WEEKLY ROUND-UP (13.05.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: The Lottery Winners

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.

Your Aunt Fanny’s Time of the Month
Get ready to unleash your inner laugh monster; Your Aunt Fanny are about to drop their latest comedic bombshell, Time Of The Month, at The Stand on Tuesday 14th May. As the North East’s favourite girl gang takes the mic, prepare for a comedic whirlwind that have had critics raving. Your Aunt Fanny aren’t your ordinary comedy troupe; they’re a force to be reckoned with, serving up humour hotter than a freshly brewed cuppa. With their razor-sharp wit and unapologetic charm, it’s a laughter marathon where the only finish line is your abs giving out!
Time Of The Month marks the crew’s first regular comedy night, and serves to further cement the regard they’re held in. Giving audiences an opportunity to revel in their own brand spanking new material, the monthly shows will also feature sets from two stand-up pros. To round the night off, Bryan Does Food provides scran to wrap your chops around before the hilarity begins.
With reviews raving about Your Aunt Fanny’s comedic genius and inclusive atmosphere, Time Of The Month promises to be a side-splitting extravaganza. Don’t miss it.
Tuesday 14th May @ The Stand, Newcastle

Image: Your Aunt Fanny by Jessie’s Whimsical Photography

Jonny Bainbridge
The Gateshead-born artist exhibits his new collection of paintings entitled, As Within So Without. The theme examines the recurring familiar forms, mechanisms and similarities between the microcosm and the macrocosm and our place, as human beings, within it. Runs until 22nd May. 
Wednesday 15th-Wednesday 22nd May @ Bottleworks, Newcastle

North East Emerging Artist Award
No matter your discipline, making it in the art world can be a daunting prospect, and gaining a platform big enough to propel you to the next level is often untenable to emerging artists. The North East Emerging Artist Award aims to change that, by showcasing and supporting the work of early career artists and giving them a huge outlet – the National Trust’s Seaton Delaval Hall – to showcase their work.
A joint endeavour by curator Matthew Jarratt and the National Trust, the North East Emerging Artist Award is now in its third year and aims to showcase site specific contemporary art in an historic context. Following a call-out for artists in Autumn 2022, eight shortlisted proposals were voted for by visitors and three artists were presented with bursaries and mentoring to realise their ideas. From Wednesday 15th May-Sunday 23rd June, work by sculptor Rachel Blackwell, fashion and textile specialist Jacob Goff and multi-talented audio artist Wambui Hardcastle will go on display at the Northumberland venue, and once again visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite shortlisted proposals from the third year cohort at the same time.
The work displayed aims to challenge visitors’ perceptions of the National Trust site, by encouraging viewers to consider the site’s environmental importance, the work of its volunteers and to imagine the future of the hall itself, adding further delight to what is already a stunning property to visit.
Wednesday 15th May-Sunday 23rd June @ Seaton Delaval Hall.

Science Speakeasy: Fake or Fact
As Artificial Intelligence weaves its way ever deeper into the fabric of daily life, Newcastle’s Life Science Centre is poised to pull back the curtain on the technology’s darker, more deceptive underbelly with their upcoming event, Fake or Fact, taking place on Thursday 16th May. This edition of the Science Speakeasy series will spotlight the increasingly indistinct lines between reality and AI-generated falsehoods, just as the UK braces for its next general election.
Attendees will engage with a distinguished panel, including Luke Chambers, a researcher in Artificial Intelligence Law at Northumbria University, and Daniel Jolley, a social psychologist who studies conspiracy theories at Nottingham University. The experts will unpack the ramifications of deepfakes and AI-generated disinformation, particularly when it comes to their worrying impact on global politics and personal security.
This timely discussion highlights the critical need to discern the real from the artificially fabricated as AI technology becomes more embedded in everyday activities, from interacting with voice assistants to navigating systems reliant on facial recognition and automated decision-making. With the 2022 Royal Society Report underscoring the public’s struggle to identify deepfakes, this event offers a vital platform for navigating the complexities of a world increasingly dominated by AI.
Thursday 16th May @ Life Science Centre, Newcastle.

