Review of the After Dark Tark Show with Tits Upon Tyne

By Jimmy Temniuk

The After Dark Tark Show is a casual talk show dedicated to giving creatives and thinkers a platform to share their opinions, personalities and insight into what they are passionate about, As well as a hub of mutual promotion.

I was drinking a coffee in the garden, in Nottingham. It was probably my 4th of the day… maybe 5th. The sun was blaring down with a small number of fluffy clouds scrambling over every 20 minutes or so. I had the house to myself and had agreed to review Natalie Greener’s appearance on ‘The After Dark Tark Show’ with Callum Casey. This was the first I’d heard of his show, and I didn’t know what to expect. But caffeine-addled ears I dove straight in, here are some of my thoughts regarding the episode. 

Callum remarks in regards to Tits Upon Tyne the clear message of empowerment and describes it as a good cause for its own sake with a focus on no bias or hatred. If a healthy community draws from a diversity of identity then this is a great example. Newcastle is painted in this picture, a place where artists and promoters actively scratch one another’s back. There seems to be this Community spirit which parallels that of say Tony Wilsons Factory Records. Callum discusses this idea of collective resources, and how it is sparking up in the Newcastle scene at the moment. We can’t ignore ego and the place it holds within the whole social forum of music and art. But we can’t let it come between artists especially when the overarching system dictates profit as the motive.

 Collective resources should be used for the benefit of a group of people internally. To provide a platform, and stoke opportunity for everyone involved. If everybody is playing to their physical, mental and material strengths then you will ultimately see a result that is richer and more wholesome. It is argued that young bands take promoters for granted, something Nat bore witness to as a young woman in the live gig industry. Discrimination is rife in the masculine dominated environment and I believe this rises from individualism. Most will form their identity around their tastes, their region and their social circles leading to the toxic environment where open prejudice is rife. The superficial becomes most important and expectations are thrown around between peers. Assumptions inform actions.

 If we can find a way to inform young artists, promoters and audience members of how superficial that side of the social forum is, then perhaps we can develop a more mature and wholesome community spirit that way. In the grand scheme of things, there are a lot more important things to worry about than your ego and social position. As long as you are honest and help your peers out then you can find your affirmation. A lot of this ties into emotional maturity and awakening that Callum comments on well. It is an awakening that can tie into grief, narcotics or even just general stimulation through experience. He illustrates his hope that the current health crisis and lockdown will have forced a lot of natural development towards these realisations.

A major point of the mental health issue comes up, general anxiety due to many factors can decimate your ability to function in a way that fulfils your meaning. Natalie very rightly talks about the art as therapy idea that she has heard from bands she has previously worked with. It’s the provision of your meaning and using that build-up of adrenaline to create music, art and purpose. We are wild animals still and the flight or fight reflex does not fit into modern-day problems. On top of that, we are constantly bombarded with consumerist messages that batter our self-esteem to the point of no return. They then sell us the idea of self-betterment through spending.

 A live gig is described by Callum here as this funnel of affirmation. You have a large number of people who share a similar identity in an often intimate space. This gives the audience member and the performer the feeling of purpose. The combination of this and the raw human energy that is expressed by both parties can be very therapeutic indeed. 

“Good Vibes man, Good Vibes…”.- Callum

The comparison of Nottingham to Newcastle resonated with me. Nottingham with its established music and night scenes is a liberating place to be. There are hundreds if not thousands of members of the subculture there who, through varying degrees of activity contribute to a really lively atmosphere. The problems come from social politics. When you have such a regimented culture it’s easy to get lost within these pocket dramas and you eventually reduce to being a “face”. To be seen becomes your prerogative, to be heard becomes your fixation. It is a great platform and very highly populated with a pedigree of artists and creators that believe in what they do but there becomes a point where the oppressiveness of egocentrism can make things sour. 

This can and does happen in every level of society. Be it a local friend group, regional music scene or even global movement. However, Newcastle sounds like this positive blank canvas. It has less of the regimented social structure and less saturation. Nat describes how she found it liberating to move up there with all the social, mental and business skills that she has taken out of her place of upbringing allowing her the freedom to create a positive movement in Tits Upon Tyne. Locations can provide this shift in perception that drives positive action, as can new jobs and even new social circles. Though identity informs our action, it is all interlinked. I believe it’s more to do with the fresh situation that builds the result. You can find it almost anywhere. 

Perception is a funny thing. 

However, the way that Callum and Natalie describe Newcastle paints the picture of a city with real potential to provide this function. Further north there is a stronger idea of identity, A firmer grasp of background and a generally more empathetic people. I believe this of many cities in the north, I had a similar experience to what Nat describes in Sheffield and Doncaster. It’s that futility of the forgotten towns, the towns and cities left behind by the Neo-Liberals. As a phenomenon, I think it’s fascinating but I do wonder why young people from the Midlands have lost their own identity. But identity goes beyond geography. It draws from our experience, our work, our passion, our gender. Most of all identity draws from our physical appearance. 

Race? Gender? Body?

Overall this episode of The After Tark Dark show was a very interesting listen, It does a good job of illustrating the ethos of Tits Upon Tyne and shows not only the passion of Natalie’s Work but is a fantastic discussion between two very great minds. It flows well, goes through a range of interlinked topics in a positive endearing way. I would recommend listening in one sitting.

Every episode from season one of The After Dark Tark Show is available to listen to now on their Facebook page.

Callum is currently working on a postseason special that will take the guise of a GTA Vice City Radio Station, a sort of ‘Chris Morris’ fever dream by the sounds of it.

Listen to the full podcast episode here –

After Dark Tark Show by Callum Casey

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