Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tantrum's top albums of 2011

Putting together just five top albums of 2011 is quite a formidable challenge, there are of course so many genres of music and so many
bands who have done astounding things over the last twelve months. From soft electronica, to classic indie rock and an iconic artist of a
generation, I think these five have it covered.

Metronomy - The English Riviera
Known foremost for their indie club hit A Thing For Me a few years back, Metronomy have crafted one of the best loved and most hyped
albums of the year, The English Riviera. A band who are also recognized for their incredible live sets, the band outplayed every
single festival stage they were put on this year with crowds seen brimming out from canopies above. Slow and infectious guitar rifts
mixed with escapist electronic beats has become Metronomy’s trademark mixture on The English Riviera, making for a sound that creeps further
under your skin with every listen.

The Horrors - Skying
Starting a few years ago as one of the biggest jokes in the music industry, The Horrors have had the musical come back of all time to
take the crown as one of British music’s most important and innovative modern bands. The album Skying has split critics and fans alike down
the middle however all agree this is the sound of a band evolving. Firing on all cylinders, The Horrors have made themselves a name which
will be closely watched after this progressive and imaginative album.

The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines
While a lot of bands receive blinding levels of hype and media attention at the beginning of every year, hailed as ‘the next big thing’, very few indeed actually deliver. Justin Young of The Vaccines has this year gone from battling to be heard over rowdy pub punters to selling out Brixton Academy two nights in a row. Helped by numerous NME covers, hours of Radio 1 play time and an infectious indie/punk
sound, The Vaccines have built themselves as one of Britain’s most important bands of the year, whatever you might have expected from The Vaccines, I bet this wasn’t it.
Beyonce - 4
A worldwide phenomena both for popular and alternative music fans alike, Beyonce crossed the 
border between the two this year by being the first female artist to headline Glastonbury in over 
twenty five years. An appearance that co-ordinated with her album, 4, the American powerhouse 
has already had four hits since the albums' release in June. A true icon of our generation, 2011 
will be remembered as the year Beyonce broke free of her pop star diva mould and turned into 
a true music icon.

The Strokes - Angles
As the only band left standing in one piece or with a shred of dignityfrom the noughties indie 
generation (we're looking at you, Kings of Leon), The Strokes' fourth album Angles is a pretty 
big deal. While slowed down and sounding aged, The Strokes are still making music that sounds
like the bands initial criteria of painfully cool and achingly addictive guitar rifts with more than just 
a slice of sex appeal. Playing a handful of festival gigs this summer, The Strokes showed the
upcoming wave of bands just how it is done.
words: Robyn Lynch 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Soulwaxmas London 2011

With snow flakes lapping at the ground on the morning of this years Soulwaxmas, it was hoped that the night's entertainment would be a white one. A gig unlike any other held at South London’s Brixton Academy, Soulwaxmas has run for the past five years, each time more acclaimed and anticipated than the last. The brain child of brothers David and Stephen Dewaele, Soulwaxmas is also held in Paris and the siblings homeland of Belgium. With dance acts Erol Alkan, Paul Chambers, Turbo Wolf and Gesaffelstein playing alongside Soulwax and the Dewaele brothers alter ego 2manydjs, there was plenty to keep your two feet moving until the 3am curfew.

While the other acts were intensely enjoyed as any soundtrack to a night club would be, it was 2manydjs that stole the show in a blasting hour and half set. Known for keeping their setlist of each gig strictly classified, 2manydjs are the kings of remixing dance, indie and rock classics. From the opening buzz Brixton was in the palm of 2manydjs hands, singing along to bass lines and clapping in time to their favourite songs remixed. Amongst the eclectic mix of songs was The Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy Hey Girl, Metronomy - The Bay, Motorhead - Ace of Spades and The Prodigy - Out of Space all making up an incredible set list which spanned the best of alternative music over the past few decades.

Keeping the crowd entertained further were amazing visual affects in the form of redesigned album artworks and a 3-D screen pouring into the front of the five thousand strong crowd at Brixton Academy. Ending their set on The Beatle’s - Christmas Time Is Here Again with a blast on confetti and a light show in red and green, Soulwaxmas was certainly filled of festive frolics.

words: Robyn Lynch

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Pyrrha jewellery

With the exception of a birthday Tiffany necklace, I’m not a big jewellery wearer. I never really have been. I pretty much detest any huge amount of bling whether it’s a costume piece or a precious metal creation. I much prefer to wear smaller, more unusual designs which aren’t adorning the necks of Topshop- clad teens around the country, which is precisely why I can’t get enough of the new collection by Vancouver-based jewellery brand, Pyrrha.
Design duo Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore found the inspiration for their innovative ‘Seal’ collection rummaging through stacks of 19th century letters in an estate sale, letters which came complete with their inscribed wax seals still attached, which were sent way before emails became the norm. After discovering the symbolism of the creatures which adorned these seals, Papin and Wilmore chose to cast their gold and silver designs from these originals, embracing any imperfections in the wax to create traditional pieces with a modern edge. Horseshoes, gryphons and coats of arms are imprinted on to eye-catching cuffs, bangles and necklaces, all of which have a beautifully unique, handcrafted feel to them.

