WEEKLY ROUND-UP (10.06.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: The Magpies

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.

Based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title, Wilding tells the inspirational story of a young couple that bets on nature for the future of their failing, four-hundred-year-old estate. Preview screening followed by a recorded Q&A filmed at the Knepp Estate with Isabella Tree, hosted by Craig Bennett from The Wildlife Trusts.
Tuesday 11th June @ Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

Paul Taylor: Duet
Eliot Smith Dance embrace the past and future with a premiere of Paul Taylor’s Duet from 1964, alongside Eliot’s own work, Human. Duet is a testament to the simplicity and clarity of Taylor’s craft, brief and beautifully shaped; while Human comprises cutting edge contemporary and commercial dancing, exploring the joys, sorrows, idiocies and the brilliance of anything human.
Wednesday 12th June @ Dance City, Newcastle

Founded in Oakland, California in the 1990s, Hieroglyphics are one of the most influential hip-hop groups of the time. Comprised of Del The Funky Homosapien, Souls Of Mischief, Pep Love, Casual, Domino and DJ Toure, the group are bringing their talents to Newcastle’s Northumbria University on Thursday 13th June.
The show is set to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see their successful underground album 3rd Eye Vision performed live and direct. The show is set to be jammed full of their classic underground style that mixes their home-grown alternative West Coast flow with jazz and funk-inspired beats, and will be a triumphant demonstration of some of the best music to come out of hip-hop in the nineties. Coming off the back of a massively successful tour around America, the group have set their sights on the North East as their next big stage to hit. Having been cited as massive influences on many heavyweight artists, such as A Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000, Wu Tang Clan and more, Hieroglyphics have left a huge impact on the hip-hop genre; now is the time to experience it up close and personal.
Thursday 13th June @ Northumbria University Students’ Union, Newcastle

Dale Watson & His Lone Stars
Texan by temperament if not by birth, Dale Watson is country to his very bones. He’s been releasing records since the mid-nineties – some 25 or so, thus far – and they rarely stray from a tried and tested formula of shit-kickin’ bar-room country the way pappy did it.
He’s a legend in country circles – Willie Nelson cites Watson as his favourite musician – and he’s at home everywhere from The Grand Ole Opry (where he’s something of a regular) to bars and venues all over the US and Europe, where he’s long had a strong following. Backed by his Lonestars – which he formed in Austin in the mid-nineties – he’s hitting the UK for a handful of dates this month, and brings him to The Cluny on Thursday 13th June thanks to the efforts of the Jumpin’ Hot crew. If you like your whiskey neat and your country music scruffy, this is one not to miss.
Thursday 13th June @ The Cluny, Newcastle

Richard Hawley photographed in Sheffield by Dean Chalkley

Image: Richard Hawley by Dean Chalkley

Richard Hawley
Master songsmith Richard Hawley has adopted many guises across a celebrated solo career – from unabashed retro romance (Cole’s Corner; Lady’s Bridge), to tangled fuzz-fuelled psychedelics (Standing At The Sky’s Edge). For a certain subset of fans (myself very much included), however, it’s ballads which are the Yorkshireman’s truest calling – a case perhaps most exquisitely made on 2009’s magnificent Truelove’s Gutter. News, then, of a return to the format – of Hawley ditching the distortion pedals and pitching his rich Sheffield brogue front and centre – has been met with jubilation, making upcoming album In This City They Call You Love and its subsequent tour his most anticipated in years.
Certainly, early indicators have been encouraging, with preview singles Two for His Heels, Heavy Rain and Prism In Jeans each sure to sound resplendent on his return to The Glasshouse on Thursday 13th June. A habitual visitor to the North East, this month’s show nevertheless marks his first time in Hall 1 for nine years. With support from Thea Gilmour – a prolific cult songwriter with over 20 albums to her name – there can be few finer settings in which to savour Hawley’s spectacular live show, and to embrace the newest additions to a sumptuous canon.
Thursday 13th June @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead

Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee
Luke Wright heads back to the North East with Silver Jubilee, his latest work exploring destiny and lives – those lived and not lived – at Stockton’s ARC on Thursday 13th June. Aiming to celebrate his 25 years of service on the literary frontline, Wright’s attempts to hold a street party fall foul of council curmudgeons and when he can’t shift his over-ordered commemorative Jubilee plates, he turns to what poets do best – taking a deep dive into himself, England, class, his own adoption and how the way he was raised has impacted his life choices.
With his trademark mix of poetry, stand-up, music beats, laughter and pathos, this is one not to miss if you’re a fan; and if you aren’t already then you should definitely make a beeline. Having previously seen Luke perform Frankie Vah at Edinburgh, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for his infrequent visits to North East venues and it’s great to see him back at ARC, who are long-term supporters of his work. Described as his most confessional show to date, with all-new poems on familial love, destiny and privilege, Wright says: “this a show about what it means to be someone’s child” – something that speaks to all of us.
Thursday 13th June @ ARC, Stockton

The Magpies
Transatlantic folk band The Magpies head to Gosforth Civic Theatre on Friday 14th June to impress audiences with their ribbon-tied gift of sublime songwriting, high level musicianship and beautiful harmonies. Their Anglo and American roots shine through the influences of their work; traditional Celtic folk, bluegrass and Appalachian trails.
The Magpies are award-winning singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjoist Bella Gaffney, acclaimed composer and fiddle player Holly Brandon, and skilled guitarist and singer-songwriter Ellie Gowers. Together they form a rich and tasteful sound, always woven together by powerful storytelling and a bright thread of feminism and gender equality expression.
Their sophomore album Undertow, released October 2022, charted on the Official Folk Albums Chart Top 40, as well as earning them a BBC Radio 2 live session and a quarter of a million
streams on Spotify. Their high energy (and high quality) performances know no limits, as seen by audiences of Glastonbury Festival, Deer Shed, and many shows in the USA, Canada, Portugal and Luxembourg, to name a small few.
On the night they’ll be joined by talented folk/roots/Americana singer-songwriter and skilled violin and fiddle player Kari Macleod, making the evening a genuine treat for folk and Americana lovers.
Friday 14th June @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle

