Monday, 2 July 2012

UNdane Monday:- Band T-shirts

Recently, two things happened.

1.) Hundred Reasons, a band I loved when I was 18, announced a UK show, and

2.) Rocksound published their list of 101 Modern Classic albums between 1997 and 2012.

And these things made me sad. Because I realised that, at 28, my prime gig going days may be over, and all the bands I feel passionately about are a memory rather than a current and ongoing obsession.

But mainly I was sad because over the years, I threw away all my band t-shirts. Some of which were rare and which I will never see again. I wonder where they all are now.

There was my Ash Envy t-shirt, black with green Envy eyes on the front, that I bought at Reading Festival 2002, just after they released Envy as a standalone single, and that I wore to death at University.

There was the red Hiding with Girls T-shirt that I bought at a tiny gig at a tiny venue in Croydon, having missed most of their set due to being, erm, otherwise engaged. Then I wore that to death too, ran into the lead singer at a festival and failed to recognise him when he commented on the shirt. He seemed offended.

...And the black and red Gratitude t-shirt I bought at their London Barfly show in September 2005 and wore until it lost it's shape, then THREW IT AWAY. What was I thinking?

...And the Muse t-shirt I bought off a street vendor for a fiver after they played the Bournemouth BIC in late 2003. It was the colour of sick but I wore it all the time for months and months and months.

...The black Funeral for a Friend t-shirt that had the words 'I'm nothing more than a line in your book' on the back in spidery white script that they sold on their summer 2003 tour. I bought it at Reading Festival, along with several hundred other people who were in on the fact that back then, they were AWESOME. They played the smallest stage in the earliest slot on the Saturday and the tent was packed.

The light blue Jimmy Eat World fitted t-shirt with wings on the back and lyrics from Hear You Me that they sold on their summer 2002 UK tour. I wanted to get the wings tattooed on me when I was 19. I'm glad I didn't. But I wish I still had the T-shirt.

I still own band t-shirts. But most of them were bought as fashion statements much more recently. A jewelled AC/DC fitted t-shirt I bought for £4 in the kid's section at Hennes. The Iron Maiden T-shirt that belonged to my brother when he was overweight, years and years ago. I wear it as a dress.

The only true, authentic, real, original bought-at-a-gig, comes-from-back-in-the-day T-shirt I own now is my much beloved and much battered Hundred Reasons Ideas Above Our Station t-shirt that I bought in February 2002. I still wear it, as a tribute to every other band t-shirt I loved and lost over the years.

And missing all these T-shirts got me to thinking: maybe it's time to resurrect the old days of wearing band tees every single day of the week no matter what the occassion. Just for a month.

And so, starting today, I'm wearing a band T-shirt a Day for 30 days. To prove it, there will be photographs. And it's going to be hard, as I only own about 5 band shirts now. So I'm calling in t-shirts from wherever I can find them. My friends bottom drawers, where they've stashed all the shirts from the gigs of the bands they loved when they were 19 and 20 but can't bring themselves to throw away. The furthest reaches of the Internet. Let's see what turns up...