WEEKLY ROUND-UP (10.07.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Image: Barely Visible by Andrew Ness

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

Breanna Barbara
Describing herself as a “southern occultist juxtaposed in the middle of the city”, Breanna Barbara brings her mesmeric, arrestingly luscious slant on indie nomadism to Bobiks. The Minnesota native – raised in Florida and now a resident of New York – released her sophomore album Nothin’ But Time late last year to blanket adoration, and has steadily garnered global attention for her pensive, Americana-tinged meditations ever since 2016 debut effort Mirage Dreams. Introspective, spirited and ceaselessly entrancing, Barbara leans on a musical palette that is as indebted to psychedelia and classic rock tropes as it is to the old school country and Delta blues that first captured her heart as a teenager.
Tuesday 11th July @ Bobiks, Newcastle

Seven-piece group Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness are arguably the freshest band out of the South African music scene and are frankly absolutely phenomenal. BCUC have become a voice for the voiceless as their undeniable political streak bleeds from the heart of their music, which is also full of love, fun, acceptance and euphoria. The result is a sound that pulses with excitement and fury.
Wednesday 12th July @ Fire Station, Sunderland

A Manifesto for a New City
Theatre company Project A revive Julia Darling’s A Manifesto For A New City, in which a friendly revolution snatches power from the city’s leaders and delivers it to artists and makers. They also co-create, with writer Laura Lindow a contemporary epilogue, The Language of We, which considers the themes of the original production.
Wednesday 12th-Saturday 15th July @ Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Gigs @ Live Theatre
Newcastle’s Live Theatre open up their stage to offer a series of gorgeous live music shows this month. Cath & Phil Tyler take to the stage on Thursday 13th July to demonstrate their Anglo-American folk sound that is essential for any fan of the genre. With their delicate and beautiful sound, the duo will guide you through a night of banjos, fiddles, storytelling and tradition, in an event that couldn’t be better suited to the intimacy of the theatre.
The following night, Ruth Lyon takes to the stage. Crafting her own niche in the baroque pop soundscape, Lyon’s sound is often as surreal as she is grounded, creating a compelling contrast in her songwriting as she mixes self examination with whimsy and intelligence. Accompanied by Ceitidh Mac on cello and Tommy Evans on guitar, the trio will perform what promises to be a beautiful night of songs and songwriting.
Thursday 13th-Friday 14th July @ Live Theatre, Newcastle

Matilda Sutton
Dissolution marks the debut solo exhibition for Newcastle-based visual artist Matilda Sutton. Her works fuse painting, drawing, sculpture and textiles with posthumanist and feminist philosophies, myth, literary and historical narratives to deeply explore how we categorise our world and ourselves. The works in the exhibition explore many aspects of human culture, such as washing, grooming and hygiene practices, clothing and textile production, to further dissect societal ideals of cleanliness, purity, ritual and their relationship to physicality, religion, gender and sexuality.
Thursday 13th July-Saturday 5th August @ Vane Gallery, Gateshead


Image: Matilda Sutton, Returning, 2023, acrylic on collaged paper substrate, 96x78cm


The Platform
Darlington music collective Tracks present The Platform, a fresh series of gigs which aim to provide new and exciting talent with a platform to showcase their new sounds.
Kicking off the night is the fantastic Eve Cole. Hailing from Sunderland, Cole won the Alan Hull Award for songwriting in 2022, and her swaggering pop rock tracks are as charming as they are infectious. The headline act is the unmistakable Viia, whose riding a wave of success thanks to her recently released Am I Ready Yet EP. Viia’s sound is fuelled by stirring rock riffs and remarkable, vocals which carry an emotional punch. Not only is Viia shaking up the Northern rock scene, it won’t be long until her sharp image, classic grooves and captivating voice grips the nation’s ears; with full throttle sounds, which bristle with volume and with attitude, the artist’s rock stylings showcase her penchant for attention grabbing sounds that centre around her amazing, snarling voice and hard rocking band.
Thursday 13th July @ The Forum Music Centre, Darlington

