It’s a bumper music issue this month. With so many record reviews to juggle, we’ve split into two sections – one for the local artists making their voices and crafts heard, and another featuring sounds from further afield. On the topic of fields, those rural hotbeds of sonic activity are the focus of this month’s Sound section article, which looks at – and listens to – phonography.

Five music interviews are located in the column to the right: chats with Beth Orton, Fox, Patterns, Wyles & Simpson and the Cosmosis festival organisers are all worth further investigation.

Last month, the Whitworth’s door’s were finally forced open by the weight of expectation of a patient arts scene, so YGR Erskine reports on what you’re missing if you’ve not yet visited.

Ged Camera remembers some of the city’s lost ale houses and another article serving up state-altering substances is our interview with David Nutt, who is among the team behind the latest Drugs Live TV trial.

We have an eclectic batch of reviews in Books, Stage, Live and Filmreel, and of course a natter with this month’s featured artist, Joe McDonnell.

We’ve covered the campaign to save Ancoats Dispensary and turn the building into a widely accessible community centre in an early issue (NT#3) and the latest obstacle on the road to succeeding with the plan is to raise enough funds alongside the £315,000 pledged by the Heritage Lottery Enterprise Fund. If you can afford to dig deep in the name of local history, here’s the link to their fundraising page.

Finally, with the General Election nearing it’s worth a trip across the Pennines for the Festival of Debate. It’s staged by our Sheffield brethren and features talks by Owen Jones, Shami Chakrabarti and George Monbiot, along with all manner of politically relevant film screenings, poetry, panels, debates and discussions over the next couple of months.

Enjoy the read and we’ll be back at the start of April.