Hurrah, it’s that major event, BBC Radio 6Music’s Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt to Work Day Part IV today. Not that I particularly need an excuse as I work 200+ miles away from my colleagues at the moment. At least I won’t get the same random comment as my mate Jeremy did when he wore his Cult, Sonic Temple T-Shirt to play with his dad at their local folk club when we were teenagers – “Are they a band? Are you in it?”.
I don’t have many band t-shirts left and stopped buying them years ago as work meant that I spent rather more time wearing a suit than t-shirts. This means that most of the ones I have are approaching vintage status. The one in the photo is from Julian Cope’s tour to promote his Jehovahkill album nearly 19 years ago (gulp!) in January 1993. I went to the last night of the tour which also happened to be the last concert held at the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town (to mark both events, Copey raffled off his “Cosmic Arsehole” mic stand – I didn’t win it). I was momentarily tempted to try and get my Faust t-shirt (similar to the one Copey is wearing in the photo) into the picture too but that would have been both too clever and too tragic.
I drove down from Oxford with my mates Martin and Rob in my clapped out Renault 5 (christened the Angemobile) which struggled up the hill on the M40 near Wycombe but somehow managed to last the outing.
It was a great gig in three parts, spanning over 3 hours. It started with songs from the album and its predecessor, Peggy Suicide (which, being partly inspired by the Poll Tax riots really ought to have been reissued by a nostalgic record label this year), then moved on to an hour of acoustic “typical Copey” poetry and finished off with a greatest hits selection of stuff from The Teardrop Explodes and his earlier solo career. We then piled back into the Angemobile and realised that none of us really had any idea how to get back from Camden and didn’t have a London A-Z (for youngsters this is what people used before satnav and googlemaps on their smartphone). Luckily, Martin was a Londoner, of sorts, and so when he hazarded taking responsibility for our route home we gladly accepted. Unfortunately, being from the leafy northern suburbs and not a driver, the route we took appeared to correspond closely to the route that would have been taken by the 3 different buses he would have taken to get home, right up to the point of including us driving past his parents’ house at 1am. Happy days!
Perhaps if I remember in time WYOBTSD Part V I might dredge up the memory of travelling up with Jeremy from Southampton in a sky blue Ford Fiesta with a rainbow on the bonnet driven by a strange Canadian girl who didn’t realise it was a manual so graunched every gear change there and back to see Sonic Youth and Pavement at the Brixton Academy in 1992. Or wandering the badlands of Brixton and a pre-gentrification East Dulwich for the Rollercoaster gig featuring the Jesus and Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine and Blur in 1991. Or maybe not. The writing has pretty much crumbled off the t-shirt for the latter and I’ll only get pulled up for anachronism for using a Washing Machine album shirt for the former.