The bottom fell out of my world last week when I heard that my favourite band, a band that was deeply intimate and personal to me and a band whose music felt like an extension of my very being, had split up. I am fortunate in that I did manage to see them live once which was an occasion I will never forget and will always treasure the memories of that incredible experience. Agalloch have been almost continuously playing since I heard the news and the tote bag I made, that I was already extremely proud of, has now become something even more significant. A declaration of love and sorrow for a sensational band.
When I saw Agalloch live in Glasgow earlier this year, I knew I had to buy some of their merchandise. I moved away from band t-shirts some time ago as I found it continuously frustrating that the best designs were on the t-shirts for men which are too big and unflattering for me and the female t-shirt designs being usually quite minimal. Plus I’ve gone right off wearing t-shirts in general. So I critically studied the t-shirts on offer (The Serpent and the Sphere design on a men’s longsleeve caught my eye but lo and behold, too big) but then I spotted the patches. For years I’d been coveting a troll patch on the Agalloch website but couldn’t justify the spending and there it was, at a very affordable £10. I had to resist crawling manically over the merchandise bench and running away with piles of patches.
When I got it home I then had a dilemma – where was the patch going to go? I didn’t want to put it on my leather jacket and it was slightly too large to do so. It briefly had its home on the back of an old lacy waistcoat-type-thing but it looked silly and I was avoiding wearing it. Subsequently, it got torn off said waistcoat and was left in limbo in my bedroom for a little while. Some time beforehand I’d popped into Doc Martens and asked for a ‘Love my Docs’ tote bag (I’d expected to have to pay for one but they gave me it for free!) and I realised that the size of the tote and the size of the patch were similar…and kicked myself for not realising that sooner.
A pair of scissors and some fabric glue later and it was love at first sight. I could not be happier with how it looks. I added my own little additions in the form of a few RSPB pins – a barn owl, a tawny owl, a foxglove and a little pipistrelle bat – to make it that little bit more me as aforementioned pins are some of my favourite British species. Now I know for a fact I won’t be the first person to think of putting a band patch on a tote bag but I would highly recommend using back patches for bags if you haven’t done so already! I hope the success of my bag inspires others! I would also recommend that when you come across an RSPB pin badge box that you have a good rummage and buy a few as they’re beautiful little pins.
Since I heard about the Agalloch split, the bag hasn’t just been a bag with a band patch on it but a bag of honour.