WEEKLY ROUND-UP (23.10.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Tessa Boffin, The Knight, 19902023, archival inkjet print, 106.7×38.8cm, edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Courtesy the Estate of Tessa Boffin and the Gupta+Singh Archive

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

Asking For It
A hard-hitting but essential new exhibition from photographer Jayne Jackson gets a couple of airings in Newcastle this month, taking place as part of a social action and research project into sexual violence, law and photographic artwork. Based on multiple case studies, the images highlight victim blaming in cases of sexual violence through the clever use of historical styling and ‘mugshot’ format. Using make-up artists, actors and historical photographic techniques, Jayne – who also works as a commercial photographer – created a series of 23 ‘mugshots’ each representing a different decade and each depicting a reason to victim-blame, for example ‘Flirted’, ‘Wore Red’, or ‘Swiped Right’. Jayne Jackson said: “My initial inspiration for ‘Asking for It’ originated from my disbelief on hearing a report on the suicide of a young woman following the acquittal of her alleged rapist. During the trial she was made to hold up her underwear three times. The fact that the victim was being blamed, shamed and humiliated for an assault that she had allegedly suffered was haunting and formed the catalyst for the project. I wanted to create images that engaged wider audiences and invited the viewer to question the aspect of blame.”
Thursday 26th October-Thursday 9th November @ City Library, Newcastle & Monday 30th October-Sunday 12th November @ Long Gallery, Newcastle University

Unlimited Intimacies
Seeing the world in new lights is arguably one of the most fascinating and beautiful purposes of art. This is the reality which is foregrounding hugely inspirational conversations on LGBTQ+ sexuality in an exhibition at Gateshead’s Vane Gallery. Entitled Unlimited Intimacies, this is a show which confidently marks a way forward towards an open, equal society, vocalising Queer identity and visibility. In a gathering of works by UK and international artists, the exhibition uses photographic and documentary artforms to present ground-breaking perspectives, from The Knight’s Move by renowned photographer Tessa Boffin, a piece which reimagines historical and mythological figures as lesbian protagonists, to Phyllis Christopher’s pioneering and radically sensuous depiction of skin and bodily fluids. Of similar prestige is Sunil Gupta’s work, Cruising Delhi In The 80s, a film in conversation with the Indian art historian and gay rights activist Saleem Kidwai, as well as Stuart Linden Rhodes’ exploration into Queer club culture in the 1990s, in context with the HIV/AIDS pandemic and discriminatory laws paramount at the time.
Thursday 26th October-Saturday 18th November @ Vane Gallery, Gateshead

The Umlauts
This “trans-European, multi-lingual, art-school, post-punk, techno-inspired, über-group/circus-troop/diaeresis” (their words) seem at once like the latest in a vintage line of esoteric art pop experimentalists and an electrifying phenomenon unto themselves. Their metamorphosis is yet to be crystallised over a full studio album, but new release Slags nevertheless provides a tantalising snapshot, collecting the best of their Ü and Another Fact EPs alongside a smattering of fresh material.
Support comes from SHEIVA, an exciting, non-conformist artist whose experiences as a queer Iranian born and bred in South East London coalesce for what’s sure to be an intriguing, genre-defying support slot.

Thursday 26th October @ Zerox, Newcastle

Image: The Umlauts by Neil R Thomson

Ria Lina
It’s rather shocking after her years in the industry that Riawakening is Ria Lina’s debut tour. With years performing on the circuit, Ria will have appeared on all your favourite panel shows, from Richard Osman’s House Of Game to QI, Mock The Week, Live at The Apollo and even a hosting stint on Pointless.
Ria’s tour is a very open and provocative dissection of the past few years. Before becoming a comedian, Ria’s life was that of a scientist and the comic is now turning this forensic gaze towards the pandemic, as well as a collection of turning points in her life. As a Filipino comic, Ria’s comedy addresses her experiences in the industry and in life, as well as the importance of diversity, and the need to accept and evolve. The tour tackles her divorce, her ventures into online dating, the meaning of womanhood, motherhood and femininity. 
Friday 27th October @ The Stand, Newcastle

Hark! The Sound of Stories
Music inspired by stories and poems, interspersed with readings. The Shining Levels will play songs from their atmospheric, sublime and spooky album The Silence of The Girls, based on Pat Barker’s award-winning novel, as well as new music based on Benjamin Myers’ Cuddy. Plus there’s eerie and emotive sounds from Frankie Archer.
Crown Street Library, Darlington
Friday 27th October @ Crown Street Library, Darlington

All Structures Align
A fresh outfit comprised of familiar faces, All Structures Align marks a welcome musical reunion for Lincoln-based brothers Adam and Tim Ineson – who older readers may recall as two-thirds of cult ‘90s rockers Nub. Issued via Wrong Speed Records, last year’s twin full-lengths – Details and Drawings, and Distance and Departure – showcased a notably revised sonic framework, drawn from the weightlessness, patience and dynamic structures of post-rock as opposed to the full-blooded fuzz of their nascent works. With an extended line-up featuring seasoned stalwarts Oli Heffernan (Ivan the Tolerable) and Neil Turpin (Bilge Pump, Objections), All Structures Align make their North East debut heading a stacked bill curated by ever-reliable promoter Endless Window.
Making the short trip up from Teesside, Onlooker were a favourite on the region’s punk and hardcore circuits before recruiting Will Reyment, yet the vocalist’s addition has elevated their taut, punchy and fiercely urgent garage attack to an entirely new level. Cambridgeshire duo Self Love, meanwhile, offer short, sharp jabs of minimalist nihilism, interspersing bass and drum savagery with occasional spurts of synth melody, while Byker newcomers Zilch Patrol (who you can read all about in this issue’s interview) are on hand to open proceedings with cuts from their freshly minted eponymous album. Seeking an offbeat rock show? Look no further!

Saturday 28th October @ The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

Image: All Structures Align

Mandy, Indiana
Experimental noise band Mandy, Indiana are a UK/French, Berlin-based four-piece who have tethered the harsher, more industrial sounds of their early singles and EPs from 2019 and coalesced their noises and lyrical obsessions into the much-lauded debut album i’ve seen a way, released in May this year.
Live, they produce a gnarled mix of dance music beats and amplified sounds with repetitive vocals which sound simplistic, precise and distorted. Their set up is simple(ish); their sound is part NIN, art installation, samples, barked or cooed vocals and abrasive Neubauten thrashing, swimming around in an aural soup of drones. The band’s songs evoke feelings, emotions and textures rather than traditional narrative thoughts – it can be chaotic, visceral and primal. They ebb and flow and transform as each gig progresses making every live show a unique experience.
Sunday 29th October @ Zerox, Newcastle

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