan Mckie-Smith and a DJ set from Born Lippy’s Donald Jenkins.

She's Doing It, So I'm Doing It - Lisa Murphy

In a new animated podcast series, Jay Moussa-Mann talks to women working in music production in the North East about their career paths, with the aim of inspiring more women to produce their own music as well as others. In this episode, she speaks to Lisa Murphy from Production Room North East and Blank Studio.

You can also listen to the audio-only version on our Spotify channel:

Rubber Oh – Little Demon, live at Blank Studios

Rubber Oh is the new project from Sam ‘Pigsx7’ Grant. Their debut album is on the way in June, and it’s a typically delirious slice of sci-fi tinged psych pop. Here, we check out the live in the studio recording of last year’s thundering single, Little Demon. Sam says of the session:

“This session was pretty exciting, seeing as it was the first breaths of Rubber Oh as a live band. It also felt important to go for a one take video too, to give the performance an honesty. So we set up a motorised jig in the middle of us and just let the camera spin away, mirroring the fever dream repetition of the song. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed playing it!”

Giant Walker - 15 Influences Playlist

Newcastle’s Heavy prog-rock outfit Giant Walker release their fifth and final single, Katoomba (which you can listen to here),  ahead of their debut album ‘All In Good Time’ which will be released 13th May 2022.
The band have put together a playlist to soundtrack your weekend, which features fifteen of their musical influences.

NARC. TV Episode 22 – Roxy Girls

Episode 22 of NARC. TV features a whip-smart set from Sunderland’s post-punk band Roxy Girls, who chat with Claire Dupree about their fast and furious sound. This episode was filmed at The Fire Station, Sunderland by Art Mouse Media.



Fran’s latest podcast episode features an insightful chat with novelist Lotte Jean Elliott, whose new YA thriller novel, released on 21st April, is an exciting tale of gifted hackers and the dark web, set in Newcastle. They chat about Lotte’s journey as a writer and how she approaches her work. Read the transcript of Fran’s interview here:

Maxïmo Park return with singles tour and new track

In our view, the best way to experience Tyneside rockers Maxïmo Park is live; the band’s energy and precision comes alive on stage, and thanks to their cracking back catalogue, their live show is always a joy. Enter the Sïngular Tour, a greatest hits set at which the band will celebrate the art of the single – which will be rocking up to O2 City Hall on Tuesday 14th October. Until then, have a deeks at their latest offering, Great Art.

NARC. TV Episode 21 – Pave the Jungle

NARC. TV episode 21 features an incendiary performance from Newcastle garage rockers Pave the Jungle, who also chat with David Saunders about how they craft their melodic and heavy hitting sound. Filmed at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle by Art Mouse Media


TUSK Mini is an all-dayer taking place on Saturday 2nd April at Star & Shadow Cinema, brought to you by the folks behind TUSK Festival and TUSK TV as we crawl back to normality post-pandemic. Expect all the glorious chaos of TUSK Fest crammed into one day, with artists from multiple countries and genres, films, workshops, installation, talks, live soundtracks and more including Jennifer Walton, Helena Celle, Klein, Lea Bertucci, Yakka Doon, Erika Lara Leaman and more. Check out this performance from Klein, taken from TUSK’s 2017 festival, to whet your appetite!

Sister Sounds Podcast

Here’s a heads up on a really insightful and enjoyable new podcast from the people at Sister Shack. On Sister Sounds, host Chantal Herbert shares the experiences and stories of women and non-binary people of colour who grew up or migrated to the UK. Their recent chat is with cultural curator and photographer Dami Fawehinmi, whose work focuses on representation of minority groups.

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