As we all know, wearing a band t-shirt is a twofold statement: It demonstrates how damned cool you are, and lets you give props to a favourite artist. Amazingly, the artists themselves do it too. Here are 17 of them, starting with Crystal Castles’ Alice Glass showcasing her love of The Cure. They also teamed up with Robert Smith in 2010 for ‘Not In Love’.
Here’s Barry McKenna of Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic upping his cred ratio by aligning his band’s tough rock assault with the even harder Mastodon.
Well, this one works on a number of levels. First you’ve got Keith Richards cheeking his bandmate, then you’ve got Richard Ashcroft wearing the legend with perhaps a little more feeling. After all, he’d lost all the royalties from ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ because of a reckless sample of Andrew Loog Oldham’s version of the Stones’ ‘The Last Time’. But he probably likes the band anyway.
Vaccines bassist Árni Arnason sports a Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’ to reveal the band’s wide palette of musical interests. Or because he likes the shapes. They’re very pleasing.
Look around and it’ll soon become clear that Devendra Banhart‘s rarely out of his Swans t-shirt, paying tribute to Michael Gira’s recently reformed, uncompromising New York post-punk outfit.
Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil pledges allegiance to Terror Worldwide’s Terror Crew.
Who saw this one coming? Bobby Gillespie declares his love for proto-punk garage rockers MC5, an integral, oft-mentioned influence on the Primal Scream sound.
Hands across the ocean for a bit of electro kinship between Animal Collective’s Panda Bear and Daft Punk. It’s almost too much hipness for one photo to take.
Chilli Jesson of the impossibly youthful Palma Violets shows he’s still got time for the old and venerable – and knows the value of hooking yourself to a great artist – with a declaration of love for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
Sometimes it’s a nice gesture to give some free advertising to your contemporaries, so here’s Metronomy’s Olugbenga Adelekan giving up some space for London noisetronica, er, trio Three Trapped Tigers.
And sometimes you get a complete curveball. Who knew folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling held a torch for Brit metal gods Iron Maiden? Still, there’s the occasional touch of witchy mysticism to Marling’s lyrics and the ‘Maiden like a dab of Satan, so maybe they’re not so far apart.
Frankly, you’re never going to lose and cool points for wearing a Public Enemy t-shirt, but the politically engaged Kele Okereke of Bloc Party undoubtedly feels a connection too. It does look good though.
Hayley Williams reveals her love for new Penguin Classics signing Morrissey, placing Paramore squarely in the lineage of indie greats.
And here’s Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos avoiding the obvious and paying homage to The Quiet One of The Beatles, George Harrison.
Nothing says Coldplay like acid-frazzled psych-rockers, so here’s Chris Martin bigging up the Flaming Lips.
Band t-shirt as tribute to a late pal. Usher and Aaliyah could’ve been the crown prince and princess of Noughties R&B.
Cee Lo Green gives it up for the Ramones, whose ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ he covered as the theme tune for the NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’. Except he reworked the lyrics and called it ‘I Love Football’. It’s not even football.