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STRAND X Gotobeat Festival: In Conversation With Sugarthief, Good Future, Youth Sector & L'Objectif

Amidst our preparations for our long-awaited STRAND Magazine X Gotobeat festival this September 17th, we took a moment to catch up with a few of the big-name bands on our lineup to see how they're getting on with their own preparations. Without further ado, let us pass the mic to Sugarthief, Good Future, Youth Sector, and L‘Objectif, for the only kind of feedback we don't mind hearing outside a soundcheck.

STRAND X Reading Festival, Part One: A Female-Focused Friday

The night before Reading Festival was about to hit the town, we hit the town ourselves to buy last-minute tents to see us through what promised to be an action-packed weekend. It would have been hard to miss the high calibre of genre-bending and box-breaking female artists whose names criss-crossed Reading Festival's Friday bill from morning until night; and thus, my plan was set. From 1pm to 11pm, I went from stage to stage (...to stage, to stage…) to check out sets from some of the 2022 music industry’s must-watch women, for this “female-focused Friday” feature.

Gustavo Santaolalla At The Barbican Centre: An Unwinding Road Trip Through A 50-Year Career

As soon as the hands of the clock reach 7:30PM, the stage of the Barbican Centre’s main hall becomes submerged in blue light. The overhead lights go down, and the five members of Gustavo Santaolalla’s ‘SantaBanda’ take their seats, each of them surrounded by instruments. A yellow lampshade on four of these podiums, and patterned carpets underneath them, make the vast space feel almost homelike. In the distance, you can hear the pre-recorded sounds of birdsong.

STRAND X Community Festival: The Hottest Rock Acts For The Mid-July Heatwave

In the upswing of the UK summer’s most eye-wateringly intense heatwave, thousands of music fans gathered in Finsbury Park for the return of London’s Community Festival for the first time since 2019. Headlined by Two Door Cinema Club and featuring sixteen other hit acts, including Nothing But Thieves, The Wombats, and Pale Waves, the star-studded lineup made it easy to forget you were just a short walk away from the bustling streets and shop corners of North London.

Tinashe at Electric Brixton: A Performance As Diverse As Her Audience

From the outset, Tinashe’s 7th July performance at cool-kid hotspot Electric Brixton promises to be one to remember, even before you’re anywhere near the building; the behemoth of a queue stretching around the block hours before doors open, all dressed in their 2000s-inspired Thursday best, makes you wonder what era you’re in (as well as what era you’ll be in once you finally make it inside the venue).

Gender and Sexuality In Eurovision: A Clash Between Performance and Politics

Every May without fail, almost everyone who owns a TV licence crawls out of the woodwork and onto Twitter to share their comments, questions and concerns about the latest series of the Eurovision Song Contest: a competition hailed for its glorious (or tasteless, depending on who you ask) refusal to conform to what is generally considered socially acceptable in the worlds of music, fashion, dance, and virtually every other subcategory of entertainment. Its refusal to conform doesn’t stop at just entertainment, however.

Becky G: ESQUEMAS - Review

“Look back at it / lights, camera, action, / Definitely the best of the scene,” says Mexican-American singer Becky G on the break of 'Chicken Noodle Soup' — her 347-million (YouTube) view hit made with BTS’s J-Hope back in 2019. Now, in 2022, looking back isn’t quite in the cards for her anymore: as she sings on the 750-million-stream smash-hit and her highest-charting single, 'MAMIII' featuring KAROL G, “I don’t look back anymore, not even to park”.

Kehlani: blue water road - Review

Six years after hitting big with the Suicide Squad soundtrack’s fourth lead single, 'Gangsta', Kehlani has made a change with the far less reckless 'blue water road'. The album strikes a deft balance between the hard-hitting hip-hop beats of the singer’s 2020 album, 'It Was Good Until It Wasn’t', and a brand-new softness around the edges; like she says on opening track little story, she’s “Tryna meet you at the altar / Workin’ on bein’ softer”. Their work seems to have paid off.

Charli XCX: CRASH - Review

“I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn,” Charli XCX chants on Icona Pop’s 'I Love It', one of her most well-known singles as a featuring artist to anyone that owned a radio in 2012. Ten years later, she’s rising from the ashes of her burning car like a phoenix for one last, poptastic laugh, with her fifth studio album, 'CRASH'—the final album in the record deal she signed with Atlantic Records at age 16.

Bree Runway At Electric Brixton: Not Just A Pop-Star, But A Pop-Supernova

Since the release of her debut mixtape 2000AND4EVA in November 2020, Bree Runway’s career has only ever been on the up. Fittingly, she starts her set at Electric Brixton with the album’s first track, ‘APESHIT’, which was also the first to garner major critical acclaim, attracting attention from internationally-renowned ‘Goddess of Rap’ Missy Elliott after all of the comparisons made between them. Now, Bree Runway has the potential to become a household name; her live show on the 14th of March only proves it.

Hot Milk Warm Up The Crowd At Camden's Roundhouse

Hot Milk, the pop-punk passion project of vocalist/guitarist duo Han Mee and Jim Shaw, erupt onto the stage at Camden’s Roundhouse in support of their fellow Mancunians and alt-rockers Pale Waves, backed by bassist Tom Paton and drummer Harry Deller. The band, who have supported the likes of Foo Fighters and are tipped to do so again this year, live up to their name with how they heat up the crowd: from the get-go, the four firecracker musicians come out roaring.
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