The fact that the pieces have a kind of grungy vibe means they’ll be as much at home dressed up as they will be paired with your favourite cut-offs. They also have a total timeless quality to them which means this is one investment piece which will see you through the fickle world of fleeting trends. With prices ranging from £150 - £4,000 the pieces certainly don’t come cheap, but for jewellery as cool as this I figure it’s okay to branch out a bit or, failing that, start dropping some pretty heavy hints to your loved ones. That’s what birthdays are for right?

head over to for more info and to view the full collection.

words: Lucy Topping

Sunday, 18 December 2011

XFM's Winter Wonderland

As summer rolls out and the sharp winds of winter snap, the longing for festivals and dancing all night long to your favourite bands is ever keen. One way to stave off those winter blues was a bout at this years XFM Winter Wonderland. The London gig was a showcase of this years freshest talent and old favourites playing to a packed out and festively happy crowd of music fans.

An unfortunate bout of illness saw one of the most adored bands of the past twelve months, The Horrors, pull out only hours before the doors at Brixton Academy opened, however this left the remaining five bands more time to play. Starting the evening on an early roll Band Of Skulls broke the nights trend of boys in bands with bassist and vocalist Emma Richardson setting it to the crowd with their garage rock sound.

Pulling back to a sweeter but albeit more festive sound Ben Howard had Brixton Academy captivated with an acoustic set. Playing only two tracks, a short but intensely endearing set saw a rowdy crowd hushed for ‘Old Pine’ and ‘The Fear’.

It was not until the kings of indie-rock The Maccabees took to the stage that XFM Winter Wonderland really took to its stride. A band who have gone from strength to strength over the last few years, 2011 has been worse off for the bands absence while writing new material. With a third of their set dedicated to new material, latest single Pelican marked a triumphant return for The Maccabees while Lego and Precious Time could be heard shouted back to the band from every corner of Brixton Academy. Getting into the Christmas swing a surprise Home Alone Christmas medley saw the crowd enjoying a very merry night out.

A theme that continued when James Dean Bradfield of The Manic Street Preachers took to the stage to accept the XFM Inspiration Award or the “award for old people” as he named it, before playing a cover of Wham’s Last Christmas. Another unfairly short set, the Manic’s frontman continued to play favourites Your Love Alone Is Not Enough and Design For Life.

While many were dubious of The Kaiser Chiefs headlining such an event, by the time the band took to the stage the majority of Brixton Academy were merry enough to sing and dance along to the last of the nights entertainment, in true festival style. Still with only a thirteen song set, although some will think that quite enough, the band blasted out crowd-pleasers such as Everyday I Love You Less and Less, Ruby and I Predict a Riot to a massive response.

A massively enjoyable night despite band illness and pull outs at the last moment letting down XFM Winter Wonderland again this year. A feeling that all the bands should have longer on stage was washed under the floorboards by the high quality of the sets that were
played, leaving those attending with strong Christmas cheer.

words: Robyn Lynch

Saturday, 17 December 2011

All that glitters...

If you haven't quite caught on, glitter is always huge trend for this party season and it is everywhere. How can anyone resist a little bit of glitz and glamour to brighten up the winter days? We certainly can't! Glitter can be worn so many different ways so there will always be something for you, whether you love it and wear it on a statement dress, or wish to go a little more subtle with hints of glitter appearing on your shoes, or even your nails. We've created three looks for you, hopefully giving you some inspiration on how to introduce glitter into your festive party wardrobe; it really is fun as it looks!

If the thought of wearing glitter excites you then go all out with a statement dress. This gorgeous berry-red glitter frock is from LOVE, perfect for Christmas Eve antics or even your Christmas day dress - it's versatile and looks extremely flattering. For the evening luxe look, pair it with some platforms (we’ve picked a cream pair from Topshop for a festive colour palette) and a black envelope clutch (the one shown is H&M).

If the big-glitter look isn't for you, then how about glitter shoes? They won't be too dominating, but will definitely add a bit of va-va-voom to your outfit. Keep it subtle by choosing a silver pair. These Mary-Jane's are from Topshop and aren't too high, there is no fear of breaking your ankles in these! Keeping the look sophisticated, wear them will a classic LBD (the one shown is Topshop), which will also vanish that panic of overdoing it! If you want to add a bit of colour, do so in the bag (the one shown is ASOS) - this will polish of the look quite nicely.

For the real subtle look, get ultra-glittery with your accessories! Bags, nail polishes, make-up, belts, you name it and there will be a glitter version. Some of our party favourites include: Glitter look lip tattoos (Violent Lips). These are so fun and will last you through the times where the vodka misses your mouth (yes, it's happened to the best of us!) Glitter tights are another great way to jazz up your outfit and are found all across the high street at bargain prices. If you just want the littlest hint of glitter then pick yourself up some OPI glitter nail polish - our two favourites are Rainbow Connection and Gone Gonzo.

