WEEKLY ROUND-UP (06.11.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Hijikata, Mon Amour – Vangeline by Matthew Placek

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 November issue of NARC. magazine – out now in print and online.

In the early 2010’s there was a resurgence of jangle pop and those twee guitar sounds dominated the British indie scene. The sound of  Vampire Weekend and The Vaccines were all the rage, but amidst that kind of over-saturation, Peace stood out. Their funky grooves, catchy hooks and almost childish giddiness made the big hits from the band register. 
Ten years later, the music of Peace is still bouncing across the indie club circuit. And, with their first album since 2018, Peace return. Dropping on 3rd November, Utopia offers something completely different. Promising to be the band’s most ambitious release to date, Utopia aims to break from the defining blueprint that the band established years ago. Mixing in elements of folk and ambiance, Utopia is a revitalised and refreshing look at what the future of indie can be. 
Their gig at Wylam Brewery comes with a nostalgic blast to the past, and will be a welcome treat for indie fans.
Thursday 9th November @ Wylam Brewery, Newcastle

Teenage Fanclub
Everyone knows what to expect from a Teenage Fanclub show – polished musicianship, chiming guitars and a back catalogue brimming with such gems as The Concept, Sparky’s Dream and Ain’t That Enough, and hearing the band play their new songs live will also be a treat.
After more than 30 years on the road revisiting the same places, the Scottish indie legends (led by Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, and now featuring Euros Childs since original member Gerard Love departed a few years ago) fancied a change, so this time around they are intentionally visiting venues which are (mostly) both seated and in locations they haven’t played before, with their North East date coming to The Glasshouse on Thursday 9th November.
Expect everything from the Bandwagonesque and Grand Prix classics right through to the more recent Endless Arcade and of course their newest LP Nothing Lasts Forever, an often melancholic but beautiful collection of tracks which demonstrate that, thankfully, Teenage Fanclub have no intention of hanging up their guitars or their songwriting pens just yet.
Thursday 9th November @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead

Image: Eleanor Conway by David Titlow

Eleanor Conway
Eleanor Conway’s had quite the career so far, with her refreshing, brutally honest and uncompromisingly raw stand-up seeing her sell out three worldwide tours, amassing over 100 million online views and even bagging the prestigious honour of being banned from Tinder for life. Her gloriously side-splitting approach to comedy has been widely lauded as a breath of fresh air, with her shows regularly taking a frank and unflinching microscope to the complexities of sex, addiction and dating.
Her new show Talk Dirty To Me sees Eleanor further pushing the boundaries of societal norms, with the self-professed “child-free badass” going to task on the many all-too-common disparities in heterosexual relationships, tackling big questions (such as “are we really that far along in the fight for gender equality?”, “Who really benefits from marriage and babies?” and “How can straight women finally negotiate equal pleasure in the bedroom?”) through the lens of her iconic wit. It’s a shame that these questions are still ones that deserve to be asked, however, I’m certain that Talk Dirty To Me will prove to be one hell of a manifesto for a world still in dire need of change.
Thursday 9th November @ The Stand, Newcastle

BC Camplight
Following a solo piano tour earlier in the year, BC Camplight heads out on tour with a full band to promote his most recent album. BC – real name Brian Christinzio – is one of the most intriguing characters and interesting lyricists in music right now, wearing his heart on his sleeve through his music thanks to bold instrumentation and his absolute honesty about the human condition and battling his inner demons.
Despite his sixth LP, The Last Rotation of Earth, being inspired by the break-up of his nine-year relationship and his struggles with addiction and his mental health, BC’s live performances are renowned not only for his brilliant piano playing but also his entertaining interludes and humour. This will come as no surprise to anyone who already enjoys the wryly amusing moments in his songs, with his unexpected references to very British things like Dickinson’s Real Deal, Tesco employees and Homes Under The Hammer. Utilising his wit as a coping mechanism both in his life and his live shows, the Boiler Shop show promises to be a compelling and joyous evening, and you’re guaranteed to leave with one of his dazzling piano riffs lodged in your brain.
Thursday 9th November @ Boiler Shop, Newcastle

