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ISSUE172

MAY21

THE SHOOTING OF YVA

FREE

RELIABLYINFORMED

MUNRO WOMEN ARE MINT


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PREVIEWS 4 | HIGHLIGHTS Our pick of the best events for May

6 | MAY PREVIEWS ISSUE172

MAY21

FREE

RELIABLYINFORMED

New releases from Paul Handyside, Arcade Skies, Nomad Anthem and Ten Eighty Trees; live shows courtesy of Honeyflux, Ocean Floor, Finn Forster, Sophia, Hannah White, Hivemind and more; new art exhibitions at Laing Art Gallery, The Auxiliary and Eston Arts Centre; live comedy courtesy of Patrick Monahan; dance films, installations, online theatre and loads more!

INTERVIEWS 18 | MUNRO 19 | THE SHOOTING OF 20 | NARC. TV

The second series of our magazine-style programmes featuring live performances and interviews from local artists kicks off on YouTube this month, co-producers and presenters Claire Dupree and David Saunders explain what’s coming up

22 | MAN POWER 23 | LISTEN IN

Finding the perfect spot to work outdoors is no mean feat. I discovered this after spending far too long positioning and repositioning my laptop in the shade, while trying to keep my body in the warmth of the sun at the same time. It’s only just occurred to me that I can work outside, I’m not sure why it took so long, but was possibly brought on by the increasing bang-head-against-wall mania I was experiencing in my office – that and the fact the room seems to get colder as the temperature outside gets warmer. Anyhoo, here I am, half in sun half in shade (ish) and attempting to fight down the rising panic that I have too much work to do and not enough time to do it in – same as it ever was. I mustn’t (although do) complain though, as all my work is fun stuff, particularly the double weekend of filming for series two of NARC. TV, which launches on Thursday 13th May. As always, it’s been a joy to work with filmmaker Ste Bardgett and co-producer and web editor David Saunders to bring you, dear Constant Readers, six programmes packed with exciting live performances and in-depth interviews with some of the finest bands and artists in the North East, filmed in venues across the region. We had a real blast, find out more about who’s performing within these very pages…

24 | THATWHICHCRAWLS 25 | YVA 26 | MWB 27 | WOMEN ARE MINT 28 | WYLDEST REVIEWS

Editor Claire Dupree info@narcmedia.com Website David Saunders narcmagazineonline@gmail.com Creative El Roboto Advertising Claire Dupree info@narcmedia.com

Cover Image Art Mouse Contributors Paul Broadhead / Jonathan Coll / Mark CorcoranLettice / Laura Doyle / Lee Fisher / James Hattersley / Lee Hammond / Louise Henry / Jonathan Horner / Tracy Hyman / Paul Jeffrey / Jason Jones / Beverley Knight / Charlie Mansergh / Jay Moussa-Mann / Kate Murphy / Robert Nichols / Michael O’Neill / Ikenna Offor / Stephen Oliver / Nicola Owen / Paul Ray / Damian Robinson / Elodie A Roy / Conor Roy / David Saunders / Steve Spithray / Linsey Teggert / Robin Webb / Ali Welford / Maria Winter / Cameron Wright

Stay social, connect with us NARC.magazine @narc_magazine @narcmagazine NARCmagazineTV

29 | DEMOS Demo reviews of 451Pyro, Sarah Johnsone, Nat Berry, Adam George Brown and JoySmith

30 | TRACKS Reviews of singles and EPs by local artists including Half, McCormick, Tom Hancock, Paige Temperley, Philip Johnathan, Scott Free, Jister, Trunky Juno, Psychic Death, He Knows She Knows, Jack Fox and Lazy Baker

32 | ALBUMS Reviews of albums by St. Vincent, The Shooting Of, Soiled/Marcus H, Kele, Reigning Sound, Sons of Kemet, Nadja, Mdou Moctar, FACS, TEKE::TEKE, Yoo Doo Right, PACKS, Roddy Woomble, Lambchop, Band of Holy Joy, Squid, The Chills, Lou Barlow, Iceage, Buffet Lunch and Rose City Band

36 | MIXTAPE NARC. Magazine, Tel: 07748 907 914 Email: info@narcmedia.com Web: www.narcmagazine.com Published monthly by NARC. Media. Printed by Reach Printing Services, Middlesbrough. Distributed by CSGN All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publishers. The opinions expressed in NARC. belong to the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of NARC. or its staff. NARC. welcomes ideas and contributions but can assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations

Rob Heron, events manager at The Globe in Newcastle and all-round musical maestro, gives us an insight into his record collection

Next Issue Out 27th May

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PREVIEWS MAY’S DIVERSIONS INCLUDE IN THE FLESH GIGS (!), ON-SCREEN THEATRE, LIVESTREAMED COMEDY AND BRAND NEW ART EXHIBITIONS. ENJOY!

COMEDY

FRIDAY 14

DAVID HADINGHAM Comedy cohorts Felt Nowt continue with their mission to bring fresh faces and established talent to your screens, and their May roster is packed with superb talent. Among the many highlights is a set from Newcastle comic David Hadingham, who presents his often warped view of everyday life with a gravel-voiced delivery and inimitable facial contortions. Felt Nowt Online www.feltnowt.co.uk

ART & LIT

MONDAY 3

STAGE

HOT NEW IT III

Curatorial duo Spaghetti Factory premiere their latest exhibition outside on the streets of Sunderland. Eve Cromwell and Jenny McNamara’s final collaboration with Sunderland Culture and the city’s Museum & Winter Gardens, Hot New It III has been created by Sunderland-born artist Matthew Dowell, inspired by the area he grew up in and its changing identity. Billboard on Silksworth Row, Sunderland www.sunderlandculture.org.uk

STAGE

WEDNESDAY 5

ANTIGONE

Talented BA (Hons) Acting For Stage & Screen students from The Northern School of Art present an adaptation of Greek tragedy Antigone by Sophocles. Concerned with themes around the place of the individual within society, the adaptation draws links with current ideas around media and democracy. Also on Thursday 6th. ARC, Stockton (Online) www.arconline.co.uk

COMEDY

FRIDAY 7

JULIE GRADY THOMAS

A livestreamed show from her house to yours, adopted Geordie Julie Grady Thomas presents her debut solo show. In Bad Pancake, Julie explores failure, forgiveness, domestic violence and isolation, in a show which manages to be both uplifting and charming, delivered in her captivating style. Felt Nowt Online www.feltnowt.co.uk

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ART & LIT

WEDNESDAY 19

SIMON PELL Consumed with the visual power of colour,

MONDAY 10 MACHO Hit The Ground Running Dance

Theatre Company explore why and how society fails to adequately address men’s mental health problems and the stigma surrounding men’s vulnerabilities and emotional well-being. MACHO is a digital journey into 21st Century masculinity, performed by two male dancers and filmed at Easington Social Welfare Club. Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company Online www.youtube.com/user/ MrDancer75

Teesdale artist Simon Pell’s work features semi-abstract landscape paintings based around photos taken while out walking on Teesdale’s hills and fells, using layers of acrylic paint and glazes, dribble, spatter, splash and dry-brush techniques. Runs until 12th June. The Witham, Barnard Castle www.thewitham.org.uk

ART & LIT

Artwork by Mark Carr

WEDNESDAY 19 MUSIC

FRIDAY 14

HOLLY & THE REIVERS

Before the venue throw open their doors and welcome ‘in real life’ gigs again, watch what promises to be a real cracker of a show from your sofa. Fusing storytelling both old and new with traditional styles and their own compositions, Holly & The Reivers’ sound is special indeed. The Globe, Newcastle (Online) www.facebook.com/hollyclarkemusic

BALTIC OPEN SUBMISSION The ambitious exhibition which

presents work by 150 artists is finally revealed as BALTIC opens to the public. A celebration of local talent and storytelling, the exhibition is a collective expression from the beating heart of the North East, giving visibility to individuals and collectives both new and familiar. Until 5th September. BALTIC, Gateshead www.baltic.art


WHATS ON

MAY HIGHLIGHTS ART & LIT

MUSIC

FRIDAY 21

MUSIC

THURSDAY 27

SWARM #1 FLORAL DETECTIVES/4 Broadcast via Repeater Radio, The Old Police House crew present a night of underground MILE DRIVE sights and sounds as only they know how. Untitled (Facepalm) 2015 by Camara Taylor

WEDNESDAY 19 NEWBRIDGE PROJECT EXHIBITION Gateshead’s NewBridge Project are

Amongst the fray are Olivia Furey, who offers up ‘anti-domesticitationist our-future-hercluttercore’, and Archipelago musician Faye MacCalman whose compositions via saxophone and clarinet promise to be eyeand mind-opening. Online via TOPH www.repeater-radio.com

MUSIC

delighted to be re-opening to the public with an exhibition of new commissions by Camara Taylor (Glasgow), Meera Shakti Osborne (London) and Rene McBrearty (Gateshead/Amsterdam), curated by Calum Bayne (Newcastle/ Manchester). Always a haven of creativity, with ideas spilling out of every corner, any trip to NewBridge is guaranteed to be eye-opening. NewBridge Project, Gateshead www.thenewbridgeproject.com

Artwork by Nico Widerberg

THURSDAY 20 FRANS & NICO WIDERBERG Contemporary commercial gallery

Gallagher & Turner celebrate their reopening with a joint exhibition by internationally distinguished artists Frans and Nico Widerberg. Working across disciplines including sculpture, painting and printmaking, the Norwegian artists are no strangers to Newcastle, with Frans’ Five Figure arm-less sculptures standing proudly in Northumbria University’s campus. Runs until 17th July. Gallagher & Turner, Newcastle www.gallagherandturner.co.uk

COMEDY

THURSDAY 27 THE SUGGESTIBLES

SUNDAY 23

ART & LIT

A couple of great local acts will add a welcome punch to your Thursday evening. Darlington rockers Floral Detectives bring catchy guitar-driven tunes with rock ‘n’ roll influences to the table, while female-fronted emo rockers 4 Mile Drive add a dose of punky rebellion. The Forum Music Centre, Darlington www.theforumonline.co.uk

HELEN MCCOOKERYBOOK ‘Boro promoters Big Figure

Venerable comedy club The Stand valiantly programmed some outdoor shows last year, but this will (hopefully) be the first back in the venue. And what a show to kick off with; improv maestros The Suggestibles will have you rolling in the aisles (carefully distanced from your fellow attendees, of course). The Stand, Newcastle www.thestand.co.uk

MUSIC

Promotions bring the idiosyncratic sounds of Peel favourite Helen McCookerybook to Stockton. With a heritage rooted in punk, and possessing a songwriting talent which has earned her praise over forty decades, she always produces a spellbinding show. Support comes from Charlotte Grayson and McCormick. NE Volume Music Bar, Stockton www.mccookerybook.com Image by Ben Meadows

MUSIC

SUNDAY 23

NADEDJA Hurrah for the return of Bobik’s Sunday

afternoon shows! The wonderfully chilled sounds of Brazilian-born, Newcastle-based alt. pop artist Nadedja has Sunday afternoon vibes aplenty, thanks to her honeyed vocals and lush R&B-inflected soulful style. Expect honest, melody-driven musings on transformation and self-growth. Bobik’s, Newcastle www.nadedja.com

FRIDAY 28 MARK MORRISS The Bluetones’ breezy indie pop holds

a special place in the hearts of those who spent their formative years drinking alcoholic lemonade in municipal parks during the mid-nineties. Eternally witty frontman Mark Morriss is always a delight, both for his solo songs as well as those nostalgic tunes. Also at KU Bar, Stockton on Saturday 29th. The Peacock, Sunderland www.markmorrissmusic.co.uk

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PREVIEWS

Hannah White

MUSIC

HANNAH WHITE @ BOBIK’S

Words: Laura Doyle What if I told you that one of the hottest voices on the Americana music scene was a UK-born singer songwriter backed up by a Nordic band? It turns out this less than typical combination makes for a winning formula: Hannah White’s latest album, Hannah White and The Nordic Connections, has just been nominated for UK Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association Awards. It looks like lockdown has eased just in time for the ensemble, as it means they can now get out on the road in support of their 2020 accoladed release, with a show coming up at Newcastle’s Bobik’s on Friday 28th May. While there definitely hasn’t been enough time for her most recent tunes to go stale, White has still elected to freshen up her set list with a brand new song, Walk Beside Me. She got sick of the suffering and injustice in the world, and took it upon herself to make sense of our social mess by advocating love and support for our fellow humans. If Americana is truly born out of grassroots musical movements, then it only makes sense that the genre should pay respect to its humble

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origins and advocate for a slice of peace for everyone. Going forward, this may well be an essential mindset to survive the last leg of this seemingly never ending time of uncertainty. Hannah White plays Bobik’s, Newcastle on Friday 28th May www.hannahwhitemusic.com

