NARC. E-ZINE #9 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Welcome to the ninth 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!

Faye Fantarrow - The Weekend

Sunderland rising star Faye Fantarrow has dropped the official music video for The Weekend, one of the tracks taken from her seven-song EP, AWOL, (released via Dave Stewart’s Bay Street Records earlier this year). Filmed in Fantarrow’s hometown of Sunderland, the video was directed by Myles Docherty.

Faye, tells us more…

“The Weekend, for me, is a great example of mine and Dave’s working relationship and how we collaborate as artists,” shares Fantarrow. “It was so lovely seeing the soundscape dynamic come together in the production of the song and to see all the hard work of everyone involved including the team behind the video. Needless to say, I am very proud of this track and video and honored to have worked with the great Mr. Stewart.”

Arcade Skies - New Proposition

Newcastle-based electronic music maker and producer Adam Curran, aka Arcade Skies, drops his latest single New Proposition with a brand new video, which you can watch below…  Adam will also be jetting off to Greece to do a debut DJ set taking place (by invitation) on the Athens Riviera.


Coastella Playlist

A brand new festival for North Shields, Coastella splashes down at Percy Park RFC from Friday 30th June-Sunday 2nd July, bringing a tonne of household names across a variety of genres. Whether you’re into excitable rock, danceable indie or floor-filling DJs, the festival has got you covered. Get into the spirit with their great playlist, and grab a ticket here.

Demob Happy - Playlist

Newcastle trio Demob Happy drop their third album, Divine Machines. It’s an album that “harnesses their delicate tightrope of heaviness and melody, sweetness and riffs, and rides it up to the stratosphere” and that lyrically finds the band swerving from the political corruption and modern-world dystopias and yearning for something more hopeful (something I think we can all relate to).

The band has kindly put together a playlist for us, which features all the artists who have inspired the album. Have a listen and check out Divine Machines here.

MARQElectronica – Be Yourself Tonight

North East electronic artist MARQElectronica releases a new single which aims to speak to those who feel alone and marginalised. Be Yourself Tonight is an infectious, laid-back tune with a moody, dancey vibe added with the help of Ivor Novello-winning producer Simon Ellis.

The artist says of the accompanying video: “The use of the statues and dancers in the video is all about ‘look at me’ objectification culture and the pressure to fit in to a set thing and not be individual. All the dancers are wearing the same or similar outfits, with no individuality, and the track is all about finding your groove, finding a place where the authentic you is accepted.”

Charlotte Forman – Make Me Your Girl

Talented singer-songwriter Charlotte Forman’s new single, Make Me Your Girl, shows off her emotional side with a ballad full of soul and heartbreak. Charlotte says about the song: “It’s about telling someone you love to stop messing you around and to make a decision whether they want to be in a relationship with you or not, it’s also about feeling not good enough and learning to be stronger by yourself and leaving that person behind.”

Rowan McCabe - Nour

North-East poet Rowan McCabe heads out on his Door-to-Door Poetry: Nationwide UK tour this Spring/Summer – a 16-date UK tour with performances at Hexham Queen’s Hall on 16th May and Durham Gala Theatre on 18th May.

Here he is with a live performance of one of the poems he will be performing during his show.

NARC. TV Episode 39 – Ponyland

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

The final episode in Series 5 features an energetic performance from the multi-limbed, percussion-led, psych-punk-jazz maestros Ponyland, who chat with Claire Dupree about how they create their welcoming and otherworldly sound. This one’s quite the performance, don’t miss it!

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

PLAYLIST: North East Female Artists & Bands

Production Room and Blank Studios producer Lisa Murphy was inspired to create this self-described “banging playlist of brilliant tunes” featuring female artists in the region after reading some dire statistics which highlight the lack of female and gender minority performers at festivals this year.

Lisa also runs Access Music Production (AMP), which aims to deliver skills and real work experience in the music production sector to marginalised and under-represented people, and her dedication to supporting women and young people in the industry is truly inspirational. Give her Playlist a follow, more artists are added all the time.

Brainfreeze - Flower Moon

Electronic music maker Brainfreeze breaks from his house and techno production team Dirty Chips to release their first solo single, Flower Moon, which is taken from the Moonbeams EP and comes with this rather lovely video.

Here the artist tells us more…

“This is my first solo release and there was a tune that needed something more to it and so I asked 28Breax if he wanted to fill in the blanks and this is what happened – although we credited him as J Haseldine on the EP which is another alias of his – more importantly – we wanted to share the video because our friend Anna (WitchFlix Productions) is very talented at filmmaking and made the video look very trippy and spacey. She’s from Norwich originally, lives in Gateshead and sometimes dresses up like a clown.”

Any Hot Drinks – Dreaming The Myth

Genre-fluid Newcastle trio Any Hot Drinks present a video for their new track, Dreaming The Myth, which features on the band’s debut album 3223, released in February. Featuring intense vocals, buzzing guitars and drums which get steadily faster throughout the exciting track, the video and music reflect on spirituality from a pagan perspective. The band officially released the video to coincide with Beltane, a time when in the pagan tradition, the veil between the living and spirit world is thin.

NARC. TV Episode 38 – Ceitidh Mac

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

Episode 38 features a transfixing performance from cellist and songwriter Ceitidh Mac, whose alt. folk style and unique voice is affecting and hypnotic. She chats with David Saunders about how she composes her songs, and what inspires her sound.

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

James Leonard Hewitson – Fill My Head With Sugar

Prolific Hartlepudlian popster James Leonard Hewitson is in typically sardonic mood on his latest song, Fill My Head With Sugar. James says of the track: “Fill My Head with Sugar is a short guitar pop song that juxtaposes time we spend online and on fictional characters against the time we spend with the people we love. The opening line could have very well included Dan Bilzerian or Kim Kardashian, but I chose Aniston to highlight how the 90s (the decade I was born in) is now stylistically retro (and on Netflix, along with Bojack Horseman).”

PLAYLIST: Buttered Feet

We’re big fans of the Buttered Feet podcast, the mini soap opera which plays itself out via micro episodes which often take a darkly skewed look on the world, relationships and emotions. The masterminds behind the podcast have recently branched out into longer episodes, allowing for more depth to their stories and including the addition of music. They’ve collaborated with local musicians to arrange pieces alongside the spoken word elements of the podcast, resulting in an often intense listening experience. Here, they’ve put together a playlist of some of the artists they’ve worked with.

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 2nd June. 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 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.

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