Antony Szmierek
It’s easy to see why hip-hop artist Antony Szmierek often draws comparisons to The Streets’ frontman Mike Skinner, as he pulls from the same urban poetry that catapulted Skinner’s career. The two share an introspection and a penchant for cutting, candid honesty, as well as looping beats and a melancholic delivery. 
Starting off writing novels, it was the performative aspect that captured Szmierek’s attention, and soon he had stepped onto the stage to deliver poetry, which became his music. After the release of his debut EP, Poems To Dance To, the crowds have been constantly growing for the performer, and his band have found their sound with every performance. 
Audiences will have an opportunity to judge for themselves at Zerox on Friday 10th November. Referring to their style as “UK dance, played by an indie band” there is a plethora of influences that bleed into both the storytelling and the nostalgic beats that encompass Szmierek’s sound. Mixing a euphoric hope with something broken and despairing, the contrasts and duality on tracks like Rock And A Calm Place or The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Fallacy make Antony Szmierek deserving of the accolade of one of the brightest British lyricists of the next generation.
Friday 10th November @ Zerox, Newcasatle

Image: Antony Szmierek by Alexis Panidis

The Lake Poets & The YMP All-Stars
Much-loved local songwriter Marty Longstaff performs alongside exciting up and coming talents Lottie Willis, Isabel Maria, Izzy Price and Lily Mac, all supported by the excellent Sunderland Young Musician’s Project.
Friday 10th November @ The Fire Station, Sunderland

Hijikata, Mon Amour
An event at Dance City on Friday 10th November pays tribute to Tatsumi Hijikata, legendary Japanese choreographer and founder of performance art Butoh. A striking solo dance piece created in 2019, Hijikata, Mon Amour sees Butoh artist Vangeline perform in an exact replica of Hijikata’s 1968 costume.
Symbolic of the evolution of art in Japan, and considered as a totem filled with stories, secrets and meaning, this historic costume was reimagined for modern audiences to mark the 60th anniversary of Butoh, an art form notorious for playing with the boundaries of the grotesque and absurd. Known for its vivid colour and powerful, controlled movement, Vangeline’s piece breathes new life into Butoh traditions.
As well as a visceral and thrilling performance, audiences have the chance to explore the work through a post-show talk with members of the company, the choreographer and staff from Dance City.
Friday 10th November @ Dance City, Newcastle

David Callaghan
Comedy is best enjoyed with a dash of existential crisis. Just as life ain’t like a box of chocolates, love ain’t like choosing biscuits in the shop. Comedian David Callaghan makes this simile in a more poetic way, but his point is valid: you can settle for digestives over custard creams, but ‘settling’ for a person is much less appealing. His multi-award winning show Everything That’s Me Is Falling Apart has been all over – from the Edinburgh Fringe to London and Stockholm – and has received rave reviews wherever it goes. Perhaps its near universal acclaim is as a result of its universality: Callaghan explores life’s turning points; missed chances and lost loves that, as sadly many of us are unfortunate enough to experience, return to haunt us at the most inconvenient times.
At his Pop Recs gig on Friday 10th November, David Callaghan will be armed with a live camera, a miniature set and even a model train, to introduce us to those poor (hopefully fictional) souls who’ve had to live through awkward moments on our behalf. Hopefully their tales won’t be too familiar (TW for anyone who’s declared their undying love outside of the wrong house), but let them be a catharsis should any hit too close to home.
Friday 10th November @ Pop Recs Ltd., Sunderland

