I’ve spent the best part of my early adolescent years bemoaning the departure of Smash Hits magazine from newsagents’ shelves nationwide. Sure, there was NME for my indie years, Rock Sound to cater to my brief but potent grunge phase and I think I bought an issue of Q once to impress my year ten boyfriend, but nobody does it like Smash Hits did. I went nuts for those pull out posters of J-Timbs in the ‘N Sync era. I gazed dreamily at them whilst reciting the Sean Paul lyrics I’d learnt from the centre spread to impress all my friends with in the playground.
So you can imagine my delight when I discovered BEAT Magazine, an online music zine and free quarterly publication. It’s A3 size and beautifully shot, which means that every single page is a poster just waiting to be carefully pulled out and blu-tacked up inside a locker. Even better, Garbage’s Shirley Manson is the agony aunt and Dean Langley’s design complete with bubble writing, triptych panels and brightly coloured backgrounds has me misty-eyed in remembrance of my teenage years. It’s also full of funny and insightful interviews with a diverse bunch of musicians. I mean where else are you going to look at some mega babes, some goth kids, a pop star, some indie kids and maybe an aged rocker all under one roof? With this issue proudly boasting M.I.A., those ever-present HAIM girls and London Grammar. And would you take a look at those double page spreads? Corrrr. A good find indeed.