ART & LIT

CHALLENGING CONVENTION @ LAING ART GALLERY

Words: Claire Dupree A new exhibition at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery aims to shine a spotlight on four inspirational female artists from the 20th Century whose work had a significant impact on the profile of women artists within traditional institutions and in the public eye. The works of Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), Laura Knight (1877-1970), Gwen John (1876-1939) and Dod Procter (1890-1972) reflected the almost constant struggle to challenge the constraints of the patriarchal society they were born into in a time of radical change, burgeoning modernism and increasing emancipation. Challenging Convention takes a deep-dive into

the work of these four extraordinary women, demonstrating the changing attitudes of their times, and the evolving emotional and intellectual landscapes. “Challenging Convention celebrates four extraordinary women who pursued artistic careers with determination and imagination,” says Lizzie Jacklin, Keeper of Art at the Laing Art Gallery. “From quietly expressive interior scenes to bold experiments with colour and form, the paintings on display highlight the remarkable achievements of four of Britain’s most important early twentieth century artists.” Julie Milne, Chief Curator of the Laing, Hatton and Shipley Art Galleries, says: “Issues of gender equality will have a particular resonance for audiences at a time where challenges of economic hardship, unstable work and child care caused by the pandemic are disproportionally affecting UK women.” Running as a companion exhibition at the gallery, WOW: Women Only Works on Paper features over 50 watercolours and pastels, etchings and screenprints by accomplished and acclaimed female artists working in the first part of the 20th Century. Challenging Convention is at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle from Monday 17th May-Saturday 21st August www.laingartgallery.org.uk


OCTOBER HIGHLIGHTS

PREVIEWS

Image by Lang Shot Photography

MUSIC

NOMAD ANTHEM RELEASE NEW SINGLE, GOOD INTENTIONS

Words: Laura Doyle The worst time to start a new music project was probably in 2019. Just as you got ready to unleash your sound, the entire world collectively went into hibernation for practically a year. (Unless you’re somehow reading this

from New Zealand, in which case I hope you’re having a wonderful time. Lucky sods.) For us in the North East, we have had to remain cautiously optimistic. Our music scene might have felt competitively sleepy, but like a swan gliding across a lake, our feet have been desperately paddling to stay afloat. Nomad Anthem are amongst those artists doing their absolute best to prepare us for the next wave of new music. Unfortunately formed right before the pandemic hit, they haven’t been dissuaded from their dreams: they’re one of those bands who actually put out music in the ‘uncertain times’. They show no signs of

slowing down for 2021, having already dropped one single in January with another hot on its heels this month. What’s more, new track Good Intentions lives up to its name with collabs from other North East bands One Million Motors, Tired of Fighting and Filthy Filthy, culminating in a pop punk exploration of dysfunctional relationships that serves as unintentional couples therapy. How’s that for nominative determinism? Nomad Anthem release Good Intentions on 7th May www.facebook.com/nomadanthem

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PREVIEWS

Abnorm

MUSIC

GIGS @ INDEPENDENT, SUNDERLAND

Words: Claire Dupree The home of the blue pint has had much to celebrate over the last few months, despite the dire circumstances. Having been successful in their Culture Recovery Fund application and able to give the venue a lick of paint and put in new sound and lighting systems, Sunderland’s Independent have kept audiences entertained with online performances over the last few months, and now they’re gearing up to welcome punters back to what they do best: in person live shows. The Mackems don’t mess about with their first two shows, choosing a quartet of bands who are certain to deliver high velocity live performances. Friday 28th will see alt. rock supergroup Kickin’ Lillies bring their riff-heavy show, with support from female-fronted quintet ABNORM, whose thrillingly raw rock sound has

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seen them reap plaudits from across the board. Sunderland four-piece Hivemind prepare their dynamic pop rock on Saturday 29th, when they’ll be supported by Sunkings, who bring a melodic heavy rock sound to proceedings. All shows will be seated and socially distanced, but that won’t stop the atmosphere being electric and the performances red hot. www.independentsunderland.com

MUSIC

PAUL HANDYSIDE RELEASES NEW ALBUM, LOVELESS TOWN

Words: Maria Winter Formerly of 80s indie darlings Hurrah!, folk and roots songwriter Paul Handyside is releasing his new album, Loveless Town this month – a fusion of pop and folk-tinged Americana. The

album is a delicious genre blend, featuring long time companions Dave Porthouse on double bass and melodeon, and producer Rob Tickell on guitar and dobro. As a country music fan, those loveable flavours shine through, particularly prominent in the songs Loveless Town and New Frontier. With more of a bluegrass tone, Not In My Name gives the listener more of an upbeat feel. Paul remains true to his roots however, with a nod towards indie rock in Lord, Show Yourself. Providing a variety of moods, styles and stories, the music successfully keeps the listener on their toes. Along with his beloved eighties band, Paul has also previously released two albums with alt. country rockers Bronze before pursuing a solo career in 2006. Loveless Town will continue his streak of releases, and it definitely won’t disappoint. Paul Handyside releases Loveless Town on 21st May www.paulhandyside.com


PREVIEWS

Sophia by Eye Of The Tyne

MUSIC

SOPHIA AND ALFIE BLUE @ BASE CAMP

Words: Tracy Hyman A new night of stripped back performances launches on Friday 28th May at Base Camp in Middlesbrough. A socially distanced, intimate showcase of some of the region’s freshest emerging talents, the Pindrop events (not to be confused with the Hartlepool-based promoter)

provide an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the art of music in its purest form. The first instalment sees local acts Sophia and Alfie Blue take to the stage. Sophia, with her humble and emotional brand of pop music, has been tipped as one to watch for 2021 by BBC Introducing in the North East, and it’s easy to see why. Her captivating style has sparked the imagination of her growing fanbase and cemented her firmly on the radar of the region’s taste makers. Alfie Blue is the lead singer of local favourites Ocean Floor, and his new project sees him bring bright, indie pop songs and dreamy sounds for fans of Mac Demarco, Dayglow and

Baby Pablo. Pindrop continues weekly on Fridays in June until the return of non-socially distanced shows later that month (fingers crossed), with acts slated to perform including Phibi and Scrannabis (Friday 4th), Dressed Like Wolves and Epilogues (Friday 11th), and Nel Unlit and Bloody Death (Friday 18th June). Sophia and Alfie Blue play Base Camp, Middlesbrough on Friday 28th May www.basecampboro.co.uk

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PREVIEWS

Hannah Goudie-Hunter and Liam Scarth in Climate Change Catastrophe! by Lindsay Duncanson

FILM

CAP-A-PIE RELEASE CLIMATE CHANGE CATASTROPHE! ONLINE SERIES Words: Maria Winter North East theatre company Cap-a-Pie have embarked on a cross-generational campaign to bring the message of climate change to audiences with their new six-part online series, Climate Change Catastrophe!, available on YouTube from Wednesday 12th May. Made by children for grown-ups, the series will be an eye-opening experience addressing the relevant issues of climate change, all from the perspectives of the next generation. Teaming up with Newcastle University climate scientists and engineers, singer-songwriter Katie Doherty and Cap-a-Pie engaged primary school children to provide encouraging perspectives on a subject that is incredibly important. Seeing the imaginative ideas devised by these kids come to life will be both entertaining and heart-warming – and you might learn a whole lot more about climate change than you knew before.

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Cap-a-Pie’s artistic director Brad McCormik says: “It’s one of the biggest issues of our time and will affect us all, but it’s the younger generation who will bear the brunt so we felt it would be interesting and useful to get their perspectives and to broaden their understanding of climate science and engineering solutions from people with real expertise.” Climate Change Catastrophe! will be available via Cap-a-Pie’s YouTube channel from Wednesday 12th May www.cap-a-pie.co.uk/climate-changecatastrophe

MUSIC

DYSKINETIC & SL WALKINSHAW @ SAGE GATESHEAD ONLINE

Words: Claire Dupree Sage Gateshead continue their online meanderings with another series of New Beginnings shows this month, livestreamed from the venue. Royal Northern Sinfonia return for two new shows on Friday 14th and Friday 28th May, and funk and soul maestros Smoove

& Turrell perform live from the venue on Friday 7th May. Of particular note for alternative music lovers will be a double helping of sonic adventures from songwriter Kris Halpin and composer and musician SL Walkinshaw on Friday 21st May. Halpin, who performs under the moniker Dyskinetic, is a disabled musician who uses Imogen Heap’s ground-breaking MiMu Gloves to create music in the space between electronic and rock, using hand gestures and futuristic technology. Influenced by the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork and Deftones, his sound is created in collaboration with choreographer Ayaka Takai, and uses the gloves to generate music based on natural movements rather than treating them as an ‘instrument’ to play. Providing a supporting slot will be Ten Sticks musician and composer SL Walkinshaw, whose recently released debut album uses field recordings, analogue ambience and acoustic instruments to create an ambient soundscape. Dyskinetic and SL Walkinshaw perform livestreamed sets via Sage Gateshead on Friday 21st May www.sagegateshead.com


PREVIEWS

Steven, In This Place 2016-17

ART & LIT

MARGARET MITCHELL @ ESTON ARTS CENTRE

Words: Beverley Knight Award-winning Scottish photographer Margaret Mitchell takes the lead in the reopening of Eston Arts Centre with mindfully selected pieces from not one but two of her collections: Family (1994) and In This Place (2016), at her exhibition which takes place from Thursday 20th May-Saturday 12th June.

Three generations of her extended families present their narratives, interlinked with political and personal issues probing the audience to consider options in life and what they believe is set in stone for their destiny. Mitchell speaks of her work: “I want the viewer to ask themselves a question about how society operates, how choice is related to opportunity and environment. To see that sometimes people choose what they do because really, not much has been offered in the first place.” Margaret’s late sister Andrea and her three children are the focus of Family. They lived in

an area constantly placed in the highest 5% of government statistics for multiple elements of deprivation, while In This Place returns to the three children – now parents and adults themselves – to see what their future held. Still housed in a deprived neighbourhood a short bus ride away, what decisions could they honestly make and were they able to affect their destiny? Margaret Mitchell exhibits Family and In This Place at Eston Arts Centre from Thursday 20th May-Saturday 12th June www.margaretmitchell.co.uk

Hit the Ground Running Dance Theatre Company

26 June 2021 – Online Premiere £9.50 / £8 students/concessions

dancecity.co.uk / 0191 261 0505

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PREVIEWS

Spatial Narratives by Loucey Bain

ART & LIT

LOUCEY BAIN: SPACIAL NARRATIVES @ THE AUXILIARY

Words: Nicola Owen The Auxiliary in Middlesbrough hosts its first physical exhibition since September 2020 with Spatial Narratives by Teesside-based artist Loucey Bain. Spatial Narratives marks Bain’s first solo exhibition and brings together over a year of embodied research and work through an ethnographic turn as an artist, studio holder and gallery assistant within The Auxiliary Project Space. For Spatial Narratives, Bain will present a large installation and a series of drawings. Loucey notes: “You could say this work is my reaction to a particular moment in history, which has led to a new way of working and thinking. It’s a creation of work about a specific place at a specific point in time.”

