NARC. E-ZINE ISSUE 4 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Welcome to issue four 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!

Pensacola Mist live album launch show

To celebrate the launch of their new album Lost In Love, synth pop trio Pensacola Mist invited their most vocal supporters to attend a super secret, invitation only gig, where they played their new record live and in full. 

Known for their electric and super slick live performances, the video produced as part of their ‘worldwide launch party’ shows off their impressive custom light show, live instrumentation and superb three-part harmonies, providing an excellent introduction to the band’s latest release, which you can stream in full 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.

Beth Macari - Circle Mini-Doc

After eight months away, soulful solo artist Beth Macari returns to the fray with her latest single Circles – complete with a stylish video to accompany it. The song is about the pressures and struggles of being a woman, in particular within the music industry, and is a fresh-sounding, groove-filled track complete with Beth’s soaring, impassioned vocals.

Here, Beth talks about the new single, the music video and her recent show supporting Will Young in South Shields in this beautifully shot mini-doc.

Listen to Circles here.

Watch the video here.

NARC. TV Episode 24 – James Leonard Hewitson

Welcome back to NARC. TV! Series 4 of our performance and interview programme kicks off with a set from the doyen of the Hartlepool scene, James Leonard Hewitson. The slacker pop artist’s witty songs are as catchy as they are charming, making him a favourite with the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, who regularly champions James on his show. We find out how the artist crafts his songs and what keeps him engaged as a songwriter.

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

Amber Meadow Well

A new community portrait project from photographer Maria Maza takes a closer look at the residents of North Tyneside’s Meadow Well. The documentary project takes the form of a series of publications available to view via Issuu, and took Amber founder member Sirrka Liisa Konttinen’s original Interiors photography project, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, as its inspiration. Maria’s work continues to document the lives of local people, with chapters focusing on what it’s like to grow up, work and live in the area.

We particularly enjoyed Tony Richardson’s story, which follows his journey as a hip-hop musician.

buttered feet

Audio soap butteredfeet takes us to an ill-timed moment; the characters’ tragic lives are steeped in metaphor and irony. The short episodes – some only 2-3 minutes’ long – are poignant, sharp and bitterly familiar, as well as being ridiculously addictive.
The Newcastle-based writers give us a potted history so far: “Suzie is better than musky Arnold, but fears a life alone with Shiraz. The Logans are Bonnie and Clyde drinking Monster cans. Dylan and Thomas enjoy a dusty market. Sam and Bex are a new-build couple laced in lies. Aiden and Beth share a tube of Pringles for a brain. Catherine and James are riddled with pretentiousness and their Peloton. Caitlin is a desperately lonely insomniac but has the best bubble writing.”
Catch up with the characters’ stories so far via Spotify and iTunes.

Journey Between Homes

Part of Project Other, an initiative from North East performers Lila Joy Naruse and Benedicta Valentina Mamuini, Journey between Homes is a two-part film interview which looks into Lila and Benedicta’s parents’ personal experiences of migrating from the respective homes and moving to Newcastle. In this film, Sayuri Naruse talks of her experiences moving to Newcastle from Nagoya, Japan.

Also check out the film featuring Valentina Mamuini and Eduardo Abel Mamuini’s journey from Angola to Newcastle here. The films have themes of personal upbringings, cultural shocks in the UK and finding a sense of belonging in Newcastle.

The Pitmen Flappers

Check out this superb new audio drama created by Middlesbrough writer and director Louise Powell; The Pitmen Flappers follows ex-miner Jimmy after a run-in with loan shark Big Phil – can Jimmy save his marriage and his greyhound Tyson’s life? Set at the ‘flapping’ or unlicensed greyhound racing track of Wheatley Hill in East Durham, the production was commissioned for BBC New Creatives and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

My Writing Life with Fran Harvey: Lucy Nichol

Writer and musician Fran Harvey chats to local authors about their writing processes. In this episode, Fran chats with Lucy Nichol, whose new book, Parklife, is released on 1st June. Passionate about mental health, society and the arts, Parklife follows on from previous novel The 27 Club, and is suffused with music and nostalgia. Read the transcript of Fran’s interview here.

She’s Doing It, So I’m Doing It – Cortney Dixon pt1

An animated podcast series in which 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 musician and producer Cortney Dixon about her career so far. Listen to an audio version of their chat on our Spotify channel.


Sound recordist David de la Haye releases With Ears Underwater, a new album that reveals the incredible sonic diversity hidden beneath the water. The album features instrumental improvisations alongside the original underwater recordings of marine life, freshwater invertebrates, and aquatic plants, which illustrates the interconnectedness of our acoustic landscape and evoking interspecies dialogue. With Ears Underwater is released 27th May on New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings and available here. Watch this fascinating mini-doc to find out how the album was made.

Nel Unlit exhibition walk-through

Nel Unlit’s art exhibition/album launch/film screening takes place in the attic of the Westgarth Social Club on Saturday 28th May. The exhibition features self-portraits of each character from the album. They are displayed amongst a real-world, interactive walk-through of the flat in which the story takes place. There is then a screening of the film which is a read-along short story set to the music of the album. The art pieces were created by Joshua Ryan, John Hargan, Nel Unlit’s own Clare Hargan and Tim Head. Check out the video to get an idea of what to expect from this immersive piece of work.

Generator Live Playlist

Celebrating the great and the good of North East music, Generator Live festival comes to Newcastle’s Boiler Shop on Saturday 25th June. With a week of fringe events leading up to it, and a vast array of diverse artists performing, it promises to be quite the party. Here, they curate a playlist of some of the artists performing.

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