WEEKLY ROUND-UP (05.02.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Image: Janine Harouni by Matt Stronge

Every week we pull together some of the best events taking place across the region, from music and theatre, to comedy, art and film. Read more on these, and other events, in the latest issue of NARC. magazine in print and online.

Ladyhawke (yes, this is an homage to the weird 80s film where Michelle Pfeiffer turns into a bird), released her first self-titled album in 2008, an 80s rock-pop-electro delight.
Real name Phillipa Brown, or Pip, in her formative years she was playing in bands like Two Lane Blacktop and Teenager but she rose to prominence as Ladyhawke after releasing tracks online and signing to a major label. She moved from New Zealand to the UK where her effortlessly cool yet relatable solo album was met with widespread acclaim.
Her latest album, the aptly named Time Flies (2021) was released with a limited edition video game keychain, the game takes Ladyhawke on a journey to complete her album and the soundtrack was made up of digitised versions of the album tracks. I need one of these – why aren’t more artists doing this?
With four albums and a daughter under her belt, Pip is back to play The Cluny at a rescheduled show on Wednesday 7th February, and while her newer material reflects difficult times with mental health and motherhood, the full discography is also on offer.
Wednesday 7th February @ The Cluny, Newcastle

The Zutons
Liverpool indie legends, and writers of big hits such as You Will You Won’t, Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love and that song that Amy Winehouse covered, are heading out on tour after spending time at Abbey Road Studios with Nile Rodgers to work on their new album, ‘The Big Decider’.  Their run of intimate shows stops at Stockton to give fans old and new a mid-week, early noughties-flavoured banger fest. 
Wednesday 7th February @ KU Stockton

Image: The Menzingers by Danielle Dubois

The Menzingers
Over the last few years, Northumbria University’s SU has firmly established itself as a prime destination for the cream of the indie/punk crop, regularly hosting iconic bands and artists who have pushed the boundaries of glorious noise into bold new frontiers. They’ve got some exciting visitors treading the boards in 2024, and for a fine example of this, look no further than Philadelphia’s finest punk institution, The Menzingers, who play the venue on Thursday 8th February.
The group formed in 2006 and were catapulted to infamy by 2012’s highly acclaimed On The Impossible Past. Not content to stick to a tried-and-tested blueprint of punky glory, 2019 saw the band incorporating heartland rock and Americana in Hello Exile, and that deft experimentation continues with 2023’s Some Of It Was True, which ends the longest gap between Menzingers releases since their formation. To push themselves further out of their comfort zone, they opted to work with the Grammy-nominated sonic maestro Brad Cook (who’s produced the likes of Waxahatchee, Bon Iver and The War on Drugs) at the legendary Sonic Ranch studios. The result is another iconic transmission from a group unafraid to step outside their comfort zone and push the sound of punk into vivid new forms.
Thursday 8th February @ Northumbria University Students’ Union, Newcastle

Kendal Mountain Tour
Anyone with a head for heights or a thirst for adventure will find much to enjoy at Sunderland’s Fire Station on Thursday 8th February as the venue hosts the Kendall Mountain Tour 2024. Attendees should prepare to embark on a captivating journey through some of the most enchanting places on our planet, recounted by award-winning films and enriched by guest speakers. Expect stories of resilience, limitless courage and distinctive narratives that promise to enthral and educate. Films screened include La Gara, a journey into one of Italy’s toughest mountain races; SOUP, a short film about cold water swimming in Sheffield; I Am Because You Are follows six fearless women on the first mountaineering expedition in the Bugaboos; the gorgeous animated film Soundscape shares the sightless experience of Erik Weihenmayer as he ascends a massive alpine rock face in the Sierra Nevada; and climbing family the Houldings chronicle their experience climbing Norway’s national mountain in Freya. Climbing legend Leo Houlding will also make an in-person appearance, sharing some of his extraordinary feats and adventures which include ascents in all seven continents.
Serving as an entry point for experienced explorers and nature enthusiasts alike, the event fosters a sense of connection and will leave attendees with a strengthened awareness and gratitude for the wonders of our planet.
Thursday 8th February @ Fire Station, Sunderland