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The exhibition also coincides with The Auxiliary’s forth anniversary as an organisation and Liam Slevin, director of The Auxiliary Project Space and the exhibition’s curator, is excited to be hosting Loucey’s art. “This work speaks the material language of the Auxiliary; literally, it’s made of the things we’ve built it with; plasterboard, plywood, dropped screw bits, nails, tacks, the very stuff that laid the foundation for the amazing community of artists and makers we’ve become. Loucey’s subtle, almost delicate drawings visualise and capture that journey perfectly and to be reopening after such a tough year with this powerful exhibition is amazing.” Spatial Narratives by Loucey Bain opens at The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough on Friday 21st May www.theauxiliary.co.uk

MUSIC

FINN FORSTER @ THE GLOBE, NEWCASTLE Words: Steve Spithray

As a natural extension of his hugely successful lockdown sessions and livestreams (including the release of his debut five-track EP Lockdown B-sides, as well as being awarded BBC Introducing Track of The Week on two separate occasions) Teesside’s Finn Forster rocks up to Newcastle’s Globe this month. Gaining praise right at the beginning of his career with debut single Empty Promises in 2019, followed by support slots with Chris Helme and Neon Waltz, his latest single, Lonely Nights (feat. Frikhan), is a smooth slice of indie soul that embellishes Finn’s increasingly silky tones, and should help the Teesside star-in-the-making hit the summer running as gig and performance opportunities hopefully begin to present themselves again. The intimate Newcastle venue has kept the flag flying for online performances over the last few months, and this show will be both ‘in person’ as well as livestreamed. Finn Forster plays The Globe, Newcastle on Saturday 29th May www.finnforster.com


PREVIEWS

Image by Karla Gowlett

MUSIC

ARCADE SKIES RELEASE NEW EP, LOOK TO THE SKIES

Words: Maria Winter Whitley Bay-based independent electronic music producer Arcade Skies will release his debut

synth pop EP Look To The Skies this month. As an artist who began transforming his creative talent into music production during the first lockdown, Adam Curran is known for producing 80s inspired synth pop electronica. The tracks have a continuous and unifying sound running throughout, culminating in a transportitive amalgamation of dancefloor friendly bangers. Each song holds different musical qualities, yet Arcade Skies seals these differences into an overall chilled, lo-fi vibe,

intrinsically present throughout. Having received plaudits via BBC Introducing and regional radio stations, recent single Hold To Breathe channels an Ibiza-infused folktronica style; while Urban Fluidity’s sax appeal and darkwave track Forget Everything And Remember add further diverse facets to Adam’s multi-layered oeuvre. Arcade Skies release Look To The Skies on 7th May www.arcadeskies.bandcamp.com

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PREVIEWS

Ocean Floor by Ella Stock

MUSIC

OCEAN FLOOR & THE LULAS @ KU BAR

Words: Laura Doyle It almost feels too good to be true, but the time has come for the return of actual, in-person gigs to the North East – hopefully for good. KU Bar in Stockton has thrown their hat in the ring for their own string of socially distanced live shows,

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bringing actual performances to their lovely Stockton venue after what feels like a decade of musical drought. Their first show back on Thursday 20th May has been programmed by local promoters Famous Last Words, and features locals only: indie five-piece Ocean Floor will bring their pop rock melodies to the responsibly spaced out stage. Recent single Wet Socks invokes the same sunny, fun and slight surrealism that the late and great Her’s exhibited. They’re accompanied by Teesside pop groovers The Lulas; a four-piece who dip subtly into jazz sensibilities, spicing up

their feel-good pop tunes. This easy-listening line-up is ideal for a re-entry level gig. Granted, we aren’t quite able to pile into a sweaty bar and writhe around in a moshpit just yet, but after being out of the live music game for so long, a quiet sit-down with a beverage of your choice should be just enough to whet your appetite. Mine’s a blackcurrant and soda. Ocean Floor and The Lulas play KU Bar, Stockton on Thursday 20th May www.kustockton.co.uk


PREVIEWS

Honeyflux

MUSIC

HONEYFLUX @ THE GLOBE, NEWCASTLE

Words: Laura Doyle Being in a band is a big commitment, what with songwriting and recording, gigging (perhaps not much at present, but soon), and all the admin that goes with it. Being in two or more musical projects, then, seems borderline ridiculous. But for some, there’s just no end to their potential creative outlet. Enter Honeyflux, a North East supergroup (previously known as Smithereen) made up of members from a whole host of your local scene favourites. Members from Backyard Rhythm Orchestra, Martha Hill’s band, Prudent Primate and Shields UK came together to make their own custom blend of Geordie alt. rock. They haven’t had much chance to stretch their musical legs since their inception last January, what with the whole no-shows-for-a-year thing we’ve had going on, but that’s about to change thanks to the continued efforts of our local venues providing some much needed socially-distanced

options. Honeyflux’s show at The Globe in Newcastle takes place on Saturday 22nd May and provides an opportunity to enjoy the show up close and personal via a household table in-venue or, for those more nervous about reintegrating with society, an accessible livestream. Honeyflux play The Globe, Newcastle on Saturday 22nd May www.facebook.com/honeyfluxband

STAGE

META4DANCE: CONFLUENCE LIVESTREAM

Words: Nicola Owen Meta4Dance are an up-and-coming contemporary dance company based in the North East, who are planning on returning to their roots as they prepares for an exciting new performance titled Confluence, which will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube from the banks of the River Coquet on Friday 14th May.

The wider Natural Theatres project seeks to encourage the use of non-traditional performance venues whilst also increasing accessibility for audiences of the arts. It’s something that Meta4’s co-creator and artistic director Lily Horgan (a native Northumbrian herself) is excited to see develop: “During lockdown, our outside environment has become essential for mental and physical health. We want to suggest a new way to experience live performance, that re-imagines the feeling of seeing it in person. It’s important that people who aren’t comfortable going back to theatres yet are able to view a professional live performance from the comfort of their own home.” Natural Theatres has already been showcasing some of the best the North East has to offer, working alongside two other dance companies, What’s That Dance and Pelican Theatre, with performances able to be viewed online now. Meta4Dance present Confluence on Friday 14th May, available via livestream on their Facebook and YouTube pages, charged at a ‘pay what you feel’ rate www.meta4dance.com

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PREVIEWS

Ten Eighty Trees

MUSIC

TEN EIGHTY TREES RELEASE NEW SINGLE, FEAR OF FALLING

Words: Damian Robinson Opening up with juddering rock power chords, and blazing into soaring choruses, the new one from Tyneside rockers Ten Eighty Trees clearly aims to put their name squarely into the regional ‘ones to watch’ rock lexicon. Precisely produced and following interesting alternative rock standards, Fear of Falling mixes up light electronics, varying vocal ranges and changing rhythm tempos into a track that is both instantly accessible yet seldom stationary as it bobs and weaves into territory often occupied by the likes of alternatives Biffy Clyro, Stone Temple Pilots and Megadeath. Suggesting the true meaning behind Fear of Falling, vocalist Nathan Newton admits that the track’s alternative sound may slightly disguise

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the true, deeply personal, meaning behind the song: “Fear of Falling is about my experiences with PTSD. I had a pretty horrific accident about four years ago and really struggled with sleep deprivation in the aftermath. It was such a tough repercussion and put a lot of stress on my life and relationships. Writing Fear of Falling was essentially my own personal therapy.” Having already toured extensively nationally, this sounds not just like a winning track for the band but also one to look forward to being played at full volume live. Ten Eighty Trees release Fear of Falling on 21st May www.teneightytrees.bandcamp.com

COMEDY

PATRICK MONAHAN @ THE FORUM MUSIC CENTRE, DARLINGTON Words: Tracy Hyman

Local funny man Patrick Monahan brings his new stand-up show, Started From The Bottom, Now I’m Here, to The Forum Music Centre, Darlington on Tuesday 25th May. Patrick was born in Iran before moving to the outskirts of Middlesbrough to live in a caravan. Flash forward two decades, and he’s now living with his upper-middle class girlfriend in a house. Presented by local promoter Hilarity Bites, the rescheduled date sees the multi-award winning Irish Iranian comedian providing smart and funny observations on his new found, middle-class lifestyle, complete with ski holidays. A contrast from the poor, immigrant, working-class family life he grew up in. Well known for giving out hugs at shows, he’ll have to curb his natural enthusiasm for this socially-distanced show, but his performance will lose none of its warmth and hilarity. Patrick Monahan performs at The Forum Music Centre, Darlington on Tuesday 25th May www.hilaritybites.co.uk


PREVIEWS

Lindsey Mendick and Dominic Watson, creators of Wassa

ART & LIT

WASSA @ WASHINGTON OLD HALL

Words: Beverley Knight What if you could be in the presence of the first president of the USA, George Washington himself? It isn’t as impossible as it sounds if you take the chance to visit new art installation Wassa (titled after a historical name for the town

of Washington) at Washington Old Hall by artists Lindsey Mendick and Dominic Watson, where a cast of six historical and mythical personalities connected with the area indulge in a feast. Dominic explains: “The installation is partly based on facts, but it’s also steeped in stories and half-truths which have been passed down through generations.” Alongside George, you can meet the depiction of the White Lady and a sculpture of the local historian and schoolmaster Fred Hill, who played a pivotal role in saving Washington Old Hall from ruin in the early 20th Century. Mendick and Watson worked with local residents and school pupils to gather legends and old

tales. “I think that the people we met will recognise their own input. Talking to local residents really informed our work and gave us extra insight into the stories which are the most important to people here.” Lindsey declares. The sensory experience, bustling with theatre, shows the history of a building in a way that has never been attempted before and marks a forward-thinking approach for our new dawn. Wassa is at Washington Old Hall from Friday 21st May-Sunday 31st October. Tickets for Washington Old Hall must be booked in advance via the National Trust website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/washington-old-hall

STAR & SHADOW CINEMA WILL BE OPEN AND SCREENING FILMS WITH YOU FROM THURSDAY 27 MAY starandshadow.org.uk mixlr.com/star-shadow-radio

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INTERVIEWS MUSIC

THE SHOOTING OF

LINSEY TEGGERT TALKS TO THE MULTI-TALENTED NORTHUMBERLAND-BASED MUSICIAN ABOUT FINDING THE TIME TO CREATE, THE DUALITY OF HIS SOUND AND NOT TAKING HIMSELF TOO SERIOUSLY The Shooting Of has been part of the North East’s musical landscape for the best part of two decades. The Northumberland-based musical maestro has taken on several guises – he’s the artist formerly known as Jeans Goes Pop!, or perhaps you’ve heard of him under his official title, Mr Paul Jeans – but it’s The Shooting Of that has stuck, as he prepares to release his second record under that moniker, Dragged Through The Streets. It’s been five years since the release of 2016’s Analogue Heart – a brooding experiment in noir pop – and after constantly putting off a follow-up, the lockdowns of the last year acted as a catalyst, allowing Jeans to stretch his legs again as an artist. Rather than delving back into old demos, Jeans took the opportunity to try something he’d never done before: to start from nothing. “I decided to write from the ground up, like when a band books a studio and doesn’t have any material. There are a lot of classic albums that started with nothing.” The result of this approach is a record that is much more cohesive than The Shooting Of ’s previous offering. Whereas Analogue Heart flirted with various genres, building tracks from the rhythm up has allowed for much more groove and freedom, and Dragged Through The Streets is a gloriously fun, 80s-inspired pop record. “I knew a lot of people were recording lockdown albums, and I thought we’d probably hear loads of miserable songs, so I wanted to do something different. Although the lyrics are still dark in places, I just set them to a disco beat!” This contrast between the upbeat sound and darker lyrics is

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ALTHOUGH THE LYRICS ARE STILL DARK IN PLACES, I JUST SET THEM TO A DISCO BEAT!

nowhere more evident than lead single Forced To Pretend; its Rolling Stones-esque swagger and earworm hooks (not to mention a killer sax solo) at odds with the lyrics which tackle the feeling of imposter syndrome. Then there’s the uplifting piano pop of Dare 2 Be which deals with online bullying. “A lot of what I write about is frustration. It’s not necessarily angry but I like to address things I wouldn’t normally say. A lot of the lyrics have multiple meanings: Forced To Pretend is somewhat personal, with the idea of never being sure of yourself and wanting to please others, but it’s also about screaming into the void when it comes to politics.” Jeans admits that he’s taken himself too seriously in the past, trying to do the “earnest singer-songwriter thing, with deep songs and album covers with me looking moody – I’ve had enough of that. This album cover is very 70s, it looks like a Donny Osmond album! I don’t really care about looking cool, I wanted it to be eye-catching.” While there’s certainly a tongue in cheek element to the aesthetic side of The Shooting Of (check out the video for Forced To Pretend with its flamboyant costume changes), Jeans takes the technical side of his art very seriously, having meticulously written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced the whole album himself. “I started working on it in September last year and took the time I had to learn more about recording. But once I’d learn new things, I’d feel I’d done stuff wrong to begin with and spend hours trying to fix things! I have a habit of spending all my time tinkering and can’t let things go, but this time I had to give myself a deadline, or I’d still be changing things now!” The Shooting Of releases Dragged Through The Streets on 7th May www.theshootingof.bandcamp.com


INTERVIEW

MUSIC

L-R, T-B: Plastic Glass, Club Paradise, Lottie Willis, MARKETPLACE, SWEARS by Claire Allport

MUNRO FESTIVAL

CONOR ROY TALKS TO NORTH EAST PROMOTER FAMOUS LAST WORDS ABOUT THE RETURN OF MUNRO, A WEEKEND FEAST OF LIVE MUSIC Over the last weekend of May, Stockton’s Georgian Theatre will be once again filled with glorious (socially distanced) sights and sounds, as promoters Famous Last Words bring 10 of the region’s most exciting emerging artists to the stage for MUNRO Festival. Organiser Adam Gallagher is filled with a quiet optimism, as he talks about the evolving attitude towards live music after its prolonged absence: “Everyone has been coming together and moving forward in the right avenues. People have approached gigs differently and artists and promoters have been a lot more understanding of each other.” This is the third incarnation of MUNRO Festival in the flesh, with the organisers also bringing together a virtual festival in the interim. The line-up boasts an impressive array of genres across the two days. Saturday headliner comes in the form of anthemic stadium indie rock from Sunderland’s Plastic Glass; plus sets from Trunky Juno, who provides an injection of tongue-in-cheek slacker pop; the delightfully feel-good indie sounds of Komparrison; North East synth pop veterans Twist Helix and the haunting sounds of singer-songwriter Lottie Willis. Sunday’s headliners are nostalgia pop specialists Club Paradise, who