Barely Visible
In her show Barely Visible, Rowena Gander uses her undoubtedly impressive physical skills in pole and contemporary dance to explore gay identity and objectification with playfulness and authenticity that is as captivating as it is thought-provoking.
Thursday 13th July @ Dance City, Newcastle

Jumpin’ Hot Club’s Country Cantina
Small and friendly, Jumpin’ Hot’s Country Cantina offers a packed bill of roots music – Americana, Cajun, rockabilly and the rest – in an idyllic setting. This year you can catch local and national acts like Our Man In The Field, John Miller’s Country Casuals, The Veejay Cajun Band, national hero Nev Clay and the gentle Geordie swing of Shipcote & Friends, essentially the house band. There will also be campfire sessions, fine food and drink, a 78rpm record party and all sorts of other low-key shenanigans.
Friday 14th-Saturday 15th July @ Easington Thorpe East Farm, County Durham

Blue Lass
Blue Lass are a magnificent addition to the broad array of musicians keeping the spirit of bluegrass alive. Comprised of five musicians, on acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, double bass and clawhammer banjo, Blue Lass formed through meeting and jamming together on the festival circuit. When they all discovered a mutual passion for the great bluegrass songbook of the fifties, they sought to bring about a unique approach to the form, bringing contemporary reinterpretations of classic arrangements into the fold, whilst still staying true to the acoustic sound of the genre. The result is a refreshing but still compelling faithful rendering of some of the most pivotal works in the history of song.
Friday 14th July @ The Globe, Newcastle

Last Stop to Edinburgh
Shoe Cake Comedy’s Last Stop To Edinburgh Comedy Festival is back for its third year, with another seven superb acts bringing their work-in-progress 60 minute shows to the stage before touring them or taking them up to the Edinburgh Fringe. Acts this year include Jonny Pelham (who has gone from the top room in the Dog & Parrot to Live At The Apollo), Mock The Week’s Mark Simmons, Bethany Black, Lou Conran, Matt Bragg, Aidan Goatley, all of whom have supported major touring acts to critical acclaim, plus The Halls Of Ridiculousness, an improvised sketch show from Chris Lumb and Phil Allan-Smith. Tickets are £12 a show, with an attractive pricing structure for those wanting to attend multiple shows.
Friday 14th-Saturday 15th July @ The Georgian Theatre, Stockton

Richard Milward
Highly revered Teesside author Richard Milward’s work is widely celebrated for its wit and gleeful abandon. His new novel Man-Eating Typewriter, published in March by White Rabbit, is yet another feather in the author’s cap; a surreal odyssey which flits from occupied Paris to lawless Tangier and London in the swinging 60s, Man-Eating Typewriter is an homage to the avant-garde counterculture of the 20th Century. Milward pulls together a group of similarly talented Teesside pals for this special event which will include readings from Milward himself alongside David Keenan and a Q&A hosted by White Rabbit’s Lee Brackstone. There’s also a screening of Maxy Bianco’s Brother Nature, pop-up art and fashion courtesy of The Word & Happy Birthday, music from The Danny Kebabs, plus a special guest band to be announced.
Saturday 15th July @ Pineapple Black, Middlesbrough

Michael Rakowitz
Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz’s new project at BALTIC re-imagines the Hanging Garden, referencing the one in Babylon, considered among the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Rakowitz’s garden with be inhabited by new structures and sculptures reflecting the destroyed and looted cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria. The artist’s proposal is to create a sprawling, immersive interior forest of trees, hedges, herbs and medicinal plants, conceived and tended to in collaboration with local organisations. The garden, at the end of the exhibition, will sprawl into the city in small parts to a network of community and school gardens, expanding its footprint beyond the gallery.
Saturday 15th July–Sunday 26th May 2024 @ BALTIC, Gateshead


Image: Michael Rakowitz – The invisible enemy should not exist (Room F, section 1, panel 15, Northwest Palace of Kalhu, 2019. Middle Eastern food packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard on wooden structures, 88.6 x 84.2 x 3.5 inches.


