Monday, November 24, 2008

band tees

On 6music tonight Steve Lamacq was endorsing the idea of band t-shirt day; a day when all of us who spent our teenage years collecting band t-shirts unite to dig one out and wear it to work. I think the point of this was probably that those of us old enough to remember The Inspiral Carpets would have long grown out of this habit, which isn't strictly true in my case; in recent years I've picked up several band tees, inspired not so much by showing off my allegiances but rather the fact that they seem to be so well designed these days. And I'm afraid I still wear them to work, so band t-shirt day might not be such an event for me. Nevertheless, it did make me think about some of the band t-shirts I've bought over the years.

- Aged about 14 or so I went to see The House of Love at Middlesex University, escorted, I'm afraid to say, by my father. They were wonderful, as you might expect, but my strongest memory of the evening is of leafing through a pile of bootleg tees laid out on the grass outside the venue. The ones I fixed on were two old, faded, but wonderfully exotic and eccentric Cure t-shirts; riotous colours against, of course, black. I remember making my dad buy me them, and the misty, musty smell of them, cold to the touch and still a little damp from the wet grass.
- At Mile End, watching Blur in 1995, I missed the entire Cardiacs set (I know!) so that I could queue up for a pint of beer and a t-shirt; the beer I quickly spilt, weaving my way back through the crowd, and the t-shirt (dark blue with the band logo across the front) I lost long before the end of the gig. Ah well.
- At a different Blur gig someone offered to swap me their Bluetones t-shirt for my vintage Nike t-shirt. Of course I refused, glowing in the knowledge that I possessed an enviable tee. In retrospect, I think it was one of my mum's old t-shirts which I liberated from her drawer.
- Much more recently, I bought a really nice Midlake t-shirt at a gig in Brighton; I was very pleased with it indeed. At the end of the show I handed it to Anne-Sophie for a moment so that I could nip to the loo. When I returned it was covered with marker pen doodles, as AS had thoughtfully asked each member of the band to draw an animal on it for me. This was good. But as a consequence I've never worn the t-shirt. Bah.


Rowan Stanfield said...

Don't get me started...wait...too late... In my teens I had every Guns n Roses T-shirt going, but left them at my mum's when I went to uni and they've all long since disappeared. I do still have a Faith No More T-shirt from when they supported Guns n Roses at Wembley in 1992, which now only gets used for slumming around in. I don't tend to buy band tees for myself these days - there's something about over 30s women wearing anything with a logo on it that I find inherently naff. But I do get them for the other half occasionally - the best one recently was from Explosions in the Sky at Concorde. If there ever was a 'wear a band tee to work day' I'd have to sport my skinny fit INXS shirt (as worn by the model on the cover of 'Elegantly Wasted') from their final UK date, just before Hutchence died. Totally uncool, but wonderfully sentimental to me!

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Midlake album #3?

I think they were of their time (the 70's) and won't make the same impression again...

jonathan said...

The new one's called 'Courage Of Others', apparently - don't know a lot about it except that it's much less Americana and more influenced by late 60s British folk. They're quoting Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull. Sounds like it might be interesting; dunno when it's out, though.

anne so said...

ahah i still have my gig ticket covered with Midlake doodles... I think they got really scared of Dan who seemed to know every detail of their life :)))