Bonnacons of Doom
Mark your calendars for Friday 14th June… Newcastle’s grassroots venue The Lubber Fiend is set to host an unforgettable night of music with the enigmatic Bonnacons Of Doom!
Trailblazers of Trans-Pennine hypnotic music, Bonnacons Of Doom are stepping up their mission with their second album under Rocket Recordings. This mirror-masked collective, hailing from across the North of England, delivers a unique blend of ritualistic psych rock and drone. Rooted in Liverpool, Bonnacons Of Doom began with experimental theatrical performances and evolved into a powerhouse of eclectic, immersive music. Their live shows are legendary, featuring black robes, metallic masks and a constant air of mystery. Since forming in 2013, they’ve pushed the boundaries of live music, from performing with cathedral choirs to creating virtual reality installations; their 2018 debut album was a psychedelic masterpiece, and their latest work, Signs, promises to be just as transformative.
Support comes from noise punks Disciplinary and drone duo Thraa.
Friday 14th June @ The Lubber Fiend, Newcastle

The Young Property Developers
Paul Stewart, under the moniker of The Young Property Developers, has been quietly creating idiosyncratic and poetic music since 2013. Possessed of a canny knack for exquisitely clever lyrics, which pack a punch accompanied by often punky guitars and poignant observations, Stewart’s subject matter ranges from acute character studies to sub-one minute tracks which tell you everything you need to know about attending a picnic with a heavy metal band, or the romantic side of a certain 1980s action film.
The release of his latest album, entitled Eeeeeeeeeeee! It’s The Young Property Developers, is celebrated at Little Buildings on Saturday 15th June. The album places an emphasis on its leading thrashy and punky guitar riffs, used as a vessel to carry Stewart’s playful lyrics through a lo-fi rock soundscape. The new album showcases 15 new tracks, confined to a brisk 28 minutes. The project is quickly paced, yet each track makes its own individual impression.
Support for the night comes from fellow songwriting mavericks The Agency and St James Infirmary.
Saturday 15th June @ Little Buildings, Newcastle

Image: Fat White Family by Louise Mason

Fat White Family
Shock-rock provocateurs Fat White Family’s stock hasn’t declined in the decade since their debut album, Champagne Holocaust, pushed the envelope. In the time since, they’ve remained unafraid to push the boundaries of sonics and good taste, but they’ve also proven themselves to be a versatile and formidable musical powerhouse too.
Their oft-uncompromising approach isn’t to everyone’s taste, but even their most ardent opponents will have a hard time arguing that recent LP Forgiveness Is Yours is prime proof that they’re a far more innovative and high-brow outfit than their reputation would suggest, with frontman Lias Saoudi remaining one of the most fascinating and uncompromising lyricists, and the band further showcasing their musical versatility beyond the ramshackle, unpolished garage rock of their earlier releases; there’s still a veneer of grit and filth, filtered through the kaleidoscopic sound introduced in 2019’s Serfs Up. In a live setting, the band prove their worth, with their broad palette of sound losing none of its force or urgency, with their last visit to Newcastle’s Boiler Shop being one hell of a tour-de-force in sonic innovation. Given the evolution present on Forgiveness is Yours, lightning is guaranteed to strike twice.
Saturday 15th June @ Boiler Shop, Newcastle

The Curious Ball
An unforgettable celebration of the North East’s LGBTQIA+ culture, the Curious Ball returns to Dance City. An evening like no other, professional artists and community members take to the catwalk to celebrate Queer excellence with fierce performances and incredible fashion.
Saturday 15th June @ Dance City, Newcastle

University of Sunderland Art & Design Degree Shows
Celebrating the creativity and achievements of the latest cohort from Sunderland University’s art and design courses, experience work which spans animation and games art, graphic design, illustration, fashion and more.
Saturday 15th June-Saturday 6th July @ Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Andrew Nolan
You may ask what ‘DIY industrial dub noise’ is, but it’s pretty self-explanatory when you think about it. Andrew Nolan produces it under his government name in spades – a choice he sometimes regrets, but it’s always nice to put a name to unholy grinding chaos.
The Leeds-born, Toronto-based musician has had many musical ventures; he was a pirate radio extraordinaire, and dipped his toe in more genres than you can shake a stick at, from punk to hip-hop, but it’s unclear what it says about a person who links their identity intrinsically to the loudest and most experimental genre in their repertoire.
His most recent release, Radiophonic Dub, takes industrial noise down a psychedelic slant, apparently best enjoyed with illicit substances (a method which we of course cannot personally recommend). Do not look to his work for sense, but instead let yourself fall into its electronic mayhem with no holds barred. On Monday 17th June he’ll be joined at Cafe Etch in Middlesbrough (and throughout his small UK run supported by Arts Council England) by genre friends KnifedOutOfExistence and Middlesbrough’s own spiciest dub producer Sir Racha, for what we can safely assume will be a loud one. Ear protection recommended.
Monday 17th June @ Cafe Etch, Middlesbrough

Image: Andrew Nolan by Derek Rush

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