THE LINE-UP BOASTS AN IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF GENRES ACROSS THE TWO DAYS

join devilishly catchy punk popsters bigfatbig; shimmering indie pop band Marketplace; Middlesbrough’s fuzz rock kings SWEARS and the infectious R ’n’ B pop sounds of Nadedja. It’s clear the line-up has been a labour of love for Adam. “It’s about trying to work with the artists that I like. We’re already looking at 2022 and seeing how they’re going to develop and I think they deserve credit to be on stage and playing a live gig.” Aside from creating an impressive genre spread, MUNRO also succeeds in providing a gender-balanced line-up, something which Adam explains has become second nature to him when booking for Famous Last Words; he notes how important diversity and inclusivity is to him as a promoter: “When there’s so many female artists out there, to not acknowledge them or to put just three or four artists on is just wrong. The promoters need to work harder to include these artists. When that happens it’ll be better for everyone.” With a line-up of local talent as strong as MUNRO’s it was particularly hard for Adam to pick his ‘must see’ act; he gives special mention to Komparrison as a sure-fire audience favourite: “I’ve seen them practice, I know what’s to come so I’m excited for people to see them, and I’m also excited for Trunky Juno, he’s just got that ‘something’ and he’s class to watch.” MUNRO Festival takes place at The Georgian Theatre on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May www.facebook.com/famouslastboro

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COVER FEATURE

MUSIC

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L-R: T-B: Cat Ryan by Kristoff Photography, Me Lost Me by Amelia Read, Jodie Nicholson by Rebecca Flynn, Fast Blood by Steven Landles Photography, Komparrison, Faithful Johannes, Richard Dawson, NE-O, Mouses, Twist Helix by Paul Murray Media, Swine Tax by Sophie Robson, Ruth Patterson by Eva Edsjo


COVER FEATURE

CONTINUING TO PROVIDE MEANINGFUL SUPPORT, PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR OUR AUDIENCE IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

NARC. TV

THE SECOND SERIES OF OUR MAGAZINE-STYLE PROGRAMMES FEATURING LIVE PERFORMANCES AND INTERVIEWS FROM LOCAL ARTISTS KICKS OFF ON YOUTUBE THIS MONTH, CO-PRODUCERS AND PRESENTERS CLAIRE DUPREE AND DAVID SAUNDERS EXPLAIN WHAT’S COMING UP

As the music industry takes tentative steps back to live shows this month, we’re all painfully aware that it’s going to take some time before venues and musicians are enjoying full capacity gigs again. The lack of opportunities for musicians to perform live hasn’t gone away; as bands are clamouring to be let out of the practice room and onto the live stage, not everyone will get a chance to get back to full capacity for some time yet. Which is why we’re delighted to provide some form of solution with the second series of NARC. TV! For those that haven’t managed to catch series one yet, we conceived of the idea of a magazine-style programme featuring performances and interviews broadcast via YouTube back in the summer last year, primarily to give musicians a chance to perform, venues and artists some much-needed financial help and audiences an entertaining and informative programme to watch. Series one made its debut in November 2020, coincidentally just as lockdown kicked in, and we found ourselves with a literally captive audience of music lovers hungry for great performances and informative chat. And, while we may be gradually opening up again this summer, we know that the appetite for programmes such as ours is still there. Our driving force has always been to present quality performances from some of the region’s most exciting live artists, in independent venues which are the lifeblood of our music scene. For series two filmmaker extraordinaire Ste Bardgett, aka Art Mouse, is back behind the camera (and, on our second episode, in front of it too as Mouses perform a riotous live set), we’ve expanded to include two new venues in the form of Newcastle’s Boiler Shop and Middlesbrough Town Hall, who join The Georgian Theatre in Stockton and The Forum Music Centre in Darlington in hosting twelve performances from a diverse collection of artists from across the region. Performers for series two include the inimitable avant folk sounds of Richard Dawson and thrilling Euro-indie pop from Twist Helix, who provide a pair of nicely juxtaposed performances for episode one, which launches on Thursday 13th May. After that, every fortnight audiences can expect yet more interesting interviews and engaging performances including sets from lo-fi garage punks Mouses; futuristic electro folk artist Me Lost Me; Newcastle’s fast rising alt. rockers Swine Tax; engaging popsters Komparrison; modern shoegazers Cat Ryan; Teesside’s acclaimed songwriter Jodie Nicholson; powerful emo punks Fast Blood; one-half of grime/rap duo NE Dons, Newcastle rapper NE-O performs both solo and with his NE Dons bandmate; the lyrical genius of Faithful Johannes and the effortlessly perfect sounds of Ruth Patterson. Mary-Anne Murphy from Cat Ryan explains why performing for NARC. TV has been important for them. “It helps us feel like we have

more of a purpose despite having nothing much else to do in regards to music. It kind of spices things up a bit from the usual songwriting while stuck at home.” She says. Having to press pause on a burgeoning career has been something Newcastle-via-Durham’s Fast Blood have had to contend with, as guitarist David Hillier explains. “I guess the most difficult and frustrating challenge for us this year was having to put the brakes on everything when we had just started to promote our first release. Obviously the pandemic has forced absolutely everyone to put their lives on hold over the last year, but it was a real momentum killer for us as a band.” Komparrison’s Kaitlyn Kempen is excited to be able to finally showcase their newly expanded line-up. “The biggest challenge for us a band over the last year is being patient. We are so excited for people to hear our new sound, but with all the lockdowns it’s been tough.” It’s not just artists feeling the pinch, venues like The Georgian Theatre in Stockton have had their doors closed for over six months, so welcoming artists back to their stage for NARC. TV has been a positive move. Paul Burns from Tees Music Alliance, who run the venue, explains: “We’re really enjoying being a part of NARC. TV – it’s great to work with a long trusted partner to deliver something so vibrant and exciting. It’s been the next best thing to a return to full on gigs – with artists giving it their all on some of the best stages in the North East. The only thing missing in the room has been the audience – but they’ve been watching in their hundreds. NARC. TV is part of our regular offer now, it’s here to stay and we love working on it.” Without wishing to toot our own horn too much, we’re incredibly proud to be able to bring NARC. TV to your screens; the programmes are a labour of love for us, and continuing to provide meaningful support, performance opportunities and entertainment for our audience is our number one priority. Fast Blood’s David Hillier sums it up nicely for us: “We think that NARC. TV and similar programmes have been crucial during the pandemic as they have helped the public get to see bands performing live. I think many would agree that they appreciate having the opportunity to scratch that itch at least in some way.” So, as you’re taking those first steps back into live venues again, spending your money on gig tickets and behind the bar, rest assured NARC. TV will be there waiting for you when you get home. NARC. TV will be broadcast fortnightly via YouTube, beginning on Thursday 13th May at 7pm. Watch series one online now www.youtube.com/narcmagazinetv

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INTERVIEW

MUSIC

MAN POWER

JONATHAN COLL TALKS TO NEWCASTLE’S DANCE MUSIC POWERHOUSE GEOFF KIRKWOOD ABOUT ME ME ME’S SUMMER SIT-IN On Saturday 22nd May, Newcastle’s own Man Power (aka Geoff Kirkwood) is hosting a summer sit in at the Boiler Shop. Having recently returned to the North East following a five year stint living in Mexico and performing all over the world, Man Power brings with him a group of outrageously talented DJs to help celebrate. Over the last couple of decades Man Power has made a name for himself globally, drawing on diverse genres and with an eternally restless mind, he’s spearheaded dance parties the world over, created his own Me Me Me imprint and nurtured up and coming talent. The enforced stillness of lockdown must have come as a bit of a shock to one so restless? “I started off lockdown by releasing an album I was sitting on just to try and get some money in when it appeared I’d have no income. Then I did a series of releases to raise money for the NHS instead, as they were having a bad time, and then I tried to help people with online radio shows by recording mixes for anyone who asked.” His philanthropy didn’t stop there, and it appears Kirkwood’s found his calling as a benefactor and mentor. “I also did as many free remixes as I could for people who would benefit from the added exposure of having me on a release. I am also creating a not-forprofit organisation that uses dance music to promote regional development, working towards levelling privilege and increasing

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FRIENDSHIP, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL BENEFITS NEED TO BE THE STARTING POINT FOR ANY OF MY DECISIONS GOING FORWARD. PEOPLE SMILING AND LISTENING TO SPECIAL MUSIC BY EXCEPTIONAL TALENTS TICKS ALL THOSE BOXES FOR ME

access, equality and representation within the music industry.” While he admits that you can’t beat “connecting with people in the act of communal release”, he’s also been able to take stock over the last year. “There’s been loads of benefits from the enforced break. I’ve been able to identify that a lot of the gigging I’d been doing was purely because it was my job and that I was doing a lot of things that, while appearing outwardly as a lucrative sign of my success, were things that just didn’t appeal to me at a core level.” The forthcoming Boiler Shop event is a somewhat more chilled out take on the clubbing experience, but it’ll be no less euphoric, as Kirkwood explains. “It’s the first day we’re all allowed inside listening to music. We couldn’t wait till June to take advantage of that so we picked a whole bunch of amazing DJs (some of the best in the world) who could play music so good that you’ll be excited be able to sit and hear it with your friends.” As such, choosing the artists to take part in the Summer Sit-In was a no-brainer for Kirkwood; joining him at the decks will be Dr Krippa (Zerox), Hardway Bros (A Love From Outer Space), Jaye Ward (Me Me Me/PLU), Micky Hell (Last Waltz) and Optimo. “They’re some of the best DJs in the UK and potentially the world. I feel I’m qualified to say this after the last decade spent travelling and hearing what’s on offer. They’re also all friends of mine, which is really where this needs to begin and end for me after this year reflecting on things. Friendship, community and social benefits need to be the starting point for any of my decisions going forward. People smiling and listening to special music by exceptional talents ticks all those boxes for me.” Me Me Me presents The Summer Sit-In at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle on Saturday 22nd May www.memememusic.com


INTERVIEW

STAGE

LISTEN IN

L-R: Kay Greyson, Lauren Pattison by Andy Hollingworth

JON HORNER FINDS OUT ABOUT THE NEWCASTLE INDEPENDENT THEATRE’S FIRST SHOW OF THEIR SPRING SEASON A comedian, a rapper and a writer walk into a bar… well a theatre… OK, it doesn’t really work as a joke, but as a show… Newcastle’s bastion of independent theatre, Alphabetti, will kick off their Spring season with a series of audio plays centred around a theme of ‘lonely theatre’. Taking place online from Tuesday 4th-Saturday 15th May, the immersive hour-long show will feature three short plays from the three of the region’s best artists. They’re calling it Listen In, and it promises to be an absolute treat. First of all, who are these fine artists? Well, true to their tradition of drawing from all corners of the cultural landscape, a comedian, rapper and a writer will present their stories. They will each take turns to give you profound insights into their worlds of hip-hop, fear, love, comedy and addiction in an immersive audio experience. First up, comedian Lauren Pattison gives us The Last Laugh, in which protagonist Katie Baker is preparing her return to her most dreaded comedy venue, having had the worst gig of her career there last time. “I’ll come out in a bit. Not yet though. Bit nervous. I had a nightmare of a gig last time, I’m spooked now. Like a dog who’s heard the hoover for the first time.” Prepare to see behind the curtain, and find out what makes a show great or terrible for a performer. Lauren’s show is followed by The Interval by writer Richard Boggie, and performed by Carl Kennedy. This is a tale about escapism, addiction and love; while it’s playful on the surface, prepare for profound insights into Richard’s experiences with sight loss and disability. Last up, and in keeping with the theme of personal revelations from public figures, Tyneside rapper Kay Greyson presents an autobiographical story, An Empty Room, which focuses on Kay’s career and stopping off at her best and worst shows. “I started rapping when I was six, the forbidden world of hip-hop with all its thrills and swearing called out to me. I was hooked, I wanted to be a

TRUE TO THEIR TRADITION OF DRAWING FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE, A COMEDIAN, RAPPER AND A WRITER WILL PRESENT THEIR STORIES rapper, and I wasn’t accepting a plan B.” Her show will include both spoken word and live music performance. The team at Alphabetti have been doing some soul searching over the last year, and they’ve identified a different way of working with theatre makers and audiences. With a vast majority of their work based around the Pay What You Feel ticket model, accessibility is key. The team at Alphabetti, spearheaded by artistic director Ali Pritchard, co-produce 90% of the work on their stage, and they’re encouraging visiting companies to work with them on longer term programming models, with three week runs fostering strong and long-lasting relationships for both artists and audiences. Committed to providing meaningful support for theatre practitioners as well as audiences, with regular relaxed performances and the majority of the venue fully accessible, the comfort and enjoyment of their audience is always of paramount importance. As theatres begin to welcome people back into their spaces, it’s hoped that audiences will embrace companies like Alphabetti whose dedication to the telling of great stories has been unwavering throughout. The Listen In audio plays are available via Alphabetti’s website from Tuesday 4th-Saturday 15th May www.alphabettitheatre.co.uk

