WEEKLY ROUND-UP (18.03.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Thick & Tight in Pink Narcissus by Rosie Powell

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.

MUSIC
Creeper
A fusion of My Chemical Romance and Sisters of Mercy, goth punk band Creeper have a creative musical style infused with horror aesthetics, intriguing lyrics and ominous undertones, and the band embrace their vampiric new vibes on their 12 Days of Night Tour at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop on Wednesday 20th March.
In October 2023, Creeper unveiled their latest album Sanguivore – an alluring vampire-themed punk rock fantasy, straight from the underbelly of Hell. Filled with religious imagery filtered through a black haze, the album is practically the diary of the Devil-stolen soul of Dracula. If The Lost Boys were to be made today, lead single Cry To Heaven, which is infused with 80s feels, would undoubtedly be on the soundtrack. Opening with the tormented cries of the underworld, the song is a twisted tale of vampiric romance; with incantations that lure the listener in, it certainly feels as though you are “under the Devil’s spell”. Though it completely contrasts the band’s 2020 album Sex, Death & The Infinite Void, which was certainly more Mother Mother in style, Sanguivore is a creative and dark era for Creeper to entrance fans and new listeners alike.
Wednesday 20th March @ Boiler Shop, Newcastle

MUSIC
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard
Fuelled by teenage obsessions with Black Sabbath and The White Stripes, the almighty christened Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard conjure up a witty racket that blends scuzzy riffs with an anything-goes approach to genre that transcends the cliches of the current guitar music stable.
Even a cursory glance at National Rust, the lead single from their upcoming LP Skinwalker, gives you a tantalising glimpse of their signature sound. Atop a four-on-the-floor stomp, the song twists and surpasses the mould, with a chorus that starts out as a long-lost out-take from Master of Reality and ends as a funk-laden Talking Heads-esque bop, with a touch of the maverick energy of Todd Rundgren along the way. Despite sounding like a stylistic hodgepodge on paper, it works brilliantly in practice. Frontman Tom Rees’s witty lyricism and elastic vocals further give Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s tunes a delightful character that gives a greater depth of personality to the kaleidoscopic sound. There’s no doubt that it’s a sound that will translate brilliantly to the live stage, and you’ve got two opportunities to witness them in all their live glory
Wednesday 20th March @ KU, Stockton and Thursday 21st March @ Independent, Sunderland

Image: Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard by Charlie Harris

STAGE
Tits & Teeth
If you’ve ever wanted to see Rasputin sharing a stage with Barbara Cartland, then award-winning dance duo Thick & Tight have you covered. A riotous mix of ballet, contemporary, drag, mime and lip-syncing, Tits & Teeth showcases the best of the duo’s sell-out shows at last year’s London International Mime Festival.
Their performance at Dance City on Thursday 21st March is a variety show that delivers performed portraits of the famous and infamous, from Twiggy to a Kathak-dancing Winston Churchill, Tits & Teeth celebrates the bizarre, the spectacular and the absurd.
Known for taking inspiration from history, politics and art, Thick & Tight co-directors Daniel Hay-Gordon and Eleanor Perry are joined by a cast of dancers as they embark on a six-month UK tour.
If this unique and surprising performance leaves you wanting more, there’s a chance to speak to the cast in a post-show talk.
Thursday 21st March @ Dance City, Newcastle

STAGE
We’re Not Going Back
A thought-provoking musical comedy which follows the fortunes of three sisters determined to set up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures. Exploring themes around the resilience of working communities, the make-and-mend fabric of family, and the power of sticking two fingers up to a government hell-bent on destruction.
Thursday 21st March @ Arts Centre Washington

MUSIC
Heather Ferrier Trio
Alt. folk artist, virtuoso accordion player and clog dancer extraordinaire Heather Ferrier and her talented band conclude their debut tour with one of the last shows at the soon-to-close Bobiks. Expect bold arrangements, finger-bending compositions and contemporary sounds inspired by tradition.
Friday 22nd March @ Bobiks, Newcastle

STAGE
Curious Cabaret
North East charity Curious Arts bring a night of riotous colour and spectacle to Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre on Friday 22nd March with Curious Cabaret. A celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture, the night will be hosted by Jonathan Mayor, a seasoned compere known for their ability to tame any audience with their razor-sharp wit and stage presence.
Promising to deliver an unforgettable night jam-packed with performances, Curious Cabaret features performances from artists from across the North East and beyond, including feminist lip sync and burlesque from Mama Rhi; multi-disciplinary theatre maker Allison Birt, whose work often plays with gender and sexuality; bold and insightful artist Maddie Morris and shapeshifting artist Arya Quinn.
A charity with bases in Hartlepool and Newcastle, Curious Arts are on a mission to give a platform to LGBTQIA+ arts, artists and communities in our region and further afield. As well as providing opportunities for audiences to discover a range of talent at nights like Curious Cabaret, the charity coordinates Queer Arts North, developing community-focused arts projects and events.
Friday 22nd March @ Hartlepool Town Hall