Seven Stories will be bringing Ari Aster’s world to life through an interactive journey across the seven-storey building culminating in a screening of the A24 cult classic celebrating the crowning of the May Queen in association with Tyneside Cinema, with friends food and drink.
Saturday 15th July @ Seven Stories, Newcastle

Deage Paxton
Deage Paxton’s acerbic wit, use of non-sequitur jokes and unique brand of dark humour has resulted in a show compiled of jokes not for the faint-hearted. Deage’s debut show, Impersonable, is a culmination of honing his craft over ten years on the UK comedy circuit. Award winning comedian Rahul Kohli will be opening the show.
Saturday 15th July @ The Stand, Newcastle

Make A Scene Festival
Three stages feature a broad church of styles and influences. The headliners are sure to pull your attention, with rising rock icons As December Falls, hardcore/punks Trash Boat, and sludgy metalheads Heriot at the top of many people’s must-sees. But cast your eyes a little way down the line-up, and you’ll see the likes of Welsh rockers Dream State (for those poignant but ear-catching riffs), local legends Tired of Fighting, and US pop punk outfit Telltale over for their first ever UK shows. Go to Make A Scene, and you can be there from the start of the next generation’s rock all stars.
Saturday 15th July @ Teesside University, Middlesbrough

Summer Streets
Summer Streets returns with its usual mix of eclectic genres and plenty of activities and workshops for families to enjoy. Headline acts include North East folk favourites The Young’Uns and incredible all-female brass band The Original Pinettes from New Orleans, who are performing thanks to a partnership with Durham BRASS. Elsewhere on the line-up, Afro fusion collective Hannabiell & The Midnight Blue Collective and Sunderland rock band SLUG will perform, there’s attitude-ridden poppy punk from bigfatbig, guitar rock from Cortney Dixon, the folk-driven sounds of Holy Moly & The Crackers, the Balkan melodies of the Baghdaddies and the event will serve as the debut for Blowdry Colossus, a new musical venture of Field Music’s Peter Brewis. Plus the BBC Music Introducing North East stage will feature performances from Roxy Girls, Headcage, Reali-T, Frankie Jobling, Just B and Sarah Johnstone.
Saturday 15th-Sunday 16th July @ Cliffe Park, Roker

International Zine Month
BALTIC invite us to explore their growing zine collection and to uncover a range of topics to inspire and inform our own zines with a trio of events at the gallery in July. Tangled, Overgrown and Inky: Risograph Printing with Foundation Press will share the basics of risograph printing, exploring the colour palette and image quality of this popular zine-making tool. Through collaging images from Foundation Press’ archive of scanned plants and natural elements, participants will make experimental two-colour prints (Saturday 15th). Grow Your Own: Zine-Making with Mani Kambo, features Hinterlands artist Mani Kambo, and explores the relationship between animals, humans and plants through zine-making using collage, photocopying and drawing (Saturday 22nd). Finally, The Multiverse and Me: Zine-Making with Mel Sproates is a case study in gender, race and class identity using zines, collage and pop culture imagery (Saturday 29th).
From Friday 15th July @ BALTIC, Gateshead

Make & Mend
Make & Mend Festival is a day full of colour, creativity, positivity and wellbeing; a chance to learn something new, fuel creativity and take some time away from the day-to-day. Featuring craft demonstrations, yoga and a maker marketplace offering a range of products from local makers and creatives.
Sunday 16th July @ Ormesby Hall, Middelesbrough

Kate Clover
Following in the rich lineage of X, Germs and The Gun Club, Kate Clover has long established a strong reputation as one of the foremost flag-bearers of the wonderful, defiantly anything-goes spirit of LA punk; a timeless and wonderfully chameleonic pantheon of bold and boundary pushing wonder. 2022’s Bleed Your Heart Out is a phenomenal testament to her talents; never boring and staying true to the spirit of classic LA punk without ever veering into sounding like an over-earnest pastiche of a sacred sound. As anyone who found an epiphany in Fire Of Love and Wild Gift will tell you: that’s not an easy thing to pull off. Exploring the intricacies of self-discovery, self-creation, and self-preservation in the place where dreams are born to die.
Sunday 16th July @ Zerox, Newcastle


Image: Kate Clover by Allan Wan

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