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STRAND Showcase Spotlight: In Conversation with TASH


Photo provided courtesy of TASH


Alt-rock powerhouse TASH, real name Tara Noble, has been turning heads lately — her discography is filled to the brim with headbangers, and her fearless stage presence is difficult to tear your eyes away from. Recently, TASH headlined the New Artist Stage at All Points East, one of London’s biggest music festivals.


Now, on the 26th of July, she'll be bringing her electrifying setlist to the FEMMESTIVAL showcase at Two Palms Hackney — the third show the STRAND is proudly supporting. Ahead of the gig, I spoke to TASH about her evolving relationship with music, her recent projects, and the tensions that come with being a woman in the music industry.


Music has been a part of Tara’s life for years, though the music she started playing sounded different from the pop-metal sound that she's now known for. “I first started learning music classically, so I grew up playing the violin,” she said. However, things changed when Tara discovered rock music and decided to explore the genre. “I went down a rabbit hole, and then started learning guitar and bass,” and the rest was history. Equipped with a new set of instruments, she began covering songs by artists like Muse, Biffy Clyro, and Royal Blood.


Now that she’s a recording musician herself, I asked her what she likes best about the job. For Tara, nothing beats the joy of performing live: “When you’re performing live, it's a give-and-take between the audience and the performer, and I’m one of those people who bounces off of the energies that people bring to the table,” she said. TASH definitely knows how to keep a crowd buzzing with excitement, so I’m surprised when she compares the experience of performing to meditating. She told me that performing encourages her “to be fully present in the moment,” making it the perfect opportunity to cast aside life’s worries. Intrigued, I asked Tara to tell me more about the atmosphere at her gigs.


Tara aims to create an inclusive space where people are welcomed with open arms, mimicking the atmosphere of a house party with your best mates: “Rather than coming to see a show, it’s like you’re coming to hang out with your friends […] I think it will be chaos, but in the best way possible,” she said. One gig that really stood out to Tara was her gig at All Points East. “I think that’s probably the biggest show I’ve played, and the festival was so organised and everything ran really smoothly […] and it just felt like everyone was in really good spirits. We were feeding back all that energy,” she recalled. "I've gotta be honest: some shows are hard work. Sometimes the energy isn’t quite flowing right, which is okay, and I still enjoy those ones — but when the energy is flowing properly, it’s the best thing in the world.”


photo by Jessica-Rose Lena (Instagram: @jesssierosee)
photo by Chiara Ceccaioni (Instagram: @chiaraceccaioni)

I was curious about Tara’s perception of music as a medium that facilitates the exchange and circulation of energy. It seems that this perception has also shaped her pre-show ritual: when she’s feeling jumpy, she’ll put on a song that she can “shake [her] whole body” to. “I have this energy in my body that gets stuck, so I just give myself a good shake. I look absolutely mental, but that tends to get [the energy] moving through you!” she explained.


This conversation reminded me that, at its essence, music is a medium that fosters powerful connections. These connections can manifest in multiple forms, whether it's the energy oscillating between a performer and their audience, or the use of music in aligning one’s mind and body. Whatever it might be, music can definitely affect the ‘energy’ within us — and perhaps this understanding of energy is exactly what allows TASH to perform some truly enjoyable sets. As for what'll be on her setlist: audience members might even be lucky enough to hear her latest single, Make Me Mad.


"Make Me Mad was at first just a silly, fun idea. My friend did the voiceover at the start, and we were cracking up in the studio […] we were just joking around,” she confessed. At the time, she wasn’t even sure about releasing the song on official streaming platforms. However, Tara had a change of heart after hearing the final cut. We're so glad she did: it's another certified banger to rock out and scream to, especially for those with crazy exes or frustrating situationships — and it's now available to stream on Spotify.



Aside from the song no doubt hooking your ears, the cover art for it also catches the eye. I asked Tara about the creative direction behind her visuals, which combine monochromatic scenes with oversaturated hues. Tara explained how these visual elements complement her personal preferences, as well as her musical releases: “I love wearing black and white, but then my hair is bright red. And I think you can hear a similar theme in some of my music: there’s always darkness, but the light will shine through it. It’s very dark, but I always feel like there’s a streak of hopefulness and inspiration within the songs.”


Speaking of hopefulness, Tara is optimistic about the increasing attention being paid toward female musicians. “I’ve been noticing — in the last year, especially — that there’s been a really great push to get more women on lineups,” she said. However, there's a side to it which gives her mixed feelings. “I want people to come to my shows because they think I’m good. Not just because I’m a woman, you know? […] I’m hoping that it will develop into something a bit more, where we don’t have to highlight [gender] so clearly,” she added.


Despite these worries, she’s buzzing to join FEMMESTIVAL’s all-female lineup on the 26th of July: “I previously played another lineup that was [all-female], and I think the energy in the room was amazing because everyone’s there supporting each other. I’m really excited to see Bridget and Tally Spear; I can't wait for us all to come together, and I think it’s just gonna be a really, really awesome show.”


Having gone to two FEMMESTIVAL showcases now myself, I can say first-hand it's a fantastic opportunity to discover new music, and it won’t break the bank — tickets to the upcoming show are only £8. To keep up with TASH until then, you can follow her on social media, where you can also stay tuned for the release of her first EP.


“We’ve just finished writing it, and I’m just so excited, because some of my favourite songs I’ve ever written are gonna be included," she told me. You might even hear some of them on her showcase setlist — so don't miss out, and grab your ticket today. We'll see you there!


 

Edited by Talia Andrea, Editor in Chief



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