COMEDY
MC Hammersmith
Won’t somebody think of the middle class white male?! In a genre that has too long been woefully under-representative of this persecuted minority comes hip-hop’s saviour: one of the minds behind Epic Rap Battles of History, TikTok sensation and recipient of an MA in Linguistics from Edinburgh University, MC Hammersmith.
Using an extraordinarily specific set of skills combining linguistic masterism, improv comedy and a love for the genre of hip-hop, your host with the most promises to wow his crowd with a non-stop set of on-the-spot bespoke rap songs crafted entirely from audience suggestions when he graces the North East with shows at ARC on Saturday 23rd and The Stand on Wednesday 27th March.
MC Hammersmith’s UK tour comes fresh off the back of the release of his debut album, Mother’s Fettuccine, which features a solid mix of never-before-heard raps, scripted tracks and reissues of those spur-of-the-moment viral raps re-recorded in studio quality. Don’t expect to hear any at these shows, though – because that’s not how the world’s leading improv-comedy-gangsta-rapper rolls. Hardcore fans of MC Hammersmith could enjoy two unique shows to prove that no two performances are the same.
Saturday 23rd March @ ARC, Stockton and Wednesday 27th March @ The Stand, Newcastle

Image: MC Hammersmith

MUSIC
Cream
Electronic music fans will get a real kick out of this electrifying show, which brings influential DJs Judge Jules, Seb Fontaine, Tall Paul, K-Klass and Jon Pleased Wimmin to the Stockton stage. Expect unrivalled track selections, massive dance tunes and an atmosphere that’ll keep the dancefloor jumping all night.
Saturday 23rd March @ The Globe, Stockton

MUSIC
Chemtrails
Seeking a jolt of joy to see in the spring? Certainly, you could do far worse than an evening at The Cumberland Arms – partly as it’s one of Newcastle’s most delightful haunts whatever the season; but principally as it’ll be playing host to post-apocalyptic Mancunian hook merchants Chemtrails. An invigorating antidote to the predominantly dry, often hyper-masculine hue of the UK’s latest post-punk revival, the quartet’s maiden North East jaunt on Saturday 23rd March arrives hot on the heels of their resplendent third album, The Joy of Sects. Among the best and most radiant LPs 2024 has thus far offered, the new record arrives juiced up to its eyeballs with wicked pop barbs, devilish rhythms and liberal daubs of technicolour – a devastatingly danceable assortment of psych-garage-punk gems, primed to set the Cumberland alight and lead even the uninitiated into a succession of blissful, barely voluntary bops.
An undercard of No Teeth and Marginal Gains ought to sate anybody requiring further persuasion. Now firmly embedded stalwarts on the local circuit, the former’s unruly ascent shows no sign of losing steam; their febrile cocktail of mutinous noise and ardent stupidity taking on ever more brilliant – if no less baffling – forms. The latter’s terse post-punk, meanwhile, has cashed early momentum into a reputation among the region’s most essential newcomers. One of our must-see live acts of 2024, you’ll struggle to catch them on a better bill…
Saturday 23rd March @ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

MUSIC
Roza Terenzi
The music of Roza Terenzi (the alias of Australian musician and DJ Katie Campbell) is overflowing with upbeat, lyric-less beauty which harks back to the mid-90s rave scene – a deft amalgamation of The Prodigy and Jeremy Sylvester.
Terenzi’s music will transport you to another galaxy, a network of aural bliss, when she visits Cobalt Studios on Saturday 23rd March. Expect the crazy and unruly energy of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland encompassed in deep electronic beats – the pulsating thrum of each and every heart in the world beating in unison. The cyclic rhythm of her songs engenders trance-like feelings in the mind of the listener, transporting us to a dimension of pure sonic euphoria. An otherworldly and unapologetically feminine energy flows throughout the tapestry of sound, pulsating with the invigorating energy of thousands of ravers packed tightly on the dancefloor.
A catalogue of dance music for the divine feminine, Terenzi’s mixes are the soundtrack to reclaiming your inner power and grasping the ability to thrive in the pure, unadulterated joy of movement. It allows you to, for a brief moment, revel in the true beauty of just ‘being’.
Saturday 23rd March @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle

Image: Roza Terenzi

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