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INTERVIEW

MUSIC

THATWHICHCRAWLS CHARLIE MANSERGH TALKS TO THE MULTIMEDIA ARTIST ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM, PATTERNS FOUND IN NATURE AND HIS PREOCCUPATION WITH TECHNO-ANIMISM Newcastle music maker and multimedia artist Tom Lines, aka thatwhichcrawls, returns with his debut album entitled bug.albm this month, continuing the expansion of his collaboration with modular synthesisers. His music making process includes observing his synth when he changes certain settings and listening to what the machine gives him. “The album consists of instrumental electronic music made by me alone in my room bathed in the blinking lights of my modular synth. Through a mix of organic simulated sounds of bells and strings, ambient soundscapes and frenetic beats I collaborated with my synthesiser to explore the life in technology in its brightest, cutest moments, as well as the darker, more unnerving moments where the life in the machine corrupts and becomes filled with electronic creepy crawlies (or bugs). I called the record bug. albm in reference to the emergent properties of the insect swarm as well as the computer bug, a disruptive agent of technology that turns our symbiotic tools against us, forefronting our reliance on tools we do not really understand.” It’s an album rooted in nature as much as it is in technology, as Tom explains: “There’s all sorts of weird sounds to be made which you don’t find in nature or which are slightly morphed versions of what you find in nature.” Exploring the emergent behaviour of crowds and swarms, his interest has taken him to new realms musically, enabling him to find new sounds on his synthesiser. Tom has identified through his manipulations that it resembles hive-like activities. “By doing all

THE ALBUM IS BASED ON THEMES OF TECHNOLOGICAL ANIMISM AND THE SYMBIOSIS AND CONFLICTS THAT COME WITH THAT 24

these simple things, [there’s an] inner kind of unison which tunes together and creates something musical and organic sounding, which I think is really interesting. It’s the same kind of behaviour that makes people clap in time with each other or makes people do Mexican waves in crowds, and I think crowds are the clearest example to visualise.” The album has a dual personality; on one hand it deals with the explorations of life in technology in its “brightest, cutest moments”, while also referencing darker forces, as evidenced on tracks like Trojan, svrdth and Malware, which has a darker mood, with mechanical rhythms to the fore; while on Life In Things the record takes a more positive turn, with higher, brighter tones and faster moving beats, a perfect example of the swarm-like behaviour he’s preoccupied with. Tom explains how after learning about the beliefs of animists, in which a living soul is attributed to plants, inanimate objects and natural phenomena, he was spurred to create work which deals with the spirit within technology. “I make the music with a modular synthesiser which is my sole collaborator, by which I mean that compared to other instruments, the modular has a lot more autonomy and simultaneously performs as an instrument and a co-composer. The album is therefore based on those themes of technological animism and the symbiosis and conflicts that come with that.” His thoughts have also led him down visual art pathways; with a background in art, Tom is interested in the relationship between music and fine art and does not see a distinction between them: “People think of fine art as visual art, but it’s also people making art with sounds, smells, texts, tastes...nothing’s really off limits.” thatwhichcrawls releases bug.albm on 7th May www.tomlines.co.uk


INTERVIEW

MUSIC

YVA

EVERYONE’S BEHAVIOUR – MY OWN INCLUDED – HAS BECOME MORE CURATED

ALI WELFORD TALKS TO AMY HOLFORD ABOUT HER DEBUT EP, DOMINATED BY SHADOWY ALGORITHMS, IMPENETRABLE ONLINE BUBBLES AND RAMPANT HYPER-COMMERCIALISM Born Amy Holford and formerly known as Eva Stone, it’s taken a long, circuitous process for the artist currently known as YVA to arrive at her debut EP. Indeed, the native Geordie’s ever-shifting monikers are outward symptoms of a decade-long identity struggle; one that’s incorporated mental health crises, fruitless stints with London-based producers and a first-hand view of the lesser discussed trials facing young creatives in a cut-throat industry. “I’ve spent the past 10 years looking for a sound, being told that I wasn’t good enough or that I had to improve,” she reflects. “I developed a deep sense of anxiety around songwriting – I felt like I was cheating or pretending, and as a woman in the music industry there’s not the same sense that you can grow. If I’d released singles in my late teens and early twenties it would have been so much easier, but I put it off and put it off. Every time I tried to write it made me absolutely miserable. It became a trigger for depression. Performing music was a release, but writing became manic.” Following a self-imposed hiatus from music – plus the encouragement of both partner Jonathan Hibbert (ex-Lilliput) and Ivor Novello winning collaborator Nitin Sawhney – Amy emerged from this rut with a fresh determination, intent on working at nobody’s pace but her own. Recorded at her and Jonathan’s home studio, this month’s long-awaited EP is a remarkable culmination, as well as a reflection on a broader perspective acquired amidst years of tumult. “When I started out I was just singing about guys and having my heart broken on acoustic guitar, but I think being in a settled relationship helped put an end to that. It got me thinking: ‘Now that that part of my life is all good, what else can I write about?”’ Startling in its sprawling scope, the resulting release maps a broad

sonic and thematic landscape – a disconcerting dystopia dictated by ‘new gods’ and dominated by shadowy algorithms, impenetrable online bubbles and rampant hyper-commercialism. Sound familiar? “At the time I was having all these overwhelming feelings about social media…I saw a not-too-distant future culture where everything was performative and people had been reduced to mere brands, and two words kept coming into my head: ‘Hype Machine.’ Everyone’s behaviour – my own included – has become more curated. There’s a quote from Professor Sherry Turkle – ‘We preach authenticity, but we practise curation’ – and I felt I could build an EP around that idea. “I wouldn’t use the platforms were it not for my music, but unfortunately if you don’t have a strong grasp of marketing or don’t care about social media, then as an artist you’re kind of fucked,” she continues. “I remember watching The Social Dilemma and being pleasantly surprised that ex-employees were admitting things like ‘This isn’t good for your brain…We know because we designed it that way!’” At just 17 minutes, Hype Machine wastes nary a note communicating her fears. Conveying everything from malignant fixations (Fountain of Youth) to stark religious imagery (Hype Machine) and cathartic emotional release (Missing Me) via engrossing composition and Amy’s soaring vocal, it’s a stirring letter of caution against an unchecked, self-perpetuating system. Come its end, listeners may recall and subsequently dwell on the despairing, scene setting question posed by opener Echo Chamber: “Why didn’t we just smash our screens?” YVA releases Hype Machine on 7th May www.yvaofficial.bandcamp.com

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INTERVIEW

MWB

STEVE SPITHRAY TALKS TO JK SANDS ABOUT HOW HE TURNED HIS COMPLEX TAPESTRY OF GRIEF AND PERSONAL TRAUMA INTO A SPELLBINDING NEW ALBUM

MUSIC

If there is a theme here, it is perhaps not death but the parameters of death and what death means more prosaically as an inevitability of the passage of time. Comprising field recordings and samples layered over ambient undertones with a soft focus on textural aesthetics (albeit with the ability to switch almost forensically from trip-hop to lounge and soul and back again) if MWB’s debut album, A Place Both Wonderful And Strange, feels like a journey that’s because it is. Released this month on double vinyl via Butterfly Effect, it is the label’s first double album release. It is an album carefully poised on two tracks written after the death of MWB (aka JK Sands)’s father that intentionally blur the metaphysical landscape of this experience and immediately start to shape the whole album. The second explores a world beyond the thresholds of the first as it dips into another dimension and perhaps beyond death itself. A complex tapestry of ideas that tethers the album in a studied sadness, if not quite full-blown grief. “I was dealing with the fact [my father’s] battle with cancer was going to end sooner than expected and Shepatone Of Despair was me coming home and locking myself in my studio. All the sounds and vocal noises represent how I was feeling,” JK explained. “I used to say to him when he was dying that it was all a dream. He was a successful and strong man and all of a sudden that guy had disappeared. When the sample in the track says ‘listen to the sound’, that was me in his hospice room with all the sounds and the machines. The sounds of death. I tried to portray that he was going to a better place, ‘Death is not the end, it’s just a change’.” It’s a knowingly filmic way of turning personal trauma into something creative and one that informs the general mood of the

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record. “The album was finished last March but the pandemic has given me more time to do some video representations. I’ve made the record as a continuous piece of music so the tracks interweave with each other. It probably is a concept album. There was a lot of thought about how the tracks flow into each other so I decided to do thirteen videos for thirteen tracks. The filmmakers I worked with got where I was coming from and I think Shepatone… captures that mood really well with its Twin Peaks intonation. David Lynch is one of my biggest influences in music and film because he crosses the board a bit for me and the album title is a direct reference from Twin Peaks.” Pressed on the myriad of musical influences that are also apparent, he says: “The studio is my main influence. Sound design and sound manipulation. I’m not your typical musician. Boards of Canada are a big influence as well as Brian Wilson for their way of modular production, by doing things a bit at a time and then putting it all together as one. It’s hard to give influences. I’m an avid music collector (I’ve got about 8,000 records) so I don’t want to miss anyone out. Electronic ambient covers such an array!” MWB releases A Place Both Wonderful And Strange via Butterfly Effect Records on 1st May www.manwithbeard.info

THE STUDIO IS MY MAIN INFLUENCE. SOUND DESIGN AND SOUND MANIPULATION. I’M NOT YOUR TYPICAL MUSICIAN


INTERVIEW

EVENTS

T-B, L-R: Mesadorm, Lady Sanity, Georgia May by Darran Moore, Beccy Owen by Casey Orr, POLO

WOMEN ARE MINT FESTIVAL LOUISE HENRY TALKS TO MARTHA HILL ABOUT THE WEEKEND-LONG CELEBRATION OF FEMALE TALENT, AND WHY IT’S NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER

Martha Hill is, in her own words, “fucked off ” this year. Musically, the singer has gone from strength to strength. Tracks from her EP, Summer Up North, made it onto BBC 6Music and Radio 1 playlists and her single Grilled Cheese has racked up almost 300,000 Spotify plays. Whilst she acknowledges the difficulty and frustrations of having a large proportion of her job closed off to the world, she has other things on her mind. “It’s total burnout, man,” she sighs, resting her head in her hands. “We’ve taken a huge step backwards this year when it comes to women’s safety in the workplace and in the streets.” She’s referring of course, to the recent murder of Sarah Everard, and more locally, the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse that hang over the region’s music and culture sector. We agree that the feeling of fear and weariness is palpable among women at the moment, exacerbated by the trauma of a year in isolation. It’s unsurprising then, that Women Are Mint, a three-day virtual festival curated by Martha herself, feels more necessary than ever in 2021. Back in 2018, 45 events and festivals pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance among artists by 2022; a pledge that many seem to have forgotten they made. “The reaction to COVID-19 has been to stop prioritising women’s rights. The gender split on festivals has been shocking this year. It’s old, white, male promoters saying ‘We need to get money in, how do we get money in? By programming old white men’.” The retort from festival promoters has often been that women just aren’t making music, a falsehood that has prompted lists of female artists to be circulated around social media. “It’s just not true,” Martha continues. “It’s a cop out. There are hordes of female artists that could and should headline festivals.” Though perhaps the notion of headliners itself is problematic – Women Are Mint has none, with all artists given equal weight. “I booked all of these artists

THE GENDER SPLIT ON FESTIVALS HAS BEEN SHOCKING THIS YEAR. IT’S OLD, WHITE, MALE PROMOTERS SAYING ‘WE NEED TO GET MONEY IN, HOW DO WE GET MONEY IN? BY PROGRAMMING OLD WHITE MEN’ because I wanted to see them live,” she says, equally excited about local acts such as Georgia May as she is about Mesadorm and “my mate Cadi who’s DJ’d twice”. Of course, this year will be a little different, in that we won’t be able to see any of the acts live. Delivered in partnership with Howzat TV, local artists will stream from Cobalt Studios in the Ouseburn, whilst those from outside the region will be pre-recording their shows. With a solid team behind her, the shift online has been relatively straightforward, although the running of the day is a different story. “It needs to be flawless really,” she says, “At a live show, people are chatting with their mates and don’t notice if you’re a few minutes late.” The weekend is set to be a corker, with artist workshops focused on PR, tour booking and PRS alongside family friendly yoga sessions from Shanti Bee interspersed amongst the music. Also slated to perform is Kay Greyson, Lanta, Lady Sanity, POLO, Beccy Owen, Rotem, Cortney Dixon and My Bad Sister. All tickets are pay-what-you-can, so anyone who has been hit financially by the pandemic is still welcomed and encouraged to be a part of the festival. Finally, a little something to look forward to. Women Are Mint takes place from Friday 14th-Sunday 16th May online via Cobalt Studios www.womenaremint.co.uk

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INTERVIEW

WYLDEST

AHEAD OF HER LIVE SHOW AT THE GEORGIAN THEATRE, DAMIAN ROBINSON TALKS TO MULTI-FACETED ARTIST ZOE MEAD ABOUT THE NUANCES OF WYLDEST’S LATEST ALBUM, MONTHLY FRIEND

