WEEKLY ROUND-UP (11.09.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Devon Sproule by Rich Tarbell

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

The Re-Emergence
Having returned to the streets of Newcastle to document the ‘re-emergence’ of people into public spaces after the pandemic, local photographer Hazel Plater’s candid street photography is often humorous, poignant and celebratory, presenting a nuanced reflection on humanity and our challenges. A limited edition book accompanies the exhibition.
From Tuesday 12th September-Thursday 12th October @ Newcastle Contemporary Art 

The Bevis Frond
The Bevis Frond (essentially Nick Saloman in the studio playing everything, with a varying band for gigs) have released a couple of dozen ‘proper’ albums, all defined by a particularly searing kind of psychedelia that’s often melodically fantastic but also pretty gnarly at times: if you imagine a cross between a Hendrix-worshipping sixties Brit psych band, a seventies frazzled acid rock monstrosity and late eighties Pacific North West outfits like Dead Moon, you’re on the right track.
Wednesday 13th September @ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

Stand-up Comedy @ The Grove
The Grove & Scrapper Reed presents a brand new night at Byker’s newest hotspot. Featuring Gavin Webster, Lauren Pattison, Seymour Mace and Si Beckwith.
Thursday 14th September @ The Grove, Newcastle

Schkeuditzer Kreuz
New Zealand punk veteran Kieran Hills’ brings his New South Wales-based post-industrial solo project to Gateshead, showcasing the incredible energy of his “one human and some machines” performance. Tackling themes around the global climate crisis, fear, mistrust and paranoia, Hills’ work will appeal to fans of industrial and dark alternative sounds. Support comes from local darkwave group Holy Braille.
Thursday 14th September @ The Black Bull, Gateshead

North Sea Weekender
The North Sea Weekender is a smorgasbord of events on the glorious North East coast which features surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, yoga experiences, special one-off music shows, a silent disco and more. Attendees can get involved in great family-friendly events on Saturday 23rd September at Cullercoats beach, while Tynemouth Surf Co will host the annual Tynemouth Surf Open on Longsands beach on Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October. The men’s and women’s shortboard, longboard and SUP surf comps will be on the Saturday, while the Surfing England Junior Surf Series will run on the Sunday. Plus, you’ll be able to get flexible with Shore Yoga’s series of workshops taking place throughout the month. These workshops are designed to cater to all abilities and ages. The programme also features some brilliant one-off shows featuring talented musicians. North Shields’ alt. indie songwriter Liam Fender will play two gigs at Salt Market Social on Friday 15th-Saturday 16th September, while surfer, filmmaker and guitarist Lee-Ann Curren and local musician Michael Curran’s Deaf Fiction will perform at Tynemouth Watch House on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September respectively.
Throughout September @ Various venues, Tyneside

Finn Forster
Headlined by ‘Boro’s very own rising star Finn Forster, this BBC Music Introducing show is a victory lap amidst a headline tour in support of his new single Call You Mine. Even a brief glance at Finn’s track record makes it clear why; the singer-songwriter has fast blazed a trail with a rich songbook that delivers raw and honest lyrics shot through with anthemic melodies, which has seen him selling out a 2022 tour and also reaching the top five of the UK iTunes pop chart.
Friday 15th September @ Middlesbrough Town Hall


Image: They Live, screened at Whitley Bay Film Festival

Whitley Bay Film Festival
Continuing its origins as an event which seeks to challenge and inspire film lovers, Whitley Bay Film Festival’s 2023 programme is as imaginative as always. This year, festival patron Ian La Frenais gets his very own event as the festival celebrates 50 years of Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, the hit comedy series created by La Frenais and co-writer and creator Dick Clement. Expect tales of the duo’s creative journey, along with shared clips and a special screening of one of his favourite episodes (Playhouse Whitley Bay, Tuesday 19th). Further highlights include another 50th anniversary screening, this time of cult folk horror The Wicker Man (Eccles Hall, Sunday 17th); imagine yourself living in the heyday of 18th Century England amid the grand environs of Seaton Delaval Hall at a screening of The Favourite, in which national treasure Olivia Colman gives a riotous performance as the frail and increasingly potty Queen Anne (Saturday 23rd); and Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake also gets an apt location screening at Whitley Bay Big Local Hub (the former Jobcentre), with the addition of a screening of short film The Cost of Living (Monday 25th). A real North East exclusive comes in the form of a screening of Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies at Cullercoats Watch House on Sunday 24th. The film tells of Cullercoats lad Willie Fisher who grew up to become Soviet agent Rudolf Abel. Introducing the film is David Saunders, Emeritus Professor of the History of the Russian Empire at Newcastle University, who first discovered Abel’s North East roots. Rounding off the event, local poet and songwriter Harry Gallagher will perform a poem inspired by Cullercoats and Willie’s remarkable journey.
Friday 15th-Saturday 30th September @ Various venues

Beverley Bennett: Simon Says/Dadda
Simon Says/Dadda is a new commission and film installation made by artist Beverley
Bennett, exploring father/daughter relationships among Black and Asian women and non-
binary people, intergenerational love and the deep impact that structural inequalities have
within wider society.
Friday 15th September-Saturday 4th November @ NewBridge Project, Newcastle

Blackout Festival
Alt. rock quartet Blackout The Arcade present their very own Blackout Festival, an all-day event in their home town of Darlington. The venue is an apt one, as the locale is the centre-piece for the story of their newest single. Avalon is another electric rock anthem from the band, which builds upon their most recent endeavours while delivering a sound that captures their lively indie aesthetic. Clearly in celebratory mode, the band’s mini-festival features a well-curated line-up of local luminaries and up and comers. Darlington’s own Luke Royalty will perform his intimate tunes which splice endearing confessionals with alt. hip-hop vibes; Geordie trio Bear Park have been blasting their bangers for a few years now and the group are known for their powerful guitar-led bangers; Newcastle five-piece Palma Louca include a hazy ambience into their sonically interesting songs; while local rapper Muzz incorporates his Northern identity into powerful lyrics. The undoubted stars of the show will Blackout The Arcade themselves, whose ignitable energy and excitable indie rock charm will top the night off with aplomb.
Saturday 16th September @ Avalon Bar & Terrace, Darlington

