NARC. issue 176 out now! | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The September issue is out now, available in print from outlets across the North East (, and digitally via Issuu –

This month’s cover star is spoken word electro artist Faithful Johannes. Ali Welford talks to the multi-talented musician about his unique sound and new concept record, Ken & Jean. With exclusive images by Amelia Read.

Music, performance and much more abound in this month’s edition! Discover live gigs courtesy of Roisin Murphy, Me Lost Me, Black Honey, Taupe, Virginia Wing, Sea Power, Nathan Fake, ARXX, I See Islands, Nick Gladdish, Van Houten, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, John Grant, Pizzagirl and many more; plus there’s a pop-tastic Print Goes Pop exhibition at Hatton Gallery, female and gender minority film screenings as Women X returns to ARC, the Write Festival is back at The Word, there’s neurodiverse performance courtesy of Lava Elastic at ARC plus environmental delights at Festival of Thrift and loads more music, theatre, comedy, art and film.

Interview-wise, Ali Welford talks to Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat about getting the band back together, discovering a new fanbase and reaping the rewards from artistic growth; Claire Dupree talks to Liam Slevin about Middlesbrough’s immersive arts festival, Middlesbrough Art Weekender; Luke Waller discovers how art-rap band Ceiling Demons pair unity with rebellion on their new album; Robert Nichols discovers Elaine Palmer’s sound is rooted in landscape, both near and far, on her new album; Claire Dupree talks to Wesley Stephenson about Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music, which is steeped in sonic innovation; Helen Redfern finds out what’s in store as Live Theatre prepares to welcome audiences back; Damian Robinson talks to Teesside bedroom pop artist jak lvr about fusing styles and textures on his debut EP; Last Train Home festival organisers Sarah Wilson and Rob Irish talk to Claire Dupree about the first class entertainment en route to Darlington; Dawn Storey talks to Dave Harper about Pop Recs’ inspirational new chapter; Paul Ray reflects on the unlikely rise of surreal, neurotic post-punks Squid with their frontman Ollie Judge; Claire Dupree finds out how Workplace Foundation are continuing to support artists in their new city centre gallery; Damian Robinson talks to Geoff Kirkwood about Us & Them, the outsider club night where individuality is paramount; Jimmy Beck and Simon Shaw reveal what’s in store at Stockton’s multi-venue festival The Gathering Sounds, and Downcast Base HQ’s Phil Davies gives us a peek at his record collection in Mixtape.

The Live Review section is back! Read reports from the front row, including Bonnie & The Bonnettes, ZELA, Withered Hand, SQUARMS, Band of Holy Joy, Ni Maxine, Your Aunt Fanny and more; there’s demo reviews of Labyrinthine Oceans, The Sightseers, Queensbury, Kieran Atkins and Sam Hughes; reviews of singles by North East artists including Spilt Milk, Ruth Lyon, Jaime Ainsley, Charlie Layzell, SWEARS, Stereotypes, Mat Hunsley and more and album reviews of new releases from Little Simz, Low, Sleigh Bells, Segedunum Rust, Ray Blk, Tigress, Saint Etienne, Hamish Hawk, The Vaccines, The Lathums, Colleen Green and more.



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