NARC. E-ZINE #8 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Welcome to the eighth 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!

Callum Pitt - Solo Artist Influences Playlist

Newcastle indie artist Callum Pitt drops new single More Than This. It’s the fourth single to be shared from his debut studio album, In The Balance, which is due out June 2nd. The song is an ode to life’s impermanent beauty and comes complete with tender vocals, an ethereal chorus and evocative strings that create a chamber-folk sound reminiscent of bands such as Fleet Foxes.

Callum has created a playlist of solo artist influences for your listening pleasure…

…You can also check out the music video that accompanies the single here.

NARC. TV Episode 37 – Benjamin Fitzgerald

NARC. TV is our magazine-style programme which features performances and interviews from North East artists.

Episode 37 features contemporary classical composer Benjamin Fitzgerald, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist whose music is cinematic and evocative. He also chats with Claire Dupree about his path into music and how dance music inspires his sound.

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

Save the Side

Dedicated to film and documentary photography, Side Gallery and Cinema has been a mainstay of Newcastle’s cultural scene for over 45 years. The home of Amber Collective, their mission has always been to preserve world-class visual stories that highlight social concerns and celebrate diverse lives and landscapes across the North East, UK, and the globe. 

The venue has announced its closure until September 2024, but they’re facing an uncertain future as they struggle to raise funding and they’re appealing for support through a Crowdfunding campaign, which you can donate to here.

NARC. TV Episode 36 – Georgia May

NARC. TV is our magazine-style programme which features performances and interviews from North East artists.

Tune in to Episode 36 via our YouTube channel to enjoy performance and chat from Newcastle-based neo-soul artist Georgia May, whose soulful sound is soothing and rife with heartache. She chats with David Saunders about co-founding North East Women In Soul Music and how her music has helped her overcome mental health struggles.

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

Labyrinthine Oceans: Eight - Mood board Playlist

Newcastle-based experimental alt-rock band Labyrinthine Oceans release their latest single Eight, a dramatic offering, with nonchalantly cool vox, grungey drive and Muse-esque guitar. Here, the band have put together a mood board featuring artists that inspired the release.



Lee Kyle: Disco Twix

Having spent most of his life trying to hide his weirdness and flamboyance, North East comedy favourite Lee Kyle has decided to embrace his oddness and air his opinions on everything from gender to the class war in a new show filmed at The Stand Comedy Club and produced by comedian-led CIC co-op, Felt Nowt.

Disco Twix builds on Kyle’s considerable reputation as a comic whose quirky stories and whip-smart wit has made him a real favourite.

NARC. TV Episode 35 – John Dole

NARC. TV is our magazine-style programme which features performances and interviews from North East artists.

Episode 35 features experimental electronic and hip-hop artist John Dole, whose songs encompass such varied themes as soul-searching introspection and scientific theory, resulting in beguiling and eloquent sound manipulation.

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

Scrannabis - GHOST (live)

Scrannabis drops his brand new track GHOST, which is taken from his upcoming EP Leaves (released later this year) and sees the hip-hop artist experimenting with his new indie-rap style.

Here, the rapper performs the track live for NARC. with his band…

NARC. TV Episode 34 – Jay Moussa-Mann 

Online now, Series 5 of NARC. TV, features performances and interviews from North East artists.

The latest episode features a performance and chat from multi-talented musician, filmmaker and producer Jay Moussa-Mann, whose lyrical style and genre-defying sound has seen her gain serious acclaim for her recently released album. She chats with David Saunders about the themes on her new release and how her filmmaking feeds into her music.

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

Trunky Juno Calls Out Chris Moyles In His Garage

Durham bedroom/alt-pop creator Trunky Juno reacts to Chris Moyles calling unsigned bands “rubbish” by challenging him to a showdown in an unhinged WWF style.


NARC. TV Episode 33 – Holly Rees

Episode 33 of NARC. TV features a joyful set of uplifting alt. indie sounds from Holly Rees, plus discover how she turned her solo songwriter project into a fully-fledged, multi-layered band.

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


In the latest episode of My Writing Life, in which Fran Harvey chats with writers about their writing lives, she talks to Newcastle-based Alex Niven about why it’s a good thing to never be comfortable calling yourself a writer, how he fell into writing ‘between genres’, and how he handles bringing his own life into cultural and political non-fiction. Alex’s new book The North Will Rise Again: In Search of the Future in Northern Heartlands (Bloomsbury) is out now.

Read a transcript of Fran’s chat with Alex here: 

NARC. TV Episode 32 – Church, Honey

Series 5 of NARC. TV, our magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews from North East artists, returns to our screens this month!

First up in this series, episode 32 features Teesside trio Church, Honey whose eclectic songs blend honest, traditional songwriting with rock ‘n’ roll vibes. Songwriter Ben chats with David Saunders about their “emo rodeo” sound, and their fusion of acoustic and country with “electric guitars, sadness and shouting”.

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

Anti-Valentine’s Playlist by The Stand Comedy Club

If the idea of flowers, chocolates and Hallmark bullshit turns you right off, you’ll be in good company at Newcastle’s Stand Comedy Club, who celebrate 14th February with an Anti-Valentine’s night featuring a host of funny folk. They invite you to “laugh in a dark basement” with Sacha Lo, Anna Thomas, Cal Halbert and headliner Matt Reed. Get in the mood with this charmingly titled playlist, Keep Your Flowers…

Badger – Executive Outcome

Having recently released their new EP, Democracy Manifest, alt. pop noisemakers Badger worked with filmmaker John Lee Taggart to produce a suitably enticing video for their lead track, Executive Outcome. John explains more about the video:

“Executive Outcome was absolutely begging for some striking visuals to complement its dark and brooding yet enticing soundscape. I felt the track spoke perfectly to the frustration and bewilderment any rational person would feel at the world we live in, and critiqued the ease at which people fall in line with powers which clearly seek to manipulate and use them. We set dressed a local pub as if it was a largely unattended wake to further emphasise the chasm between both sides of this artificially generated battle; the ‘mad conspiracy theorist’ pitted against the clueless drone ignoring or perhaps not even caring about what is in front of him. This sadly, is democracy manifest…perhaps we should all just get a succulent Chinese meal together and try to break bread?”

Jazz On The Tyne

Featuring the best in jazz from North East England and beyond, Jazz On The Tyne is a show on Mixcloud hosted by Colin Muirhead which features jazz of all stripes, featuring interviews with musicians and previews of noteworthy events in the region.

His latest episode showcases releases from independent labels, focusing on Newcastle-based New Jazz And Improvised Music Recordings among others, and featuring music from Archipelago, Shiver & Matthew Bourne, Pat Thomas, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and many more.

May Days In Barcelona – Keep Yourself Healthy

Teasing listeners with a track from his forthcoming debut album, May Days In Barcelona (Simon James Clowes to his pals) has revealed a striking video for his new single Keep Yourself Healthy, created by Newcastle-based visual artist Laurie Johnson. The track’s militant drums and blaring saxophones underpin a story of keeping your sanity in this unpredictable modern times, while the video manages to be both bleak and humorous.

Filmmaker Laurie explains his thinking behind the video: “The first half of the video is filled with a lot of positive imagery, forward momentum, healthy food, physical activity, bright locations. Moving into the latter half, there is a sense of falling apart, the healthy food is replaced by junk, the running shoes discarded, the forward motion reversed. By the end, the vibrant, almost garish tones have been replaced by dull monochrome. All the footage was filmed by myself on an Android phone, around the West End of Newcastle. Any shots of legs/feet are my own!”

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