Devon Sproule
Currently residing in Charlottesville, Virginia, Devon Sproule deals in lovingly-crafted cuts that are at once pensive, honest and endearingly sweet, and for which she has gained international recognition. On Saturday 16th September the singer-songwriter will visit Gosforth Civic Centre along with her band in what is sure to be a rollicking, soulful affair. Support at the Gosforth show comes from Toronto’s Marker Steeling, a self-described peddler of “melancholy party jams” who has been delighting and enthralling for years with his inimitable, wonderfully askew vibes.
Saturday 16th September @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle


Image: Angel Du$t by Elyza Reinhart

Angel Du$t
Brand New Soul is the latest drop from hardcore group Angel Du$t and, like the rest of their discography, the release packs a punch. In just a matter of years, Angel Du$t have become one of the most adventurous acts on the punk circuit, routinely pushing the boundaries of their sound. The American rock group cite their new release as the most potent encapsulation of frontman Justin Tripp’s vision to date and their show at Newcastle’s World Headquarters promises to be energetic, engaging and undeniably anarchic.
Saturday 16th September @ World Headquarters, Newcastle

Brick & Kate Fox
In what promises to be a real treat of musical and lyrical musings, Brick (aka Bridie Jackson and Nick Pierce) present their sparse and beautiful songs of kindness and hope. Also on the line-up is stand-up poet Kate Fox, whose new show Bigger On The Inside explores neurodiversity through the lens of Doctor Who.
Sunday 17th September @ The Engine Room, North Shields

After playing a series of epic performances at Truck Festival and Boomtown, indie punks Carsick are ready to unleash another couple of madly energetic shows in the region. Through a strident infusion of rock, punk and electronically-induced hip-hop, the quartet have composed lyrics which are heavily infused with tales of young adolescence and adult discord, from the desperate chaos of small-town nightlife to the ‘living for the weekend’ culture so prevalent among the band’s young adult demographic. The band would appeal to fans of The Streets and Royal Blood thanks to their feverish angst shot through with an indie punk zeal.
Friday 15th September @ Bobiks, Newcastle / Saturday 16th September @ The Green Room, Stockton

Kathryn Williams & Polly Paulusma
Kathryn Williams and Polly Paulusma met on a songwriting retreat, which is fitting, because they are two of the finest writers of songs that this country currently boasts. Label buddies on One Little Independent Records and firm friends, the pair have been long-time collaborators in various forms, but are finally heading out on the road together with The Big Sky Tour. For her part, Williams is a Mercury-nominated artist with 16 albums under her belt and a hurricane of critical acclaim in her sails. Polymathic by nature, she is also a novelist, a podcast host, an artist and has worked with the likes of Paul Weller, Ed Harcourt, Beth Neillson Chapman and Michele Stodart. Likewise, Paulusma is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with some of the most illustrious names in music, having provided support for dizzying heavyweights such as Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum and Marianne Faithfull, while her debut album, 2004’s Scissors In My Pocket, earned her glowing comparisons to folk matriarch Joni Mitchell. Whether it is on the banks of the Wear or the Tyne, these shows will be a treat not to be missed.
Sunday 17th September @ Old Cinema Launderette, Durham / Friday 6th October @ The Common Room, Newcastle


Image: Kathryn Williams & Polly Paulusma


Tyne Travel: The History of the North East, Why I Man? What It Means To Be A Northumbrian
Any fan of Newcastle’s comedy scene should have come across Raul Kohli and Mike Milligan by now. Kohli has been relentlessly touring the circuit with his wry, often surreal political observations on British (and particularly Northern) sensibilities; while Mike Milligan has crafted a reputation for his quick wit and sharp audience rapport as well as having written for shows such as Byker Grove and Catherine Cookson dramas.Combined, the duo make Tyne Travel, a podcast show that delves deeper into Northern identity, uprooting the history of Newcastle and its surrounding areas, digging far into the heritage of the city, the defining moments in its legacy, and its role now in the country’s ongoing theatrics. On their journey back into the past, the duo take time to shed light on how these events and experiences have moulded the very particular identity and pride that the Northumbrians have crafted for themselves. The podcast looks at the humour, masculinity and the camaraderie of the North, drawing parallels between the old and the new. They’ll be joined by Northumbrians author Dan Jackson, making it a show for any fan of Newcastle, history or comedy!
Monday 18th September @ The Stand, Newcastle

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete
We liked the idea of a flower that opens at night,” explains Lorena Quintanilla, singer and guitarist of Mexican duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, when talking about the band’s sixth album Datura. Indeed, the genus of plant from which the release takes its name is a highly poisonous, potently hallucinogenic member of the nightshade family, and a fitting moniker for a record that is as dark as it is beguiling – one that lurches and lunges between brooding post-punk grooves, propulsive blasts of industrial hip-hop, and expansive passages of psych-tinged no wave. It is, in short, a project that is wonderfully unsettling and deliciously gloomy. Alongside fellow guitarist Alberto Gonzalez, Quintanilla brings Lorelle Meets The Obsolete to The Cluny 2 on Tuesday 19th September for a show that promises to delve into a back catalogue which spans everything from the lean, bruising bombast of their latest work to the trippy, atmospheric freak-outs on which the pair so astutely cut their teeth.
Tuesday 19th September @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle

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