Friday, November 30, 2012

Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day


It's Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day, and this is mine.

Sadly, when I was going to watch the likes of Kajagoogoo and the Thompson Twins, I didn't have the money for a band T-shirt. I embroidered my own logos onto the classic early-80s khaki canvas bags that were de rigeur for schoolkids, and if you gave me a quid or so I'd have done yours for you as well.

Later on I refused to buy an Aerosmith/Monsters of Rock/Skid Row/Whitesnake T-shirt, though I had the sweaty front-row chance to do so several times. I wasn't a t-shirt wearing sort of girl.

So this is the oldest one I have. And it's probably the most significant. By 1995 we were Portishead groupies, having done our courting to the first Portishead album - a total revelation, musically - watching them perform for the first time on Jools Holland from our bed and marvelling at the dark, tearful vocals and massive, surly hip-hop beats. Those phrases sound like cliches now, and in fact a new term had to be invented to describe it ('trip-hop'), but at the time...nothing had ever sounded like them. Eighteen years later, we're still courting, and we have all Portishead's other albums (in duplicate) - and today's a good opportunity to revisit them. Though, the opening bars of Dummy still give me goosebumps; in fact, the album's so evocative I find it hard to listen to.

What's also still around eighteen years later is the T-shirt. I bought this at their Bath gig. We'd seen them on several stops on tour, and I wore it with a tiny black skirt. I don't remember what was on my feet. Probably not trainers, as I'd swore never to wear them (that changed as well). I probably did have some sort of thermal-ish top underneath, as I have right now (always did feel the cold) and black tights. The skirt in this picture is from 1994, having been bought in a charity shop with a matching waistcoat. I wore both to death, and still wear them, though the fabric's getting delicate. My hair was twice as long (it's growing back after a full-on urchin!) and red. The lippy I've done my best to match to the Body Shop one I was addicted to in 1995. And the eyeliner...hasn't changed much! Perhaps a little more skilfully applied now - I'm in less of a goddamn hurry. And I have a cold in this pic (ahh...the old self-confidence hasn't exactly rocketed in that time either!)

I've managed to listen to Dummy up to Wandering Star so far, and no tears. In fact I've written this blog to the album and realised how much there is to be bloody overjoyed about. The T-shirt's still here, the skirt's still here, Leigh's still here, I'm still here, the album's still here and it's still fucking marvellous. So good.

Monday, November 05, 2012


I LOVE fireworks, and I love everything about these wonderful posters, from the private and massive collection of Maurice Evans, who also has a mammoth hoard of original fireworks, Guy Fawkes souvenirs and packaging from the late 1800s onward. 

That Wessex 'Guy' is particularly evil looking - in fact, he's rather like the Anonymous / V for Vendetta mask isn't he? Oh wait...hold on a minute...
(In fact the collector himself, Maurice, has an charmingly characterful face of his own.)

And wouldn't you love to go to that cosy back garden fireworks party in the Brock's advert? You can smell the hot baked spuds from here!

More beautiful sparkly images in this article:


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