27 Aug 2014

The one that started it all...

Everybody has a 'first' proper gig, I mean I'd been to plenty of pop concerts and Power in the Parks (old Radio day festival in Southampton) and had seen bands before as well as my fair share of...questionable artists (Spice Girls....yeaaaaahhhhh!) in the past but you know the one. The one that drags you kicking and screaming into the world of live bands, mosh pits and adrenalin. Mine was Sum 41 supported by Reel Big Fish. It could be worse I guess! This was the tour supporting the 2001/2002 inescapable album that was 'All Killer No Filler' and it seemed like all the grunger kids at my school were going to it. I had just turned 16, a living billboard for early 00's skate/surf punk style. The lyrics to Bowling For Soup's 'Punk Rock 101' come to mind actually lol. Checkerboard everything, sweatbands, Roxy/Hurley longsleeve under short sleeve thirts, beaded necklaces, baggy as hell jeans or Dickies. Vans...everything Vans.....I guess some things never change!

Sum 41 at Portsmouth Guildhall Friday 15th March 2002.
Support: Reel Big Fish.

My friend Sam got us tickets to the gig and we were so excited about it, lunchbreaks playing 'All killer..' and 'Half Hour of Power' in build up, talking about what other bands we wanted to see (basically Blink 182, Green Day, Foo Fighters etc) Its quite funny thinking back on it. It would be a large gap before I saw Sum 41 again, with a different line up and on a different continent actually but that's for another time.
We had seating tickets which immediately made me vow not to get them again as I wanted to be in the front, where the action was. My mates were down there, I was very jealous. Reel Big Fish brought the party hard and were as fabulous then as they were when I saw them this year. A great big laugh, nothing quite like singing along to 'Beer' and miming the air trumpet along to the band. A great support band and really got us pumped. Sum 41 were great, the original lineup with Brown Sound on lead guitar bringing the metal licks that sadly lack in their more recent albums. I remember laughing at their stupid dance routines while playing and coming out in 80s hair metal fancy dress for 'Pain for Pleasure'. The show rocked my little brain and firmly dropped me on the path of rock n roll. Those two bands have cost me a fortune, really given how many live gigs I've been to now :D
Onto the merch and I plumped for the official girl's shirt to mark the occasion:
 The old thing is looking a bit battered and washed out, as I have worn the shit out of it over the years. Love the Super Soaker design, typical pop punk goofy fun. Its shrunk a bit too but seeing it reminds me of being 16 and excited to see a rock show. I should remember that kid when I feel jaded with the music industry. Funny how things link up, when I first met my best mate at work, Ian, we bonded over our love of live music and it turns out his first rock gig was the London date of this very tour too which really made me smile. :-)

25 Aug 2014

Stupid Dumbshit Gawdamn Motherfucker! The Offspring ladies and Gentlemen.

The Offspring at Brixton Academy 25th Aug 2009.


Having split up with my ex about a week before, I was ready for some much needed fun and drinks and The Offspring provided a great little bit of escapism for a short while. We drank a lot at this gig (and before and after lol!) Will and Sarah came up from Pompey for it and my housemate Jesskaa joined us for a night of epic Swedish shots and drunkard singalongs. From what I can remember The Offspring were great, played a killer set with a few new unfamiliars and a lot of Smash stuff which I appreciated.

The shirt is pretty cool, if not immediately obviously an Offspring shirt. I like the band name being along the bottom back as its different and its a decent material for once.

20 Aug 2014

Couple of classics.....

Non gig shirts post now as I dig through my rather large Beatles and The Clash collection!
 My mate Zena got me this, not usually a fan of shirts with people's actual faces on (prefer a design) but I like this one as its black and white so a good choice!

Classic album next, Amplified do great shirts with iconic album covers on them and I couldn't resist this London Calling shirt as I love this album. This is an example of album art done right and I wear this shirt a lot as grey goes with everything! Brilliant band, fabulous album. For my fave Clash album though I have another item of clothing that I believe is my most expensive band related piece of merch I own and as such they live in their box and are never ever worn in the rain.
These are my limited edition The Clash Converse that I had to go to the Converse store on Carnaby Street on release day to obtain. They fucking rule, the materials are much more luxurious than regular Chucks and the detailing is fab. Each of the released Chucks in the line were based around the colour and design of a different Clash album and I plumped for their debut as its my favourite. The badges do click though when I walk which is entertaining! I've owned these for about 5 years and out of all of my shoes these bad boys look the newest cos I guard them like a hawk, no rain allowed! Its a rare day when I wear them out! This won't be the last time sneakers 'sneak' onto this list either!


