NARC. E-ZINE #5 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Welcome to issue five of our digital ‘zine! It’s the place to come for video interviews and sound clips, mini-documentaries, live performances, playlists, reportage, reviews and much more, 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!

Playlist – Back to the 80s with Martin Kemp

Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned boogie, and Stockton’s Globe have pretty much the perfect opportunity to get down on the dancefloor on Saturday 24th September, when Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp will be spinning some of his favourite 80s tunes.

Here, he’s curated a handful of floor fillers, just for us. Don’t forget those dancing shoes!


NARC. TV Episode 29 – Lottie Willis

Welcome to episode 29 of NARC. TV, our magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews from North East artists.

This episode features a beautifully emotive performance from County Durham songwriter Lottie Willis, who chats with David Saunders about her relatable songs and how she got started as an artist.

This episode was filmed at The Green Room, Stockton by Art Mouse Media.

noyou - Same Old Story (Live at Blast)

Sunderland’s creators of melodic, synth-fuelled, guitar-driven indie, noyou are set to drop their debut EP, This Game We Started, on Friday 16th September. The release features their singles Same Old Story and The Way You See Me, alongside some exciting new offerings.

To celebrate the launch and as a special treat for us, the band have given us an exclusive, and beautifully shot, live session recording of them performing Same Old Story at Blast Recording Studios in Newcastle. 

You can pre-save This Game We Started here.

Playlist: Waves festival

Sunderland’s Independent have announced the first wave (sorry) of acts to perform at their Waves festival on Saturday 5th November, which promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Festival co-organiser Ben Richardson explains: “We can’t wait to host Waves festival again this year, there was such a great atmosphere last time out and we’re predicting it to be exactly the same this time, just on a much bigger scale. The addition of The Fire Station as main stage is a big coup and will allow us to bring bigger and better bands to Sunderland as part of the festival. We’ve made a playlist so people can check out the exciting new acts coming to the city and we’ll be sure to keep it up to date as more and more artists get added to the line-up!”

NARC. TV Episode 28 – Motherland

Welcome to episode 28 of NARC. TV, our magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews from North East artists.

We’ve got a delightfully rocky show for you this time, courtesy of Teesside alt. rockers Motherland. They chat with Claire Dupree about how they keep their sound fresh and the benefits of seasonal lyric writing.

This episode was filmed at Sticky’s in Stockton by Art Mouse Media.

gobscure presents new work, heartfelt

Award-winning storyteller, theatre maker and artist gobscure is getting ready to tour their brand new show, heartfelt, this Autumn. Described as a “wildly inventive disability-led solo theatre show about hearts & heartlessness”, with this production the artist continues to weave fascinating and thought-provoking storylines from their own personal trauma.

Accompanied by friedakahloctopus – a small but mighty crocheted octopus onstage, heartfelt promises to be a playfully poetic show which aims to reframe narratives while learning to grow. In this video, gobscure explains the premise of the production.

heartfelt is performed at Queen’s Hall Arts Centre in Hexham on Friday 16th September and Live Theatre, Newcastle on Wednesday 19th October.

Jamilah – Not My Only

R&B and pop songwriter Jamilah has unveiled a slick new video for her recent single, Not My Only. The artist has received rave reviews from the likes of BBC Introducing and Radio 1Xtra, thanks to her accomplished pop sound and soulful voice.

Her new single samples Michael Jackson’s Human Nature, and she explains that, while it’s intended as a feel-good summer anthem, it’s also a bit tongue in cheek. Check out the video here!

Tobias & The Lion talks about his new song, Letter To The Queen

Billingham multi-instrumentalist and creator of wonky pop Tobias & The Lion unveils his new single, Letter To The Queen this week.

Here, he gives us an exclusive insight into how he wrote the track and his process around recording and production, and why he nicknames himself ‘the cheapskate musician’. He also talks about the thoughts around the subject matter of the song and how he expresses his emotions within his music – watch out for the impromptu performance!

The Wasp trailer

Pitched as ‘ITV’s Too Close meets Fatal Attraction’, The Wasp is a psychological thriller starring two fantastic local actors, Christina Berriman Dawson and Jess Johnson, who play Heather and Carla, characters that grew up at the same time but whose lives went in vastly different directions. When they meet as adults, Heather presents Carla with a proposition, which questions how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences.

The play heads to Customs House in South Shields from Wednesday 21st-Saturday 24th September, and here director Jake Smith gives us an insight into the themes of this intriguing production.

NARC. TV Episode 27 – Kate Bond

Welcome to episode 27 of NARC. TV, our magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews from North East artists.

This episode features a performance full of catchy tunes and effortless style from neo-soul artist Kate Bond and her talented band. Kate also chats with David Saunders about writing songs with a social conscience and how she’s evolved her sound.

This episode was filmed at Sticky’s in Stockton by Art Mouse Media.

Playlist: Beyond The Moor festival

Beyond The Moor is Gosforth Civic Theatre’s inaugural folk festival which seeks to encourage audiences to interact with new and established folk and roots artists.

