Friday, 27 July 2012

Turning Heads in Band T-Shirts

I remember two (no wait… thinking about it three) band t-shirts that I loved to wear (sadly my waist is too big to still be wearing them, I was a thin, young thing) but I would never have dared to wear in front of my nanna!

Over the years a number of album designs and band t-shirts have caused outrage (sometimes I’ve never been able to work out who exactly was outraged) and some designs have even been banned. This got me thinking about why I bought some of the more “controversial” designs and why I have worn them.

My first and favourite was Spacemen 3’s “For All The Fucked-Up Children Of This World We Give You Spacemen 3”. Not only are Spacemen 3 one of my all-time favourite bands but I found the message of this t-shirt really appealing, they were on the outside of the music world creating music for like-minded souls and controversy aside over use of language the sentiment was perfect. I wasn’t wearing the t-shirt for a swear word but I felt a definite kinship in it, I was one of these fucked-up children and Spacemen 3 were my band, and an amazing one at that!

The second was the Sisters of Mercy’s “Fuck Me And Marry Me Young” t-shirt. I love the Sisters, their albums and singles remind me of when I was living in a damp basement in West London (with a giant Vision Thing poster in the corridor) listening to the band and trying to ignore the mice. Blasting out Dominion/Mother Russia on my homemade minidisc mixes as I marched through Holland Park and Notting Hill on my way to Uni proudly wearing my Sister’s t-shirt… they might be able to afford these massive houses and fancy cars but I had a kick-ass t-shirt that always got a second look! Wearing this t-shirt did give me a little jolt of defiance, whether this was the message or the tweed jacket I used to wear with it but I felt good, I felt like myself and walking through this rich but in places characterless place I felt like an individual. I’m very tempted to buy another of these in the correct size, I just worry I’m not quite young enough to pull it off.

My final t-shirt was a Primal Scream t-shirt that I bought at their Brixton Academy gig on their Evil Heat tour. Evil Heat had just been released, following the brutal XTRMNTR album and the Scream were on fire! Kevin Shields stood at the side of the stage wielding sonic terror and it was bliss, and tucked under my seat was a t-shirt I had picked up on my way in. The design featured a couple in the throes of passion (not your missionary style musings) and featured bright pink lettering… it was awesome! Out of all the three this was the one I wore the least, being slightly on the small side influenced this but for some reason this is one my mum never saw (she saw the others)!

Looking back at the three t-shirts I had their designs were hardly the most offensive but it stands out that I wasn’t wearing these shirts to go out and offend and shock people, but rather to share in something that the bands I love had produced, share a message with those who shared that love… and let’s face it these designs blow The Wanted and One Direction t-shirt designs out the water!

This was a guest post by Ben, to find out how to guest post on Queens of the Wild Frontier, please click here

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