MUSIC

Continuing her preoccupation with dreamy synths and intense soundscapes, on her new album multi-talented creative Wyldest (aka Zoe Mead) presents a study of the “joys, woes and confusion of femininity and womanhood” with a quietly punchy undertone. Monthly Friend is political and powerful, and its release this month sees the polymath seeking to overcome gender stereotypes and societal constraints. New single Beggar bristles with questions around the lies we tell in social interactions, as our lead character contemplates the complexity of human emotions, trust and relationships (“It’s easier to just pretend so I lie to you”). While it may be laced with dreamy guitars, gentle melodies and a video which sees our lead character sleepwalking through the evening, Zoe explains that the song touches on themes of evolution and the survival of the fittest. “Beggar was written when I had bouts of insomnia,” clarifies Zoe. “It’s usually brought on by over-thinking and on this occasion, I was reading Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene which got me thinking about the overall meaning of the album and about how we are gene carriers – his term.” A superb opening to new album Monthly Friend, Beggar shines with its interesting narrative, guitar-pop layering and Bilinda

THE ALBUM IS AN OVERALL EXAMINATION OF WHAT IS TO BE FEMALE IN THIS DAY AND AGE, BOTH THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 28

Butcher lullaby-esque vocals, a combination which continues throughout the entire album: “I think the new album is designed to be cohesive and born out of same train of thought with an overall examination of what is to be female in this day and age, both the advantages and disadvantages. There’s a number of different sounds on the album for sure and whilst the last album was very shoegaze, this is perhaps designed to be more intimate so, for example, we’ve pushed the vocals higher up in the mix and used more synths.” Designed as much out of necessity as intent (“I wrote most of the album on an acoustic which was partly due to the fact that just as we were about to start jamming the band had to move back home to Estonia”) the irony perhaps is that the album may be easier to tour in the coming socially distant era of live shows. The forthcoming gig at Stockton’s Georgian Theatre is already being considered in terms of set design and production: “I’ve played acoustic shows before but I want to make this show as heavy as I can, in places. Without having the band with me I’ll be most likely doing a combination of acoustic pieces with some tracks which also use synth textures and drum machines. I’m certainly not looking to do just an acoustic show; as much as I’ve enjoyed doing, and watching, acoustic bedroom sessions I think we’re all probably looking for something a bit different from the first gigs that we get to. Writing music in your bedroom is great but you do it for the connection – that’s what’s really important in music.” Wyldest performs at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Sunday 23rd May. Monthly Friend is released on 28th May via Hand In Hive www.wyldest.bandcamp.com


DEMOS WE WANT YOUR MUSIC!

IF YOU’RE AN UP AND COMING BAND OR MUSICIAN, AND WOULD LIKE YOUR MUSIC REVIEWED IN OUR DEMO SECTION, EMAIL A TRACK TO INFO@NARCMEDIA.COM AND TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF! WORDS: JAMES HATTERSLEY

DEMO OF THE MONTH

Nat Berry – The Mood

Nat Berry may not be in The Mood but this chill dream pop certainly puts me in the mood for driving in a top down convertible, sunglasses on, this song cranked to 10 and heading towards the sunset. The sultry synths create an excessively addictive swirl, while the beat continues on; never giving in. It’s a complete juxtaposition to the lyrics, which are beautifully delivered and

451Pyro – WASTE

You know who doesn’t waste time? 451Pyro that’s who. Waste is a quick exert of cathartic energy that throws a mean right hook. Starting with a distant thrash guitar riff, the track amps itself up before hitting you with booming bass and some of the angriest and dissatisfied vocal refrains heard in 2021. There’s an immense, almost confrontational, intensity that doesn’t let up or give you a second to process. 451 cites that writing is his way of expunging his mental negativity; purging himself of his bad thoughts in pursuit of feeling better. And that is the ultimate journey of Waste – starting completely frustrated, thoughts running over each other, immense noise and chaos, all before returning to silence. Somehow emptier, but content. www.facebook.com/451Pyro

Sarah Johnsone – Tonight

It’s only a matter of time before Tonight is paired with a coming of age indie film; played after a brutal break up and over a montage of each separated character haunting the spots that used to bring so much joy. Harkening back to early Laura Marling, an immediate and

focused on portraying a raw honesty that is refreshing as it is devastating. Berry is upfront with how he’s feeling. It’s universal. Many people are so pressured to be ‘on’ all the time – sometimes we need to switch off and hide away from the pressures of society. It’s essential to have voices that affirm that it’s okay to be alone. Cheers Nat. www.facebook.com/natbrry

bouncy chord progression, with an occasional shimmering and yearning electric guitar, creates a tantalising backdrop for Johnsone’s debut single. The atmosphere on display, achieved by reverb and ghostly harmonies, certainly conjures images of sitting up late at night in the early hours. What strikes most about this effort is the breathtaking vocals that emphasises the despair of being away from someone and the longing to meet once more. Something we all know too well. www.facebook.com/sarahjohnsonemusic

Adam George Brown – Sign of Life

Have you ever wondered what spaceoccupying astronauts would hear if someone mixed in some LSD with their liquid space food? If they really listened into the void, Adam George Brown’s Sign Of Life could come within floating distance. It starts with a sometimes haunting, definitely psychedelic guitar line which bleeds through a thick haze of reverb and leads into Brown’s exquisite charismatic voice that oozes with character and originality; imagine if Matt Berry and Brett Anderson sent their child to NASA camp.

Already hyper intriguing, an immediate and unexpected drop carries the track into a dense, chaotic hard rock that edges towards fist pumping glory. It’s at this point the astronauts would be starting to freak out a little... www.facebook.com/ adamgeorgebrownmusic22

JoySmith – What We Thought

Victorious as it is vulnerable, Joysmith’s What We Thought hits hard from the get go. Filling the air with dancing piano melodies and soaring vocals, there are pop sensibilities on display and yet, are held at a distance, interweaved with an intimate and stark honesty. There is an eloquent build to the song which continues to grow stronger and is more striking with every chord. Deeply personal, What We Thought is ultimately a triumphant echo of coming to the realisation that the truth you were living may not have turned out how you anticipated – however you don’t end when things did or didn’t happen. What truly matters is how you rise up, take charge, face your demons head on and be better for it. www.instagram.com/joysmithsongs

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TRACKS

PAIGE TEMPERLEY CARRY ON

REVIEWS OF SINGLES AND EPS BY NORTH EAST ARTISTS. WANT YOUR MUSIC FEATURED? EMAIL NARCMEDIA@GMAIL.COM (PLEASE TRY TO GET IN TOUCH 8-6 WEEKS AHEAD OF THE MONTH OF RELEASE)

Image by RSG Photography

Words: Jay Moussa-Mann Multi-instrumentalist and Newcastle-based singer songwriter Paige Temperley brings us this gorgeous cheerful track, aptly named Carry On. Instantly captivating, Paige’s iconic vocals are so unique in their delivery, sweet and raw. A sensitive melding of ukulele against synth and guitars, the track feels really modern, with a hint of jazz and blues. Conjuring up scenes of heady days, the song is beautifully uplifting, making it a perfect Spring tune. The lyrics echo the upbeat, joyful music, reminding the listener of who they are: “If you feel like your purpose has gone, just hang on, it will come back, you will belong.” Paige successfully captures a feeling of hope and really delivers with this track. Released: 07.05.21 www.paigetemperley.com

JACK FOX LADY LUCK

Image by Jordan

Words: Damian Robinson Rapper, multi-instrumentalist and comedian Jack Fox has been blazing Bill Hicks-style aggressive comedic messages with a purpose for a number of years now. Regularly updating his style of delivery, recent outings by Fox have seen him focus on more laid-back styles of rhymes in a template almost comparable with the jazz rap form of De La Soul. Though not reaching the 3 Feet High and Rising template, Lady Luck bursts with electronic sampling, abstract lyrics and playful wordplay (featuring Soccer Saturday, Alan Hansen and Bart Simpson) all of which disguise the central message of personal growth and two sticking fingers up at the haters. He may occasionally sound like the True Geordie if he moved into the rap game, but it all works perfectly. Released: 07.05.21 www.facebook.com/jackfox22

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JISTER NORMAL ISLAND Words: Michael O’Neill A glorious comeback from Teesside-hailing hip-hop veteran Jister, Normal Island is a scathing and cathartic take-down of the current state of the nation, which finds the rapper/producer weaving some glorious wordplay which floats effortlessly over the brutal and pounding beat. It’s a breakneck three minutes, in which Jister intricately paints a detailed portrait of his feelings about modern Britain with a dark sense of humour and a strong dose of wit, brilliantly conveying the exhaustion and frustration that so many of us will have felt in the face of the current political and social climate, in a way which succeeds at being brutal and direct but never ham-fisted or vitriolic. A bold and cathartic track indeed. Released: 07.05.21 www.jistermusic.bandcamp.com

PHILIP JONATHAN SEAFRONT Words: Jay Moussa-Mann From the very first note, Seafront pulls you in. An incredible feat of music production, this track will surprise you from start to finish. From Philip’s delicate, perfect falsetto and impeccable guitar fingerpicking to grand crescendos. Influenced by the shift and swell of the North Sea, the track has the same changeable beauty of the sea and searches for something more to life. “For me, the man across the sea represents this question that there must be something more to life – to us,” says Philip. “I’ve been asking this question, and in trying to find the right language – in music, words, rhythm – I am only left with silence. And this song is asking whether I’m still heard in that silence.” Released: 07.05.21 www.facebook.com/philipjohnathan


PSYCHIC DEATH DOWN ON ME Words: Paul Jeffrey A four-bar drum stick intro can only mean one thing, we’re about to rock… and Psychic Death don’t want to hang around, vigorously launching headlong into Down On Me with a panzer division attack riff that could sit quite happily on a Queens of the Stone Age B-side. The cantankerous monotone vocal is something of a curiosity after the monumental build of the track – imagine an inebriated Buzzcocks-era Howard Devoto fronting These Crooked Vultures and you won’t be far off – it jars a tad, nullifying the threat and dread of the approaching multi-layered thick as soup guitars. Happily, there’s still enough voltage to propel Down On Me to its conclusion. Released: 02.05.21 www.facebook.com/psychicdeathmusic

HE KNOWS SHE KNOWS WHEN WE WERE YOUNG Words: Paul Jeffrey When We Were Young commences with a tasteful jazz infused guitar and spoken vocal declaring the intention for “A little bit of a reminisce...”; perhaps this would have been a more accurate title for a track that does its best to perfectly replicate the cream of 1990s R&B. Everything is in its right place; beautiful, honey sweet Destiny’s Child vocals, gently lilting horns swaying against the drum machine groove, the mid-section break down into the rap. It’s all perfectly agreeable, if a little too formulaic and by numbers. When We Were Young is a satisfactory effort, it is however desperately crying out for a big chorus hook to pull the track into unforgettable classic territory. Released: 28.05.21 www.hksk.co.uk

LAZY BAKER NOT SAFE Words: Damian Robinson Given the sheer energy of their new release, it’s surprising to hear that Northumberland’s lo-fi garage rockers Lazy Baker have actually been away on a ten-year break. We can only that assume they must have had one hell of a rest… Landing somewhere between the sheer in-your-face punk upstart-ness of The Subways’ Rock & Roll Queen, and the high energy multi-vocal choruses of pop punkers The Undertones, Not Safe is a two-minute punk rock rollercoaster ride into the search for the perfect pop punk melody. Full of twists and turns, this high energy, accessible guitar rock track is anything but lazy. Terrific. Released: 28.05.21 www.facebook.com/lazybaker308

SCOTT FREE I DON’T PRAISE THE LORD Words: Michael O’Neill Immediately calling to mind the lo-fi acoustic glory of Elliot Smith and The Mountain Goats, I Don’t Praise The Lord is a fantastic piece of songwriting that is brilliantly served by Scott Free’s approach to arrangement; for all the song sounds so full of life, Free’s lush multi-layered vocals and intricate fingerpicking are joined by little more than a chugging, melodic bass, a delightfully jarring recorder doubling up the chorus’s top line, and some sparse percussion. Despite this, the song is far from a minimalistic affair, bursting at the seams with passion, heart and humour. There’s a clear classicist approach to the craft, shot through with a tongue in cheek charm that makes it indelibly loveable. Marvellous stuff. Released: 07.05.21 www.scottfreemusic.bandcamp.com

