I decided to start this series because every band shirt has a history. As a metalhead, my shirts are my armour, and I think you’ll agree that good armour that has served its owner well deserves its moment in the limelight.
The shirt I’m going to start off with is Taake. I found it at Bloodstock festival in 2012 after hours of searching for decent merch. I don’t know what the fuck was going on at that year, but let me tell you, the market was absolutely abysmal. If I remember correctly, I actually returned home with money on my person. (This would never have happened at Hellfest.)
I’m not normally a fan of girly shirts. It’s nearly always the case that there’s no back print and this mightily pisses me off. So usually I’ll just get a men’s small and hack it to pieces. (I generally prefer them disheveled anyway…) But this Taake shirt was sold to me on the fact that it has a phenomenal, massive print on the back along with the True Norwegian Black Metal logo. I couldn’t have asked for more. I also really appreciated that the front has a well-sized Taake logo, instead of something so small you have to squint to see it. Again, another girly t-shirt problem.
The print is of Pesta – the Norwegian personification of the Plague – painted by the great Theodor Kittelsen. Kittelsen made multiple paintings of Pesta, but this has to be one of my favourites. As with the majority of Kittelsen’s work, there’s an unfathomably deep sense of melancholy about it.
I’ve been saying to myself for ages that I’ll start to properly customise my shirts – instead of just using a pair of scissors – to make them fit better, but I’ve yet to sit down at a sewing machine. If I’m being totally honest, I’m scared to screw up a shirt and have to throw it away. The longer I have my band tops the more important they become to me. Maybe I just have to take the plunge though, and get creative if I fuck it up.