NOFX keeping punk rock elite!

NOFX at Reading Festival 25th-28th Aug 2005

First time seeing one of my all time favourite bands and they didn't disappoint. Part punk rock, part comedy show, Fat Mike took the heaving mosh pit and got them to go mental. Me and my mates decided to head in and it was insane! The boys all decided before jumping into the pit that they'd all go shirtless which was quite the sight and lurking somewhere is an excellent/hilarious photo of them all posing reading to dive in but alas I can't find it, pre digital cameras at gig era it being! They played a greatest hits set which Fat Mike as always hates to do and did it in front of their teeny tiny backdrop which looked amazingly silly on the huge Reading main stage.

Onto the shirt and its another fake shirt again! Bought on the long road that leads from Reading town centre to the festival site. I think the lettering was faded already when I bought it but given its NOFX, it kinda fits their haphazard-ly sloppy style and I like that. Its a well worn friend and I love it in all its weirdly shrunken glory!

This was my second Reading so I was a heck of a lot more prepared than the first time. Good old Shannon the tent did us well and going in a big group this time made it all the more fun. Reading 2005 also marks the first time I saw a certain Frank Turner or as I knew him, the long haired front man from Million Dead. Anyway this festival will come up again as my favourite Dave headlined this year aswell so more to come!

17 Aug 2014

In a town where I was born, lived a man who sailed to sea.............

The Beatles, what can you say that hasn't been said? I am a huge huge fan of the band, even going so far as to have a Beatles tattoo on my leg. They are inspirational and undoubtedly the best band England has ever produced. Now I have a rule with band shirts, I never buy a shirt unless I have seen the band live. It really gets on my tits when I see twatty idiots wearing a band shirt of a band they have no idea who they are and bought it cos some z-list celebrity was wearing the same one. In the words of Peter Griffins, it really grinds my gears! There are three bands who I have bent the rules for over the years and for good reason, I will never see them live as members of the bands have passed away. These bands are The Beatles, The Clash and The Ramones. Three bands I absolutely love and despite not being able to see them, love all the band merch I have acquired over the years for them.

I have a lot of Beatles related attire. A fucking lot. And I'm sure some of it will end up on this site as its too good not to share. I also have had the privilege to have seen Paul McCartney live and it was a gamechanger for me.

Paul McCartney at Isle of Wight Festival Sun 13th June (Fest was 10th-13th) 2010.


I had to have a shirt for this gig and I love that its got the two crossed Hofner basses at the bottom. This was the highlight of the whole festival for me Nat and Sarah, we got a good position on the right hand side and just had a blast. So much singing along, hit after hit after hit and after all these years, McCartney is still hitting it out of the park. I got quite emotional during his tribute to George Harrison by playing 'Something' and 'While my Guitar gently weeps' because I adore those songs and it pains me I won't ever see Harrison myself now. It was a good mix of Beatles tracks, Wings tracks and solo stuff. 'Live and Let Die' was just mindblowingly epic to see live and I can't stress enough if you are a Beatles fan, please please please go catch Paul's show if you ahve the chance. A showman through and through and a legend worthy enough to be on my leg forever!
The rest of the festival was fantastic, I love IOW Festival as its easily the closest big festival to my home town and we always go in a big group and just generally have a great time together. The line up is always diverse and even though I'm more of a fan of the heavier side of things, there is always something great to catch at IOW even for me. Here's to the next one bring on June 2015!

Plug in Baby....

Brighton Centre 04th Dec 2003
Support: Elbow

Yikes not sure why my camera is yellow!