Image: I Am Because You Are

Janine Harouni
Set to take the stage at The Stand Comedy Club on Thursday 8th February, Janine Harouni brings her Man’oushe tour to Newcastle. The Long Island-native turned Londoner has wowed British audiences with her dry and nimble sense of often self-referential humour which points at the comedy in familial relationships; her Edinburgh Fringe set touched on being Liberal raised by Conservative parents, and how there’s casual comedy in every interaction, however challenging it may be.
The show itself looks to further emphasise the comedic relief within family. Touching on the comedian’s Arab roots, pregnancy and mail ordered DNA tests, and proffering a tale of humour and grief, Harouni invites audiences into her personal experiences and identity, her autobiographical style of comedy allowing the audience to relate to Harouni even if they have little in common with her. Prior to this latest run of shows, Janine Harouni has performed at Edinburgh Fringe twice to great fanfare, and won a plethora of awards enhancing her captivating appeal as a new talent to watch on the comedy scene.
Thursday 8th February @ The Stand, Newcastle

Screen One Comedy Club
Screen One have pulled out all the stops for their February night at the Tyneside. Heading the bill is Sindhu Vee, a TV and radio regular with a reputation for wit and warmth. Paul Foot is an eccentric genius who brings a little madness to every line-up. Strong support from Lauren Pattinson and Lee Peart. Matt Reed hosts.
Friday 9th February @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

About suffering, they were never wrong
Hatton Gallery is presenting a series of exhibitions on the expression of suffering through artwork, created by Newcastle University’s MA Curating Art students. 
Twelve artists from twelve different countries will be paired with twelve historical artworks from the Hatton collection across three exhibitions in February, March and April/May. The project seeks to examine the history of emotions, and transhistorical and transnational depictions of suffering or pain in art. The Hatton’s diverse collection includes over 3,000 works from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries, so the pickings are rich. 
The Hatton has a close collaborative relationship with students from Newcastle University and commits to exhibiting their work on an annual basis. They also already possess a proven interest in projects that focus on responsive artwork and encouraging an appreciation of globalised art, as seen in their well-established Home and Belonging project.
Friday 9th-Wednesday 28th February, Friday 1st March-Wednesday 20th March, and Saturday 23rd March-Wednesday 15th May @ Hatton Gallery, Newcastle

Half Man Half Biscuit
The Wirral’s Half Man Half Biscuit make funny, acerbic music which speaks to the dark heart of Englishness. Often pigeonholed as a comedy band, more recent releases into the band’s middle age are lyrically dense meditations on mortality and ageing, though still peppered with the fun and wit they are renowned for.
In the wake of 2021’s The Voltorol Years, HMHB make a welcome return to the Boiler Shop on Friday 9th February. A band with a committed fanbase and a wealth of material, it’s a rare chance to catch one of the UK’s finest heritage indie rock groups, who tour fairly infrequently. John Peel said he wanted the group to be buried with him when he died, and this is reflected in the wilfully rabid fanbase, who reference songs and themes in the way that they dress – so keep an eye out for Dukla Prague away kits and hi-vis. By virtue of Nigel Blackwell’s agoraphobia, tour dates are becoming a rarer thing for the group, so it’s advisable to catch them while you can at the peak of a wave in their creative furrow.
Friday 9th February @ Boiler Shop, Newcastle

Image: Eyes of Others

A Dragon I Knew
Venerable promoters Wandering Oak regularly spoil lovers of weird and wonderful sonic adventures with their boundary-pushing line-ups. Celebrating their 10th anniversary in February, we’re expecting the boat to be well and truly pushed out throughout the year, and they start as they mean to go on with a bespoke curated show which spans both the Star & Shadow Cinema’s venue and cinema spaces on Saturday 10th February.
The curiously named A Dragon I Knew event will see acid folk rock experimentalist Smote head up the bill, which also includes the drum machine loops of self-described “post-pub couldn’t get into the club music” artist Eyes of Others; widescreen avant-garde pop from Sara Wolff; the playful experimentalism of accordion and drum duo Amy Thatcher and Fran Knowles; spacey psych rockers Dactyl Terra; dream-like arrangements and warped folk from Orbury Common; and J Magill And The Incantations, who draw from deep wells of psychedelia, folk, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Expect more surprises and guests to be added to what already looks to be a stacked line-up which celebrates the promoter’s keen eye for the weird and wonderful.
Saturday 10th February @ Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle

Seeking to challenge the traditional narrative that art is reserved for the rich, Byker-based artist Russell Coleman introduces a new approach to ownership by embarking on an ambitious five year endeavour in which he’ll create one million drawings, each sold for a fraction of the cost of a cup of coffee. He’ll kick the project off by live-drawing the first 500 pieces, accompanied by music.
Sunday 11th February @ Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle







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