platform magazine, tayla jade

Beat the Streets: Music for a social movement

Platform Magazine’s James Evans looks at the festival that smashed £100,000 for Framework, a local charity helping the homeless. From discussing the event, the cause and Trent bands involved, ‘Beat The Streets’ has been fully covered…

On the 28th of January, a community came together for ‘Beat The Streets’ festival – spread across 10 venues. From big acts from Sleaford Mods to bands from Trent, to local heroes like Unknown Era, people performed their own unique sound.

Music is a tool that brings people together, and this time it was in aid of a great and prominent cause.  Homelessness has been the experience of people since history has begun. Walking around Nottingham, you can see there is material inequality just by leaving your front door.

Over the past seven years, homelessness has increased in the UK. These numbers are rising each year. There is a myriad of reasons as to why someone might find themselves on the streets: structural problems, inflated prices in the housing market, cuts of housing benefits and even breakdowns of relationships, mental health issues or substance dependency.

Whatever the reasons, Nottingham, including artists from our very own campus, came together in aid of the cause. We went to the festival to talk to these bands and see them entertain the local folk.

Black Cats and Magpies

music, black cats and magpies, platform magazine
Photo credit: Oliver Carnell

Black Cats and Magpies have come a long way since their inception in 2014. Originally a two-man acoustic band, they have evolved into a full-blown electric band. A band of diverse influences, they see ‘Beat The Streets’ as not just a way of raising awareness in Nottingham, but a route to change as when ‘sometimes life throws you shit’, we should all help.

The packed basement in Rock City showed the extent of the band’s local support. I joined and found myself becoming a fan of their sound. They jokingly regard their music as ‘Atmospheric Indie Singalong Drama Rock’. I could see the different ages in their music, and did in fact find myself singing along. A later slot guaranteed a merry crowd, who also found themselves joining in. It appeared their joke was right, solidifying a new genre of their own.

Their EP is coming out very soon, with some other exciting news on the way. Be sure to follow them on Instagram or Facebook for all their updates.

The Frantics

The Frantics are not a comedy band from Canada, but a new-age Alternative-Rock band coming straight from NTU, they’ll have you know. Performing as a collective for just under a year, in both London and Nottingham, they used their songs about the folly of young love to help ‘Beat The Streets’. A simple bipartisan issue they view as a prominent cause in our turbulent times. Coming together as a four-piece, you can feel the adolescent and raw passion from the lead singer and the instruments that align.

the frantics, platform magazine
Photo credit: Emily Wilson

Their performance in Stealth’s grungy room, which Nirvana would look comfortable in, got the crowd feeling nostalgic for their first heart break. Their front man seemed to not mind climbing on anything he could, which sure did add excitement to the performance. The whole band seemed to nod in unison, almost carefree, in a state of drive for their music. They finished with claps from an excited room, and were more than content with their performance.

The Frantics are available on Spotify and iTunes, with more gigs in Nottingham lined-up for an exciting beginning of the year. You can follow them on Instagram or on Facebook.

Tayla-Jayde

Tayla-Jayde is a natural talent who has been performing in Nottingham for about a year. After leaving NTU, she has performed and lived in other areas of the country but settled in Notts. ‘Beat The Streets’ and the cause is something close to her heart as she works with Archers, at Trent Vineyard Church. She was set up with a talented team of a bassist, guitarist, keyboardist and drummer, which complemented Tayla-Jayde’s charming and rich voice.

Tayla-Jayde’s performance, and style, at Rescue Rooms’ intimate venue suggested part of her inspiration lies in the past, stemming from her mother – a former Westlife backing singer. When we spoke, she told me her music was ‘genre-less’. She would not restrict herself to one type of genre and her sound was up for interpretation. It is a distinct voice you must hear and I think most people in Rescue Rooms would probably agree.

Tayla-Jayde is working on an anticipated EP, a disparate collection of her sound. You can follow her on Instagram for updates on her upcoming ventures.

A ‘vagabond’ used to get arrested in Britain for having no castle to reside in. Criminalisation is archaic. I met a man the other night who seemed calm and relaxed. He asked me for any change I may have and I gave him some. We got talking. He had just left the local prison cell. One week he had been in the cells just for doing what had started our interaction. He was clearly in need of help and suffered from some complicated struggles, which had led him to the streets.

Another woman I spoke to told me ‘I may be homeless, but I am not invisible’. To hear these words broke my heart. I hope ‘Beat The Streets’ will raise awareness in order to show her that we can see.

Donations can still be made at JustGivingor by texting BTSN81 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070 (so to donate £3 you can text ‘BTSN £3’).

By James Evans

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