Scott Hepple & The Sun Band
After an exceptionally successful 2023, which saw the release of a brilliant debut album Ashes To Wildflowers and an extensive European tour, Newcastle psych rockers Scott Hepple And The Sun Band are set to release second album Lammas on 3rd May.
Recorded with Maximo Park’s Duncan Lloyd and mastered by Carl Saff (Sonic Youth, Ty Segall), Lammas is a heavier record than its predecessor, leaning into the group’s more abrasive influences. This is apparent on opening song Junction, which has more in common with garage music of the 1960s than it has with The Incredible String Band. The record isn’t without room for tenderness; Killing Days is a Kevin Ayers-esque ballad that displays the group at their most vulnerable. With its preceding two singles, Sun And Moon and Junction, the band will take to the road for another extensive tour of the UK and Europe, sharing the stage with renowned rock acts Love and Acid Mothers Temple in places as far flung as Switzerland and Czechia.
Friday 17th May @ The Lubber Fiend, Newcastle

Image: Scott Hepple And The Sun Band by David Hall

The Mystery Guest Tour
Embark on a musical adventure like never before as The In The Round Mystery Tour rolls into Gosforth Civic Theatre on Friday 17th May. Prepare for an evening where musical boundaries blur and creativity knows no limits. The show will feature the spellbinding talents of Americana Award winner Lady Nade, whose fusion of folk, soul, jazz and blues has had audiences and critics alike in raptures; Scottish/American Daisy Chute’s banjo, guitar and piano-based songs walk a line between traditional folk and Americana; while Cornwall’s Hollie Rogers’ powerful vocals and sincerity have won her considerable critical acclaim. As the artists perform on stage in turns, this event promises to be an eclectic fusion of melodies, harmonies and raw emotion. Adding a touch of local flavour to the mix, Newcastle’s own revered songwriters Martha Hill and Ruth Lyon join the line-up, bringing their unique sounds and stories to the stage.
From the intimate in-the-round setting, these dynamic artists will showcase their magic, inviting you to immerse yourself in a world of sound and sensation. Whether you’re drawn to soulful serenades, folk-infused melodies, or powerful ballads, there’s something for everyone to discover and savour.
Friday 17th May @ Gosforth Civic Theatre.

Endless Forms, Most Beautiful
A new body of work inspired by bestiaries and herbaria, created by studio members of Northern Print. Endless Forms, Most Beautiful brings together traditional printmaking and the natural world, a connection with a long history in the north-east. As well as a focus on ‘at risk’ species, Endless Forms, Most Beautiful will highlight and include endangered craft processes, including letterpress,
lithography and papermaking.
Friday 17th May – 13th July @ Northern Print, Newcastle

Jesterval Is Curious
Join Jesterval and Curious Arts for an unforgettable night of comedy with some of the best LGBTQIA+ comedians on the circuit. A night packed with camp fun, side-splitting jokes and witty one-liners. Hosted by Cal Halbert and featuring Louise Young, Bethany Black, Connor Read and Nicola Mantalios.
Saturday 18th May @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle

The Rifles
Indie rock aficionados are in for a treat as The Rifles gear up to electrify the stage at KU, Stockton, on Saturday 18th May. This much-anticipated gig marks their return to Teesside after nearly two decades, coinciding with the launch of their seventh album, Love Your Neighbour. The Rifles, who burst onto the scene in 2005 with their compelling garage rock ‘n’ roll vibe, reminiscent of The Jam and peers like The Kooks, continue to hold a special place in the hearts of indie music fans.
With a history rich in critical acclaim, including nods from NME and BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, the band’s journey from their debut album No Love Lost to the intimate The Rifles Unplugged, recorded at Abbey Road studios, showcases their dynamic evolution.
The Rifles are set to deliver a night to remember at KU, a venue that has witnessed performances from indie guitar icons such as Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy and many more. Adding the Chingford outfit to this illustrious list marks the latest in a long line of established names to crack the boards at the iconic Prince Regent Street venue, continuing its legacy as a pivotal stage for premier indie music acts.
Saturday 18th May @ KU, Stockton.

Drawing Attention
An incredible coup for Hartlepool Art Gallery, Drawing Attention: Emerging Artists In Dialogue is a touring exhibition presented by The British Museum which offers a broad plethora of artistic feats from their extensive archive. The gallery was chosen as one of three locations to host the exhibition across the UK, following a national application process, and will be on display at the gallery from Saturday 18th May-Saturday 24th August.
Artworks on display date as far back as the 1500s; expect to see some of the freshest, up-and-coming artists getting their first major exhibitions alongside celebrated artists including Mary Delany, Andy Warhol and Barbara Hepworth to Édouard Manet. A wide range of techniques and practices are represented, including drawings using make-up on face wipes by Sin Wai Kin, to a drawing made with chalk collected from the white cliffs of Dover by Josephine Baker. To ensure the region is rightfully represented, the Museum have collaborated with The Northern School of Art to ensure that some of the region’s upcoming artists are featured, along with a selection of works from Hartlepool’s own fine art archive (curated by the Hartlepool Young Producers), with works dating as far back as the 18th Century. By pairing all these works together, the exhibition aims to create a vivid testament to the undying staying power of artistic expression.
Saturday 18th May-Saturday 24th August @ Hartlepool Art Gallery.