So what are you waiting for? Go glitzy and glam and have a great party season!

by Jemma Lamble 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Introducing Dahlia Fashion (plus, an AMAZING contest!)

We always love coming across emerging brands, so it totally brightened our moods in this wintery weather when we were introduced to the delightful label, Dahlia.

Dahlia was created in Portobello by sisters Tracey & Leigh, who began selling their cute homemade designs at the Portobello and Spitalfields' markets in 2000. And with their quirky aesthetics, it's easy to see how the label caught the attention of fashion-savvy girls worldwide.

Every style at Dahlia is designed by their small in-house design team, who ensure that all pieces adhere to the playful and quirky aesthetics of the Dahlia girl. With cute prints, diverse fabrics and bespoke detailing adorning their designs, the brand is the perfect example of modern British style and with stockists including Topshop and ASOS, Dahlia are definitely a label to keep an eye on!  Have a peek at some of our fave Dahlia pieces below and make sure you head over to their website for a look at the full selection. Dahlia is perfect for the party season, or any season in fact! 

*ANDDDD* as a bonus treat for one of you lucky lot, we've teamed up with Dahlia to offer you the chance to win £60 credit to spend at Dahlia online! All you need to do to be in with a shot of winning is to 'like' Tantrum & Dahlia on FACEBOOK and write the following message on our wall: "I want to be party perfect with @tantrummagazine & @dahliafashion"

You can double your chances by following Tantrum & Dahlia on twitter and tweeting the message "I want to be party perfect with @tantrummagazine & @dahliafashion, follow & RT to win!"

Good luck!

Oh, and a note to all Bloggers - you can join Dahlia's affiliate program which can reward you with generous perks and discounts! just follow the link below to be on your way to lots of fashionable benefits!

contest ends on 21/12/11, winner will be chosen at random and will receive £60 worth of credit to spend at Dahlia's online store.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Gareth Pugh x M.A.C

British designer Gareth Pugh embodies everything we love over at Tantrum. His dark, twisted, monochromatic designs, geometric shapes and futuristic fantasies have our hearts all of a flutter. Needless to say, his brand new collaboration with MAC cosmetics is nothing short of fantastic and titled, 'as stylistically daring as his reputation.'

Just like his choice of materials in fashion, the designer has chosen multi-faceted textures that glint and gleam, giving a two tone effect. He's also created pieces such as a pearl infused lipglass that you can layer over his lipsticks for extra, depth, drama and effect. However, possibly the best piece of the whole MAC collection, is Gareth Pugh’s take on false eyelashes. Geometrically sharp and dark, these eyelashes would never allow you to blend into the crowd. For anyone interested in the videos the designer creates for his collections, with director Ruth Hogben, you’ll be ecstatic to find out they’ve created one for the MAC collaboration. View it here, you’ll definitely be swooning!

words: Natasha Nicole Waddon

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wolf & Moon

As you guys probably already know, we're always on the lookout for cool, affordable jewellery (err, who isn't?!) So when we stumbled across the mystically-named Wolf & Moon, we were pleasantly surprised - they were cute, quirky and... within our budget!

"Wolf & Moon is an emerging jewellery label designed and run by Hannah Davis.  Hannah's jewellery is made using laser cut perspex or wood, with many designs in limited numbers and one of a kind pieces. The latest collection has a strong vintage influence, and is inspired by 70s and 80s colourful statement pieces with a touch of geometric Art Deco. Wolf & Moon aspires to create affordable jewellery for those who are after something special and a little bit

With such lovely pieces at purse-friendly prices, Wolf & Moon is fast becoming a Tantrum favourite. Head on over to their online store and stock up on some beautifully offbeat jewellery! They're perfect for Christmas gifts too, we sure would love some of their pieces under or indeed, adorning our tree this year!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Esty store spotlight: My Little Fisheye

You've probably noticed by now that those cute little woven friendship bracelets you adorned your arms with when you were 8 are, well, cool again. But now that we're all grown-up (kind of...) we're on the lookout for a bit of an edgier take on the old-school best friends bracelets. And it looks like My Little Fisheye knows exactly what we mean.

My Little Fisheye is the brainchild of L.A-based Lauren Rodgers, who's loved making things for as long as she can remember. After graduating from FIDM, she worked various jobs in the fashion industry before realising the corporate side of the fashion biz just wasn't for her. Lucky for us, making stuff is Lauren's calling, and the spiked BFF bracelets above are just one of her many creations. They're the perfect combination of schoolgirl innocence and teenage angst, so they're pretty much made for us Tantrum girls!

Check out Lauren's etsy store for more info on the BFF spike bracelets and sneak a look at more of her handmade jewellery and clothing and vintage finds!

Spike BFF bracelets by Lauren Rodgers - around $24.00 USD.