Taking place at the Newcastle venue on Saturday 24th September, the line-up features the likes of revered artists like Flook, Withered Hand, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Tim Dalling and Ryan Young & David Foley, alongside hotly tipped up and comers like Amy Thatcher & Fran Knowles and Holly & The Reivers. Here, they present a lush playlist to get you in the mood for the event.

The Stone Men of Newcastle

Award-winning Newcastle-based poet Daniel Hinds’ fascinating sequence of poems, The Stone Men of Newcastle, was recently broadcast as part of Huw Stephens’ BBC Introducing Arts programme.

The Stone Men of Newcastle is a sequence of poems about the city’s statues and their place in contemporary Newcastle. Told through the eyes of The Commuter, the speaker and the poet-figure as he encounters the statues of Newcastle as part of his daily life, the audio sequence is performed by prolific Geordie voice actor Dan Pye and stage and screen actress Stacey Ghent.

Khaki (feat. Kid Buu) - Whenever (Live)

North-East rapper Khaki drops his new single, Whenever. The track sees him teaming up with Florida-based rapper and singer (and creative influence) Kid Buu for four minutes of booming bass, throbbing samples and Khaki’s distinctive flow.
For the release, Khaki has given us a live performance video of the track, which has some of the recorded version of the audio edited in for added effect. 

Hector Gannet - Blue Murder (Music Video)

South Shields’ Hector Gannet release a music video for a brand new single. The song is a cover of Alan Hull’s Blue Murder and the video shows the band walking around NYC on their recent promotional visit there. 

You catch Hector Gannet at the following North-East shows…
Sat 6th Aug – supporting Sea Power at Cullercoats Crescent Club (sold out)
Sun 7th Aug – supporting Peter Doherty at Surf Cafe (sold out)
Thur 11th Aug – supporting Richard Thompson at Whitley Bay Playhouse
Sat 13th Aug – Between Woods & Streams Festival – Northumberland

NARC. TV Episode 26 – Nel Unlit

Welcome back to another episode of NARC. TV, our online magazine-style programme featuring performance and chat with North East artists, filmed in venues across the region.

Series 4 Episode 26 features mesmerising performance from orchestral folk storytellers Nel Unlit, who explain to Claire Dupree how their unique concepts come to fruition.

This episode was filmed at The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle by Art Mouse Media.

I’m Not Andrew podcast

Purveyor of off-the-wall comedy (and electronic music under his Telos guise), Ian Todd presents a brand new podcast which has “WTF” written all over it. The award-winning comedian’s new surreal podcast is called I’m Not Andrew, and features Todd looking into all manner of weird and wonderful mysteries from Sue Gray to lost property, ghosts to the Marie Celeste.

In our favourite episode, he attempts to find out if Sunderland rockers The Futureheads really are from the future, and if Barry Hyde is an alien. Listen in to find out the truth…


Author Laura Steven made a splash in 2018 with her YA book The Exact Opposite Of Okay and she’s won acclaim for subsequent books and has even been optioned for TV. Her newest book is The Society For Soulless Girls, a dark and funny thriller with a supernatural twist.

In the latest episode of My Writing Life, in which writer and musician Fran Harvey chats with local authors about their work, she grills Laura about how she got started writing and how she gets all those words down on paper. Read the transcript of Fran’s chat with Laura here.

NARC. TV Episode 25 – Abi Nyxx

Welcome to episode 25 of NARC. TV, our magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews from North East artists.

This episode features a dynamic and fired up performance from Northumberland rapper Abi Nyxx, who talks to David Saunders about getting started in the North East hip-hop scene and how she keeps on top of her game.

This episode was filmed at The Engine Room, North Shields by Art Mouse Media.


Sunderland author Jessica Andrews celebrates the release of her new novel Milk Teeth. Having made waves in 2019 with her lyrical and boundary-breaking debut novel Saltwater, new novel Milk Teeth is an intimate love story that explores how to take up space in the world, and why we deny ourselves good things, with readers calling it “heady, sweaty, sexy and salient”.

In the latest episode of My Writing Life, in which writer and musician Fran Harvey chats with local authors about their work, Jessica speaks about her craft and how she comes up with her ideas. Read the transcript of Fran’s chat with Jessica here.

She’s Doing It, So I’m Doing It – Cortney Dixon Pt2

In the second instalment of Jay Moussa-Mann’s animated podcast series, in which she talks to women working in music production in the North East about their career paths, North East indie pop musician Cortney Dixon talks about how she puts together her songs, discussing her creative and production choices. Watch Pt1 here.

An audio version of this episode is available via our Spotify channel.

The Witches of Newcastle podcast

Caitlin and Maria have been working together for the better part of nine months on launching brand new podcast The Witches of Newcastle. When Caitlin started at Candle & Bell as an Assistant Producer, she and Maria brainstormed on what projects they wanted to work on together. They realised quickly that they both had a shared love of history and forgotten history, and more significantly, an interest in medieval witchcraft. 

Join them as they deep dive into the forgotten history of the Newcastle Witch Trials (1649-50) along with guest speakers such as Dr Jo Bath, Dr Tabitha Stanmore, Katie Liddane and many more!

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