Image: Kontemporary Korea by Sanhoon

Kontemporary Korea
The vibrant world of K:Dance is showcased at Dance City on Saturday 18th May with a special double-bill performance as part of the National Festival of Korean Dance 2024. Now in its seventh year, the festival works with leading artists from the Korean contemporary dance scene.
Tomorrowisnowtodayisyesterday (TiNTiY) by choreographer Sung Im Her explores the over-saturation of (social) media and sharing in society by using the ideas of skits, memes, challenges and trends. It examines the fun but also often darker undertones that can lead to alternate truths, fake news, conspiracies and a level of unease facing society. With stark staging and club-like music by duo Husk Husk, dancers move between individual and shared experiences and identities.
The second performance to feature is Flight from choreographer Cheol-in Jeong’s Melancholy Dance Company. This piece uses flight as a jumping-off point, figuratively if not quite literally, as humanity expresses itself, desiring to overcome the limits of ambition and capability. Expanding our reach through art, using the body language of its two dancers to overcome limitations together, it’s something that cannot be achieved alone.
Saturday 18th May @ Dance City, Newcastle.

The Lottery Winners
Get ready for a double dose of electrifying energy as The Lottery Winners gear up to rock the stage at two epic shows with a twist.
The Leigh-based indie pop four-piece are bringing their signature sound to Independent in Sunderland on Saturday 18th and KU in Stockton on Sunday 19th May, and will be offering music lovers an unforgettable experience with two performances on each day comprising of an acoustic set and Q&A in the afternoon and a full band evening show (the acoustic set in Stockton happens at sister venue The Social Room).
The Lottery Winners are currently taking the music scene by storm with their most recent album Anxiety Replacement Therapy, which reached number 1 in the UK album charts and saw the band collaborate with the likes of Frank Turner, Shaun Ryder and Boy George (and how could we forget their team-up with Nickelback on the now infamous Rockstar Sea Shanty from 2021). Having recently been named as one of Q Magazine’s 12 Most Exciting Acts In The World Right Now, North East music lovers get two chances to witness them in action.
Saturday 18th May @ Independent, Sunderland and Sunday 19th May @ KU/The Social Room, Stockton.

Jon Langford & The Bright Shiners
Jon Langford is an artist, writer, cartoonist, musician, anti-capital punishment campaigner and proud Welshman. He has been in at least twenty bands over his 45 years as a musician – including of course The Mekons, where this all started, but also The Three Johns, The Waco Brothers, Men Of Gwent and, fleetingly, Sisters Of Mercy. He’s probably formed another three since I wrote this.
Perhaps his latest is the wonderful Bright Shiners, who include Tamineh Gueramy, Alice Spencer, and John Szymanski, perhaps Jon’s most regular collaborator outside Mekonworld. They’ve just released their debut album Where It Really Starts on the reliably excellent Tiny Global label, to brilliant reviews, and it’s one of the best of his career, soulful and intimate and full of surprising sonic touches. It’s a gem. And thanks to Hapless Museum Worker, we get to see them on Tyneside, a Central Bar gig on Saturday 18th May which promises to be very special even by Jon’s standards.
Saturday 18th May @ The Central Bar, Gateshead.

Songs From Northern Britain
Now in its eleventh instalment, the Songs From Northern Britain all-dayer returns to Stockton’s Georgian Theatre for another offering on Saturday 18th May, replete with local icons and fledgling tunesmiths. For a tenth of the ticket cost to see [iconic American singer’s name redacted] and the [backing band of said musician redacted] at [local sports stadium name redacted] you can feast on an incredible banquet of sonic splendour.
The line-up, presented Tees Music Alliance and The Kids Are Solid Gold is a staggering one, headlined by York’s finest quintet BULL, fresh from the release of their killer LP Engines of Honey. The line-up also features the region’s foremost iconic punk supergroup Irked, poet and stand-up comedian Cooper Robson, Maxïmo Park’s six-stringer in chief Duncan Lloyd, and the likes of Twayn, Girls.Speak.French, Day Sleeper, Saint Sappho, Blackout The Arcade, Chat, Grave Faces and The Larches. The legendary Vic Galloway (of BBC Scotland and BBC 6Music) will once again be compering the day, which is guaranteed to be another iconic instalment of a vital and essential addition to the region’s festival calendar, boasting the variety and quality that reinforces the strength of the North as a powerhouse of musical talent.
Saturday 18th May @ The Georgian Theatre, Stockton.


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