Jumpin’ Hot Club book launch/Catfish Keith
Venerable promoters Jumpin’ Hot Club launch their first book this month; a definitive guide to their live music escapades since 1986, the book is crammed with mementoes and memories, over 150 photographs, news stories and reviews. Graham ‘Shippy’ Shipcote reveals more: “I’d been meaning to do this book for a few years now. It’s faintly memoirish, because my DNA is far too attached, and a blustery mix-match of the Jumpin’ Hot Club’s nearly-thirty-eight-year musical history: who played, where and when, some quotes, various photographs of remembrance and lots of special memories. If I didn’t do it, nobody would.”
Of course, such a milestone can’t be a quiet affair, so they’ve enlisted acoustic blues pioneer Catfish Keith to soundtrack the book launch at Gosforth Civic Theatre on Friday 10th November. Touted as one of the most exciting blues artists of his time, Catfish Keith’s foot-stomping deep Delta blues has seen him delight audiences the world over and netted him mighty acclaim, including 14 Grammy nominations, with numerous chart-topping albums under his belt. He’ll be performing two sets, accompanied by his trusty resonator guitar, while JHC’s Graham and partner-in-crime Adam Collerton will be in conversation with Juan Fitzgerald, with a Q&A session included.
Friday 10th November @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Gateshead

Fresh from a short European tour, Newcastle’s dastardly DIY post-punk duo Badger return to home ground for a couple of shows alongside Dutch electronic rave punk pals Mye_Taai. Also joining the furore will be grunge-infused post-punk/no-wave band Marginal Gains, genre-defying project $lick King and enigmatic Derby-based KEZ.
Friday 10th November @ Pineapple Black, Middlesbrough & Saturday 11th November @ Zerox, Newcastle

Image: Sequinella, who DJs at Bend & Shake

Bend & Shake Rave Party
Bend & Shake celebrate their second anniversary of producing boundary-pushing Queer parties. 11 DJs, including the likes of Sequinella, Awkward Black Girl, Samara, Amelia Leigh and L-ILY, will offer up a varied mix of genres, from techno and house to drum & bass, garage, Afro house, soul, funk and disco, along with much more.
Saturday 11th November @ World Headquarters, Newcastle

Byker Grave Fest
The North East extreme metal mini-fest returns for its 10th edition and an especially juicy selection of delectably dark ensembles in celebration of their landmark anniversary. Top of this event’s roster is Scottish black metal artist Hellripper – brainchild of solo multi-instrumentalist James McBain – whose dark occultist-inspired thrash is not for the faint of heart (as the name should have already implied). Anglo-German death metal band Nightmarers and Tennessee grindcore group Knoll both get their Tyneside debut, while Implore, another batch of German metalheads, make a stop to say goodbye as part of their whirlwind festival farewell circuit, and local noise outfit Waheela open proceedings.
Saturday 11th November @ Anarchy Brewery, Newcastle

Yevonde: Life And Colour
An exhibition which showcases the ground-breaking work of 20th Century British photographer, Yevonde, who was the first person in Britain to exhibit colour photographs and was known for her portraits which include some of the most famous faces of the time, including George Bernard Shaw, Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud and Princess Alexandra.
Saturday 11th November-Saturday 20th April @ Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Gotts Street Park
Rising Leeds-based collective Gotts Street Park dazzled fans and critics alike with their recent debut album, On The Inside. The trio have been praised for their vintage soul meets alt. R&B sound, which has found fans among hip-hop and pop artists like Celeste, Kali Uchis and Yellow Days clamouring for collaborations.
Sunday 12th November @ The Cluny, Newcastle

Colleen Green
The always-dependable Wandering Oak offer yet another show of brilliantly eclectic and glorious tuneage, spearheaded by Hardly Art-signing Colleen Green. Hailing from Lowell, Massachusetts, Colleen has blazed a trail with her gloriously infectious lo-fi indie pop, with the likes of 2015’s I Want to Grow Up and 2021’s Cool (produced by Raphael Gordon, the iconic mastermind of The Strokes’ Is This It) earning a wealth of acclaim that has seen her tour the world over.
Support is unsurprisingly glorious with the gleefully primitive parallel-dimension glam stomping rock and roll of Rudi Betamax and The Samphires, whose grunge-influenced sound blends the raucous riffs of Pixies with the intricacy and depth of Big Thief to explore universal anxieties with a hefty dose of heavy instrumentation and harmonic splendour.
Tuesday 14th November @ Zerox, Newcastle

Image: Colleen Green by Drei Klibansky

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout