NEWS: NARC. #168 out now | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

The December/January issue of NARC. magazine is out now, available digitally via We’re saddened not to be able to bring you a physical publication this month, but we have a packed edition full of interviews, features and reviews to keep you occupied!

We might be light on ‘in real life’ live performances and events over the coming weeks, but there’s still plenty of music and creativity to dive into! Find out about new releases from Fax Machine, Michael CG, George Boomsma, Will Good & The Mattes, Marske, E-Mence, Lanterns on the Lake, Shy-Talk and more, plus livestreams from Motorhouse Studios, our NARC. TV series on YouTube continues, there’s online exhibitions at Eston Arts Centre, online dance performances courtesy of Dance City and a virtual theatre festival at Northern School of Art.

We have interviews in abundance this month! Louise Henry talks to three of the region’s most exciting creative minds ahead of their new exhibition at BALTIC; Steve Spithray discovers how recording a Christmas album during the Spring became a catalyst for new material for County Durham musician Benjamin Amos; tall stories and poetic intentions are the order of the day, as District Attorney sort-of explain their debut album to Mark Corcoran-Lettice; Francoise Harvey talks about lockdown collaboration and navigating radioactive hotspots with rapper Endem and producer Rob Irish; Laura Doyle talks to interplatform artist gobscure about the dangers of apathy and their new work ‘provoked to madness by the brutality of wealth’; Beverley Knight talks to jazz musicians Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion, aka Living In Shadows, about creating an album of undefinable delights; North East grime duo NE Dons tell Louise Henry about the release of their new EP; Wesley Stephenson and John Pope talk to Mark Corcoran-Lettice about the launch of a new home for improvised music and the debut album from The John Pope Quintet; multi-instrumentalist and contemporary classical composer Benjamin Fitzgerald talks to Nicola Owen about finding inspiration for his work amid the Northumberland wilds; Claire Dupree rounds up the online offerings for the festive period, from traditional family shows to weird and wonderful delights and Richyy Hetheringtin compiles a Christmas-themed mixtape.

In an effort to prove that 2020 wasn’t a complete write off, we spoke to musicians, comedians, artists and theatre makers to find out about their challenges, successes and achievements this year. Featuring Lanterns On The Lake, Dovetail Joints Virtual Gallery, Culture Vulture, The Stand Comedy Club, Tracks, Jodie Nicholson, Live Theatre, Cobalt Studios, Crossover Covers, Richard Dawson, TUSK Festival, Star & Shadow Cinema, Virgin Money Unity Arena, Martha Hill, Lady Kitt, Tyne Bank Brewery, Curious Arts, Northern Stage’s Young Company, Kay Greyson, Tees Music Alliance, Base Camp, Narbi Price and round-ups of releases from local labels and films released by North East filmmakers. Plus, we get recommendations from musicians about some of their favourite local artists.

In the reviews section, there’s demo reviews of Back In The Dark, Eve Cole, Isabel Hudson, FAWNS and Goat Majesty; reviews of new releases from local artists including Sophia, Nadedja, Feed Your Wolves, The Strands, Danica Dares, Slow Decades, Conor Michael, Smithereen, Andrew Bradley, Ceiling Demons and Faithful Johannes and new albums by Viagra Boys, Daniel Knox, Kiwi Jr., Rhye, Son Lux, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Sigur Ros, Lande Hekt, Half Japanese, The Besnard Lakes, James Yorkston, Shanghai Restoration Project and loads more.

Best wishes to you and yours, and here’s to a hopeful new year.


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