NEWS: Back On Track | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Leyla McCalla by Rush Jagoe

Always to be relied upon for excellent train-based puns, Darlington music collective Tracks are celebrating the receipt of some Arts Council funding by putting on a series of tasty online events.

Kicking off this month, their Back On Track project features several strands which focus on supporting local musicians and providing some much-needed entertainment. Their Noisy Daughters initiative, which aims to shine a light on female artists in the North East, will be hosting a series of workshops for womxn in the industry and were so popular they were fully subscribed within a matter of hours.

Audiences can get involved with the latest HARK! event though, taking place on Sunday 31st January the online evening of music and poetry has been inspired by the works of writers Langston Hughes and Ted Hughes, and will feature performances from US-based multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla, whose sound is deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, Haitian and American jazz and folk music and musical storyteller Bird Radio, with a third act TBC, plus a poetry recital from Teesside writer, performer and former BBC Tees DJ Bob Fischer.

There’s more musical excitement in the coming weeks as some of the region’s hottest rappers will deliver a brand new series of cyphers. Rather than a traditional group performance, North Beats will take the form of three socially-distanced filmed performances in locations around the North East, with videos expected on YouTube from early February. Beats will be commissioned from top local underground producers including Freddy & Kv$shnoodle, with six rappers offering up their best lines. Curated by BBC Tees Introducing host Rianne Thompson, it’s guaranteed to be a showcase of some of the region’s most exciting hip-hop talent. Keep an eye on Tracks’ socials for updates and jump on board!

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