WEEKLY ROUND-UP (25.09.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Image: Sammy Dobson

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.

Storylines Live
Live poetry, songs and films from award-winning poets, songwriters and filmmakers all about
the passengers who travel today along the world’s first public passenger railway. Performers include Lizzie Lovejoy, Carmen Marcus, Rowan McCabe, Sam Slatcher and Lonely Tower Film & Media.
Wednesday 27th September @ The Forum Music Centre, Darlington

Charlie Dore
Venerated singer-songwriter Charlie Dore will be stopping by The Old Cinema Launderette, Durham on her biggest UK tour for over 4 years. The tour sees the celebrated hit-writer for Tina Turner, Celine Dion, George Harrison, Lisa Stansfield and Jimmy Nail perform songs from her career spanning 10 genre-defying albums.
Wednesday 27th September @ The Old Cinema Launderette, Durham

If you’ve ever wondered what a poet laureate does in between writing verses for royal births, weddings and funerals then head over to Pop Recs on Wednesday 27th September to witness the musical ‘side gig’ of Simon Armitage, joined by singer-songwriter Richard Walters and multi-instrumentalist and producer Patrick Pearson.
You may already know Armitage; his lugubrious Yorkshire brogue can be found all over various media and this isn’t his first musical venture. His tone and writing conjure up the kitchen sink realism evoked the likes of Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, Alan Bennett or even Morrissey’s seemingly benign and faux boring lyricism. It’s the seemingly unremarkable made special and it works so well backed by the sparse but essential accompaniment of his bandmates. That droll vocal delivery also has a lineage to someone like Paul Heaton, and they both share that similar interest in word play and introspection too.
Expanding Armitage’s poetic muse, LYR (Land Yacht Regatta) is augmented with other musicians and voices that enhance its post-rock sound. On record they’re shaded in a darker hue, gloomier, rainy. They evoke a mis-en-scene for brooding self-reflection or imparting age-old wisdom. In the room however, LYR bring a levity and celebratory tone amongst all the rounded vowels and lushly evoked images so bag your ticket fast.
Wednesday 27th September @ Pop Recs Ltd., Sunderland

Funny Haha Comedy (R)Evolution
Presented by disabled-led production company Little Cog, this evening of radical acts will see eight disabled women telling ‘twisted tales’ of their experiences. Having come together for mutual support during lockdown, these women from across the country have honed and perfected their routines which span a range of comedy forms.
Wednesday 27th September @ ARC, Stockton

Image: Vici Wreford-Sinnott, who performs at Funny Haha Comedy (R)Evolution

Eating Myself
Pepa Duarte’s debut production is a full-sensory experience which explores womanhood, body image and tradition. The traditional flavours of the Peruvian native’s cuisine were forbidden in her home, so Pepa found herself on a journey of discovery, sharing food with a new family around a new table.
Wednesday 27th-Thursday 28th September @ Northern Stage, Newcastle

The Cabaret Club: Sammy Dobson
Part of Bishop Auckland’s Cabaret Club, which takes place after the monthly street food festival, Sammy Dobson’s show What Would The Jazz Gimp Do? is a remarkable show about sex, death and joy, transcending the boundaries of comedy to effortlessly blend elements of theatre and song.
Friday 29th September @ Mrs M’s, Bishop Auckland

Markus Birdman
Skilful storyteller Markus Birdman got to the semi-finals of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, making a sizeable impression on both the judges and audience. After his nomination for the 2023 Chortle Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Birdman is throwing himself back on stage with a show that bluntly opens with the mention of his stroke in 2021, and subsequently going into detail on the comedian’s experience with the medical condition. Discussing the lack of visitors that he was allowed, to losing half his eyesight and an embarrassing confrontation with another blind man, Birdman’s goal is not to make you feel pity, but to deliver a feeling of awe and admiration – on top giving the audience many laughs.
Birdman’s performance has been described as respectful and a torrent of formidable laughs, with a gripping story to underpin it. “I have had a unique experience about a topic, often sniggered over,” he comments, “I’m keen to make you laugh, but also to raise a little awareness. Well done me! (Ahem!)”
Friday 29th September @ The Witham, Barnard Castle

The Caper
Try a little bit of everything at The Caper, where every cultural whim is catered for. There’s stand-up comedy from John Scott, Lee Kyle, Kelly Rickard and Al Stevenson, live music courtesy of The King Bees, Sandra’s Wedding and Jen Dixon, plus live art, salsa dancing, classic movie screenings, vintage shopping, a silent disco and street food from Egyptian Home Cooking, The Big Bahn Vietnamese and Dosa Kitchen.
Friday 29th September @ BALTIC, Gateshead

Afriquoi & Kancho Club
Expect a night of riotous fun with an uplifting fusion of African music and live electronics. Afriquoi fuse Congolese guitar and Gambian kora virtuosity with electronic sensibilities, resulting in Afro-house tunes that have become famous in clubs all over the world. Newcastle’s own party bringers Kancho Club seal with deal with a supporting DJ set which incorporates live sax and percussion.
Friday 29th September @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle

Image: Afriquoi

Dragged Up / Pound Land / Lovely Wife
A triple bill of loud and lovely music shakes the foundations of Little Buildings this Saturday, courtesy of Morpeth-based label, Cruel Nature.
Heading up the bill is Dragged Up, an off-kilter psych-garage proto-punk band formed in late 2018, with members from Trembling Bells, Vom, The Owsley Sunshine and Las Mitras. The band released their EP Hex Domestic with Cruel Nature in early September.
Joining them is Pound Land, who have released four albums with Cruel Nature, their latest, Violence, coming out at the end of this month.  The band aggressively push lyrical themes relating to corporate hegemony, business culture, mainstream media influence, automation, class polarisation and economic austerity, against a backdrop of nineties alt-metal industrial abstracted by psych doom and post-punk.
Kicking off proceedings is Newcastle’s Lovely Wife who play an absurd mix of sludgy riffs, braying horn and horrible noises.
Saturday 30th September @ Little Buildings, Newcastle

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