TRUNKY JUNO SERIAL KILLER VIBES Words: Michael O’Neill A delightfully wonky slice of art pop straight from the school of MGMT and The Flaming Lips, Trunky Juno intends Serial Killer Vibes to be the “musical equivalent of verbally digging a hole that just seems to get deeper and deeper with each word”. To my ears, it’s a warped and pristine send-up of the anxieties that come with living inside of your own head that is catchy as all hell and delightfully entertaining, calling to mind the bloodshot-eyed delight of Pavement and the vibrato pedal sonics of Mac Demarco and Homeshake. Although the song comfortably suits a ‘vibe’ that refuses to lose its currency in the current indie climate, Trunky Juno’s personality and confidence elevates it to a higher plateau. Exquisite. Released: 28.05.21 www.trunkyjuno.bandcamp.com

HALF EXIT DROP CITY Words: Kate Murphy We’re welcomed in by glittery multi-coloured fuzz, like a TV going on the blink just as Dorothy realises she’s not in Kansas any more. As the picture regains clarity, with plenty of fuzz still to spare, the feeling of storybook whimsy continues: it’s simple and pleasant, and tells you how you’d feel if you fell into a painting called Japanese Garden at Early Morning. As the song goes on, the fuzz turns into the spray of water and immerses you further in its pleasantness, filling up like you’re standing in a six-foot-deep, smooth-stoned water feature and happy for it to submerge you; less David Blaine and more Alan Titchmarsh. It’s ambient and electronica giving each other a light peck on the lips, and it’s rather harmonious. Released: 07.05.21 www.herelieshalf.bandcamp.com

TOM HANCOCK GO TO SLEEP Words: Kate Murphy The tone is set straight away with a twang of the accent and the heartstrings. With an acoustic guitar played as beautifully as this – both delicate and rich, practically satin – I found myself a little disappointed when the layered voices came in, only because of their slight auto-tune sheen, but the layering itself stands out boldly, and emphasises the song’s otherwise stripped-back feel. The strings that rise with the chorus are felt in your chest, and they go to some gorgeous places. The final time the chorus is sung, for a few moments it is only Tom’s individual voice singing it, and this is where his God-honest writing and powerful vulnerability come into their own. Released: 03.05.21 www.tomhancock.bandcamp.com

MCCORMICK TILL THE SUN COMES UP Words: Kate Murphy McCormick’s voice is almost a person in itself – it could probably go out and get a mortgage if it wanted to – it’s distinctive, deep like a round finish on a fine whiskey, and unexpected for this kind of song. The summery anthems narrated by your typical whipper-snappers can lack a certain depth, but there’s a maturity to his voice that suggests each line carries a story with it. There’s a real drive behind the exuberant “Hey” in the chorus, showing how ready he is to shed lockdown off into the breeze like an old snakeskin, and tells us he knows exactly what he’s going to do with the song’s recipient, when they can finally hold each other close till sunrise again. Released: 07.05.21 www.itsmccormick.com

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ALBUMS 4.5 / 5 THE SHOOTING OF DRAGGED THROUGH THE STREETS (LEAGUE AGAINST RUBBISH RECORDS)

5/5 Image by Zackery Michael

ST. VINCENT DADDY’S HOME (LOMA VISTA RECORDINGS) Words: Cameron Wright The experimental art-pop icon instantly pricked ears when dropping the first two singles for Daddy’s Home. The way her overwhelmingly brash, ostentatious and outlandish album opener Pay Your Way With Pain contrasts with the second single, the melodic and cathartic Melting Of The Sun, acts as the perfectly contradictory summarisation of Daddy’s Home. As St. Vincent trickles through lavish and majestic musical themes and motifs, the conflicting become cohesive and the intimately personal becomes universal and tangible. With the album starting at its most arrogantly assertive, the layers of protection simply float away with each track, exposing a sentimental and humane shading we seldom see from St. Vincent. With elegance and poise, the album sonically swaggers through her nostalgic and romanticised vision of the past with luscious production and pristine, flowing arrangements. Psychedelic passages blissfully drift the listener through a wistful haze of tropes, fantasies and ideas that are plucked from an expansive ocean of influences, splashing evocative and warm colours into Annie Clark’s most charming and endearing release to date. For an artist whose career has been defined by an unshakable tenacity to forge new territory, evolve and push forward, watching St. Vincent slow herself down and gaze backwards through her stylised rose-tinted glasses is inspiring. As the lyrics document humanity’s innate imperfections and the internal struggles of our flawed character, they allure and sparkle with a tantalising sense of sophistication and taste. This enticing majesty is oozing out of each track across the release, as St. Vincent transforms herself into the captivating and chic amalgamation of her starry-eyed reimagining of a bygone era. Often smoky and seductive, there is finesse and cool radiating from St. Vincent’s change in pace. Never feeling reductive, the instrumentals frequently become as sparse and bare as we have ever heard from her, before billowing into something extravagant and captivating. Producing some of her most articulate and dazzling compositions, the record highlights the technical prowess of St. Vincent as a writer and musician wonderfully. Daddy’s Home welcomes a surprisingly candid and grounded era for the high-flying pioneer, with enchanting results. Released: 14.05.21 www.ilovestvincent.com

ALSO OUT THIS MONTH Magic Island – So Wrong (Mansions and Millions, 14.05) // Holiday Ghosts – North Street Air (FatCat Records, 21.05) //Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Life By Misadventure (Columbia, 07.05) //Sunroof – Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 1 (Parallel Series of Mute, 21.05) // Little Snake - A Fragmented Love Story, Written By The Infinite Helix Architect (Brainfeeder, 07.05) //Gary Numan – Intruder (BMG, 21.05) //Holly Macve – Not The Girl (Modern Sky, 14.05) // Fatima Al Qadiri – Medieval Femme (Hyperdub, 14.05) // Derek Piotr – Making & Then Unmaking (DPSR, 14.05) //Colleen – The Tunnel & The Clearing (Thrill Jockey, 21.05) //Night Beats – Outlaw R&B (Fuzz Club Records, 07.05) // STRATA – Second Lives (Gearbox Records, 07.05) //Marinero – Hella Love (Hardly Art, 21.05) //Lisa Gerrard & Jules Maxwell – Burn (Atlantic Curve, 07.05) // Will Stratton – The Changing Wilderness (Bella Union, 07.05) // Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three (Houndstooth, 28.05) //Tyne-James Organ – Necessary Evil (Dew Process, 21.05) //Lionel Boy – S/T (Innovative Leisure, 14.05) // BSÍ - ‘Sometimes depressed …’ ‘...but always antifascist’ (BSÍ, 21.05)

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Words: Michael O’Neill Fit to burst with glorious bombast and brilliantly intricate songwriting, Dragged Through The Streets is an LP replete with stylistic left-turns and a gorgeously widescreen scope. Entirely self-performed and self-produced, it finds Paul Jeans returning to the guise of The Shooting Of (five years on from the brilliant Analogue Heart) to take sledgehammers to matters such as imposter syndrome and online trolling through a hyperkinetic lens which allows the Northumberland-based artist’s talents to truly shine. From the anthemic delight of Forced To Pretend and Don’t Matter Anymore through to the majestic introspection of Drifting On That Wave and Underground, the LP is another refreshingly diverse, satisfyingly consistent and relentlessly entertaining body of work from one hell of a talent. Released: 07.05.21 www.theshootingof.bandcamp.com

4.5 / 5 BAND OF HOLY JOY DREAMS TAKE FLIGHT (TINY GLOBAL PRODUCTIONS) Words: Lee Fisher When things take a turn for the dreadful, at least there’s a whole new set of emotions for Johny Brown to articulate for us. Dreams Take Flight was recorded under lockdown and there’s an extra level of anxiety to these songs, alongside Brown’s eternal concerns – the wonder and futility of love, the desperation and beauty in the prosaic, the power of art and music. Musically, the album operates in familiar territory – a kind of lush, cinematic indie – but the arrangements seem a little more ambitious (Andy Diagram’s trumpet and Sukie Smith’s vocals stand out) and the band seem reinvigorated. Between the opening Ballardian horrors of This Is The Festival Scene and the reflective closer A New Clear Vision, there’s a lot of magic here. Released: 14.05.21 www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk


ALBUMS

3/5

4/5

3/5

FACS PRESENT TENSE (TROUBLE IN MIND)

NADJA LUMINOUS ROT (SOUTHERN LORD)

LAMBCHOP SHOWTUNES (CITY SLANG)

Words: Mark Corcoran-Lettice Continuing to tread an uneasy space between post-punk, noise rock, industrial clatter and terse dub, Chicago trio FACS drill down further into the void on fourth album Present Tense. With its languorous, Blonde Redhead-esque melodic pulse, lead single Strawberry Cough might be a stand-out track but also a slightly deceptive one: on the extended, blown out Alone Without or the terse push-and-pull of the title track, FACS push further into negative space and production trickery, blurring the lines between their raw power-trio format and a more free-form, sonics-first approach. If this can leave the album as a whole feeling slightly incoherent, there’s still more than enough on a moment by moment basis to recommend Present Tense as another notch in FACS evolution. Released: 21.05.21 www.wearefacs.bandcamp.com

Words: Mark Corcoran-Lettice While their impressive, extensive catalogue as Nadja contains plenty of left-turns, exploratory moments and oddball experiments, Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff’s ability to find new scope within their distinctive amalgamation of shoegaze, doom and dense electronics remains undimmed on the evidence of Luminous Rot. Here, they tilt their ultra-distorted sound towards mutated variants of cold wave, goth and early industrial (such as the chugging Ministry-isms of the title track or the way Fruiting Bodies offers a death-crawl take on The Sisters of Mercy), a cold melodicism holding the material back from spectral drift and towards something more earthly and concrete. If not a representative starting point for new listeners, Luminous Rot is a thorny delight for those already under Nadja’s dark magic. Released: 21.05.21 www.nadja.bandcamp.com

Words: Lee Fisher Lambchop emerged in that initial alt. country/ Americana gold rush of the mid-nineties and made a stunning run of albums before something seemed to go wrong: Kurt Wagner kept adding members but giving them less and less to do, and the albums became these static, fragile snoozefests, graceful but lifeless. Lately Wagner has been changing things up again and this time out he’s kept the electronics of recent releases and – as the title suggests – aimed for a Great American Songbook vibe, with mixed results. Lead track and opener Chef’s Kiss is a melancholy gem and album centrepiece Fuku is an amazing blend of woozy electronics and atmospherics. But a little too often Showtunes just kinda hangs there, pretty but nebulous, desperate for a melody. Released: 21.05.21 www.lambchop.net

4/5

3.5 / 5

4/5

MDOU MOCTAR AFRIQUE VICTIME (MATADOR)

ICEAGE SEEK SHELTER (MEXICAN SUMMER)

LOU BARLOW REASON TO LIVE (JOYFUL NOISE RECORDINGS)

Words: Mark Corcoran-Lettice Having established a global audience over the course of a career that’s taken him from cellphone celebrity in Niger to widespread acclaim as a touring and recording artist (a show from him and his band at The Cumberland Arms in 2015 being amongst the finest this writer has witnessed), Mdou Moctar’s debut album for Matador finds Moctar continuing to hone his electrified Tuareg sound. While there’s a premium placed on songwriting as opposed to his fretboard heroics on this outing, acoustic outings like Tala Tannam and the succinct shuffle of Ya Habibti prove fine foils for the fiery title track’s denunciation of colonialism’s legacy, which pushes Moctar’s politics (as well as drummer Souleymane Ibrahim’s sublime playing) to the forefront in a manner new to his work. Released: 21.05.21 www.mdoumoctar.com

Words: Jason Jones Iceage have never been afraid of pushing against the norm. Having careered through four albums of gloomy punk with a snarling certainty, this fifth offering sees the Danish quintet – say hello to additional guitarist Casper Morilla – set out with similar surety, but also venture into recesses that they have, up until now, largely ignored. Deliberate or otherwise, there is a notable stab at something close to timelessness on this record, embracing sonic cues and flourishes as disparate from the band’s usual palette as gospel choirs and groove-laden blues to the more sprawling, psych-infused moments of Britpop. It’s not always entirely enthralling – or at least not as enthralling as you feel Iceage intended it to be – but it’s delivered with bombast, clarity and a louring maturity that impresses. Released: 07.05.21 www.iceagecophenhagen.eu

Words: Robert Nichols Shorn of his Sebadoh team mates, indie legend Lou Barlow carries the can alone and comes out fighting fit and on the top of his form. The amps are turned down and the acoustic is to the fore. This is indie tuned back to its folk roots but with a rich, golden and imploring vocal. You surge into opener In My Arms as if turning on an old cassette player. This album has all that warm intimacy and retro familiarity and yet each song opens up with careful layering of overdubbed guitar leads and rhythmic strumming. The songs are strong and heartfelt but there is optimism here, as Lou Barlow has found contentment and wants to share with us his Reason To Live. Released: 28.05.21 www.loubarlow.bandcamp.com

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ALBUMS

4/5

4/5

4/5

THE CHILLS SCATTERBRAIN (FIRE RECORDS)

RODDY WOOMBLE LO! SOUL (A MODERN WAY)

SONS OF KEMET BLACK TO THE FUTURE (IMPULSE! RECORDS)

Words: Robert Nichols Like the monolith opener that sucks us into the mix, evergreen New Zealand alt. pop band The Chills have produced a landmark album of our times. This is intelligent, articulate, guitar pop with an instantly recognisable Kiwi slant, that means it is big on melody, big on tunes and bigger still on words and ideas. Having lived through a lot in their 30+ years, time could easily be slipping away in Hourglass but only if you are counting. Scatterbrains everywhere are fed untruths and kept in the dark. Yet there are Worlds Within Worlds to discover and prize, this album of wonders is a good place to start. In a right and just world every song would be a smash hit. Monstrously good. Released: 14.05.21 www.thechills.band

Words: Paul Broadhead Whilst Roddy’s folk-oriented solo albums may have alienated some Idlewild fans, this collection of ambient tales of human connection – and the lack of – may just alienate some of those folksy fans. The Scotsman has never sounded more at ease, however. From the atmospheric widescreen refrain of opener Return To Disappear, through to the mellow lullaby that is the title track, and even the sinister seedy groove that is Secret Show. If you hop aboard Roddy’s journey of self-discovery, it’s a fun ride. The spoken word lockdown meditation of Atlantic Photography and the more straight-ahead acoustic reflections like …It’s Late mean the highlights outweigh the occasionally annoying experimental oddities like As If It Did Not Happen. Knowing, unflinching. Woombling free. Released: 21.05.21 www.roddywoomble.net

Words: Ikenna Offor Oddly enough, calling the fiery fourth studio album by Sons of Kemet their most dynamic outing somewhat undersells its potency. Equal parts discursive and atmospheric, Black To The Future boasts an acute, zestful mojo chiefly buoyed by the sinuous interplay of its supple diasporic palette. Recorded amid the nationwide protests spurred by the 2020 murder of George Floyd, it emphatically evinces an incendiary and prodigiously affective clarion call for a decisive reframing of 21st Century Black resistance. Vibrant polytonal nuances and charged rhetoric aside, the blisteringly propulsive grooves here also fluently evoke the cathartic ecstasy of sweat-soaked nights spent on the sweltering dancefloors of heaving jamborees. Yet more proof that chanting down Babylon needn’t always be an entirely sombre affair. Released: 14.05.21 www.shabakahutchings.com

3/5

4/5

4/5

SOILED/MARCUS H BLISTERED & PATCHED (WORMHOLE WORLD RECORDS)

BUFFET LUNCH THE POWER OF ROCKS (UPSET THE RHYTHM)

TEKE::TEKE SHIRUSHI (KILL ROCK STARS)

Words: Stephen Oliver The Saltburn-based project delivers a sometimes discordant rather than ambient aural offering that would be at home as the soundtrack to an arts installation. A cacophony of influences are drawn in with each track. The experimental dissonance successfully creates a mental image as occasionally jarring loops compete for attention. The resultant mixture is, at times, a tough listen. Perhaps this is an album for a dimly lit room that demands attention and refuses to follow a predicable route. The album represents a departure from the conventions of music into the production of a non-lyrical story. Having said that, with its sense of foreboding, it is ripe for synchronising with something visual. Released: 21.05.21 www.facebook.com/marcushsoiledmusic

34

Words: Elodie A. Roy The four members of Buffet Lunch are secretively scattered along the Scottish border. The band seems to have materialised out of thin air: a storyteller could have invented them to entertain a bunch of listless children. Their first album is a collection of eleven tales, firmly indebted to the sweet nonsense of US bands Devo, Bongwater, Half Japanese and (closer to them in space and time) Newcastle three-piece Les Cox (Sportifs). Ashley’s New Haircut (featuring Jayne Dent from Me Lost Me) furtively recalls the sedate grace of Broadcast – like a lullaby from another planet. The record is an unsettling encounter between impatient post-punk and cartoon electronics. Whilst the sound effects and gimmicks sometimes get overwhelming, I am finding The Power Of Rocks mysteriously compelling. Released: 07.05.21 www.buffetlunchband.tumblr.com

Words: Robin Webb A sublime mix of Western psych rock and traditional Japanese instrumentation makes for a glorious debut by this Montreal seven-piece. Bamboo flutes partner perfectly naturally with fuzzed out overdriven guitar noise as if they were always meant to be a thing. There’s an undercurrent of strange exotica that occasionally breaks through on Dobugawa and the last track Tekagami like a sinister lounge, tropically infused with psychedelic mystery. Artist and actor Maya Kuroki sings in Japanese modern ballads of love and ghostly drama with a lusty punk passion, and the band as a whole are strongly influenced by Japanese surf and garage rock legend Takeshi ‘Terry’ Terauchi. If there’s a Tarantino-esque disparate pulp tale missing its soundtrack, it’s here. Released: 07.05.21 www.teketekeband.com


ALBUMS

3.5 / 5

4.5 / 5

4.5 / 5

PACKS TAKE THE CAKE (ROYAL MOUNTAIN)

YOO DOO RIGHT DON’T THINK YOU CAN ESCAPE YOUR PURPOSE (MOTHLAND)

SQUID BRIGHT GREEN FIELD (WARP RECORDS)

Words: Robin Webb A bright grunge-imbued debut album of jangly indie rock emanates from Toronto band PACKS, who are fronted by singer songwriter Madeline Link. What started out as her solo project has burgeoned into a solid four-piece backed by drums and guitars. Reminiscent in parts of Throwing Muses, maybe missing their visceral vocal and musical edge but replaced deftly with charming discordant melancholia. Link displays gentle introspection with her unique world view as she attempts to deal with love, break ups, dating and the new post pandemic life. It was written in two distinct time periods pre and mid-quarantine, and like little gems the songs twinkle and are gone all too briefly but are no less faceted and shiny. Released: 21.05.21 www.packstheband.com

Words: Robin Webb Canadian band Yoo Doo Right – who take their name from a six-hour epic improv by German psych legends Can – are carving out their own intensely unique super sonic highway, powered by a motorik fuel of pounding percussive rhythms and Krautrock-inspired synth arpeggios swathed in mighty walls of shoegazing guitar noise. This debut album follows on from a pair of well-received EP releases by the trio and last year’s split single with Japanese freak out specialists Acid Mothers Temple. These tracks are hugely expansive and envelope you unforgivingly in their reverberating spectrum, none more so than the title track and the soaring final opus Black Moth, which pays prog homage at some post-rock pagan, ethereal noise god altar. Released: 21.05.21 www.yoodooright.bandcamp.com

Words: Paul Ray Squid’s long-awaited debut refracts the anxiety characteristic of postmodern British life into a cryptic pastoral landscape, full of bright interlocking guitars and playfully shouted vocals. As Ollie Judge shouts about weather patterns and sweaty sheets, often in full David Byrne mode, it feels like these chewy aphorisms are stand-ins for something weirder and darker. If you like Talking Heads or The Fall you’ll probably like this, but Squid have managed to avoid the banal hero-worship characteristic of so many modern post-punk bands; volatile strangeness constantly frays the edges of this music, with songs veering off into brief dissonant frenzies or concluding with counter-intuitive diminuendos instead of the standard big climax. It’s guitar music pushed in surreal, vivid directions, and it’s engrossing. Released: 07.05.21 www.squidband.uk

4/5

3.5 / 5

4/5

KELE THE WAVES PT. 1 (KOLA RECORDS/!K7)

REIGNING SOUND A LITTLE MORE TIME WITH REIGNING SOUND (MERGE RECORDS)

ROSE CITY BAND EARTH TRIP (THRILL JOCKEY)

Words: Damian Robinson Not to be confused with the instant gratification that often accompanies the sugary sweet output from Bloc Party, The Waves Pt. 1 is an album in the classic sense; one that needs time and space in order for it to reveal its hidden secrets. Layered in textures, narratives and emotions, what The Waves lacks in a consistent collection of similar sounding tracks, it more than makes up for in sonic diversity, experimentation and risk-taking. Standouts Dungeness and The Way We Live Now both slightly menacingly delivered and led with minimalist guitar arpeggios, bristle with confidence and nicely envelope lovely piano-led moments of introspective pop, as evidenced on Nineveh and a gorgeously sung cover of Smalltown Boy. It might not get you instantly, but it’s worth the wait. Released: 28.05.21 www.kele.com

Words: Damian Robinson A game of two halves this one; the first perhaps the greatest bluesy-pub-rock tunes since Dr. Feelgood. The second, a struggle to keep up such an exceptional momentum. Kicking off with an unbelievably strong opening three tracks, the recently reunited (original) line-up pull out all the stops in their 60s R’n’B/ blues styling to leave sweat dripping from the walls with their full-frontal attack of upbeat, good time blues rock. Let’s Do It Again and showstopper A Little More Time could both compete for the greatest pop moments of 2021. Unable to maintain the quality across the album, A Little More Time With Reigning Sound still ends up winning comfortably but perhaps not as the flawless article it started out as. Released: 21.05.21 www.reigningsound.bandcamp.com

Words: Lee Hammond Borne out of being forced off the road, Earth Trip finds Ripley Johnson in a somewhat contemplative space. It is a beautiful summer record, these country-tinged tracks underpinned by a wonderful psych tone, blissed out elongated guitar lines are much the theme of the record. Opening with the chilled out sounds of Silver Roses, it’s a blueprint which Johnson rarely veers away from. Earth Trip barely reaches more than a canter, aside from Ramblin’ With The Day and Lonely Places. There is a beauty in its stripped back nature, never overpowering, it is a perfect coming together of multiple genres. The closing track Down Patrol by far its highlight, laidback yet no less engaging, an exceptional way to end. Released: 21.05.21 www.rosecityband.bandcamp.com

35


MIXTAPE WORDS: ROB HERON

My name is Rob Heron. You may know me from playing music and DJing about town, but these days I am the events manager at The Globe in Newcastle. I took this job on in late 2020, and I have been having a brilliant time helping the venue’s owners, Jazz Coop, develop what was already a superb venue, into something even better! We have been running livestream shows three nights a week throughout lockdown, and we look forward to inviting audiences in ASAP, for a programme of gigs that we are very proud of. The following selection of tracks are all from artists that we have hosted, or are yet to host, at The Globe! Check out our social media and website for updates on what’s coming up. www.theglobenewcastle.bar

HOWLIN RIC & THE ROCKETEERS I WANNA KNOW These guys are the meaning of rock ‘n’ roll. A Leeds-based band, and good pals of mine, they produce authentic sounding 50’s style R&B and RnR with immaculate execution. This track is from their debut LP Waiting By The Dancefloor, and I cannot recommend it enough. They’re playing at The Globe on 5th November. Listen

BASKERY ROCK & ROLL These guys are a Swedish trio made up of sisters who play a kind of punky Americana country reminiscent of the [Dixie] Chicks et al. Killbilly, mud-country, banjo-punk! Coming to The Globe in November – this will sell well, so get your tickets soon. Listen

RAPASA NYATRAPASA NYALOKA I first saw Rapasa playing at The Coal Yard, and when I started at The Globe I contacted Carl from the Coal Yard immediately because I needed to get Rapasa booked in (and he’s playing here on 28th May). He is from Kenya and plays an eight stringed lyre called a

Nyatiti and sings beautiful soulful songs in his native tongue. Really worth checking out. Listen

SERIOUS SAM BARRETT LAST OF THE YORKSHIRE OUTLAWS This guy is a true Yorkshire troubadour, and his blend of folk song, banjo playing, 12 string guitar melodies and songs about skateboarding makes for a humble and unique performance. A true gent and a magical songwriter. Sam did a live stream for us in January for Independent Venue Week, and will return in July! Listen

NISHLA SMITH QUINTET BLUE DREAM I can’t talk about music at The Globe and not talk about jazz. The place is owned by Jazz Coop, a cooperative of jazz fans who purchased the building so they could create a hub of music. Nishla Smith is an extraordinary vocalist and songwriter, with a gentle but soulful voice. She will be joined by her quintet at The Globe in July. Listen

THE KUBRICKS DOWN WITH THE DOGS Some people might remember The Globe

hosting a number of reggae sound system nights in the past; and nothing will be changing there, as we have a number of brilliant reggae events lined up in the autumn, including this seven-piece band from London. Proper knees up stuff. Listen

MOON WAX SLICK COSMOLOGY These guys are a disco-pop band from Middlesbrough. They contacted me about doing a live stream at The Globe, and I was instantly blown away! What a band! Seriously tight and slick, and definitely filling a gap in the North East music scene. I think they will go real far! Listen

TIM DALLING A ROUND FOR THE NHS Oh Tim! Tim Dalling has been a pal of mine for some years now, and he is an extremely charming, hilarious and talented man. With his tongue in his cheek and his witty humour protruding, he still manages to write and deliver an almost perfect political hymn in this anthemic ditty about the NHS! Thanks NHS, but also, thank you Tim Dalling! Listen

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SERIES 2 LAUNCHES THURSDAY 13TH MAY

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