Oh well, dodgy photo fits dodgy fake tshirt I suppose! The first entry of 'unofficial merch' which basically means bought off a bloke in the street outside the venue. I was a poor student back in 03 so cut me some slack plus I have bought Muse shirts since officially.
The shirt is army green and has shrunk and gone misshapen over the years, This gig was great, I really dig the Brighton Centre as a venue as unlike a lot of places, it retains its 'arena' show size but feels much much smaller than it is. Its wide as opposed to long so getting to the front is easy peasy. This was the first time I saw Elbow too and they were a great warm up for Muse. This was the 'Absolution' tour as the album was released a couple of months before.
Me and my mate Rachel (Raggle as she will be known) went to this gig together on our own, as Raggle had been to the 'Origin of Symmetry' tour previously and said how awesome Muse were live. Raggle had only just passed her driving test and we thought fuck it lets test out the car and drive the hour from Pompey to Brighton. Was a great laugh, particularly the giant Muse balloons they sent out into the audience. Muse are huge stadium filling demi-gods now but back then they had the bold crazy flashing instruments but less of a crazy stage show and mainly let their music do the talking. It certainly worked as I have kept coming back for more and more despite going off their later stuff and lack of older songs in the setlists. Muse are a band that have to be seen to be believed and I'm really glad I got to see them up close in a smaller venue before they exploded out into the realms of super stadiums. Do yourself a favour and go marvel at their crazy genius live, you won't be disappointed. Oh and make sure to get your moshing hat on for Plug in baby, Muscle Museum and Newborn :D

12 Aug 2014

The vest

I cannot sew, when I had to do textiles at school, I basically did nothing in lessons (well draw cartoons) and ignored what we were up to unless I could draw something. My friend Zena did all my sewing and I thank her kindly for it! Anyway my friend Caspar has a jacket that over the years he has covered in band patches and its fucking awesome and he said why not try and do one of your own. Yeah right I can't sew remember?! I got to thinking and decided fuck it I might as well try. Caspar gave me a leftover patch he had that wouldn't matter if I fucked it up and I bought a studded vest and set to work. After a lot of faffing and stabbings, I managed to sew on the small Heartgranade patch onto the vest and was very pleased with myself ( never look at how bad the stitches are on the inside though) and decided to try and add more. Three gigs later and I have four patches on my vest!

The FTHC patch and the Less Than Jake patches have stories all on their own which will have its own post so I'll focus on the Larry patch.

Larry and His Flask at The Borderline Weds 4th Dec 2013. Support: Crazy Arm acoustic.

I got turned onto LAHF by my friend Dave and our mutual love for a certain Frank Turner who I have a lot of stories to elaborate on at a later date. LAHF are an amazing folk punk band who thrive in small venues and causing a ruckus and their live shows are fantastic, I whole-heartedly recommend you check them out live if you can. After a few drinks at the Cro Bar (which is conveniently next door!) we headed in and after a fab acoustic set by Crazy Arm, we joined in the madness that is lots of beer and pogo-ing that come with a LAHF gig. It was sweaty and crazy and we crawled out into Soho as happy as we can be only to remember that it was a Weds and work was a calling the next day. Wasn't my finest morning at work the next day but it was worth it :)


The blog is alive!!! A random change of pace...


I've been absent from my blog since I fell behind with the Daily Zoo uploads. To put it into perspective on how slow on uploading I am, I stopped the Zoo at Day 757 and the last Zoo post was what 400...and something! So one day I think I'll upload the best ones from the rest of the Zoo. But for now a new chapter of the blog begins....

I now have a twitter account and since joining have discovered several interesting new websites, one of which being:


Bio: A Band T-Shirt Archivist..who crushed a 1000+ Days in a row with out wearing the same band shirt twice.

I really loved all the stories he has with each shirt, either cos he was at the gig or he's replicated a long destroyed shirt he had long ago or been sent a rarity by fellow band shirt geeks and I got to thinking. I too have a heck of a lot of band tshirts, majority of which were bought at a different show and have been a part of my life in the last 12 years or so. Most have a story attached or are a cool design that I figured, why wait til I'm old and senile to to look back on these memories in a haze when I can write down these anecdotes relating to each bit of clothing so I'll have something written to look back on. I'm not gonna waffle on and unlike the Zoo won't do it every day, just when I have chance and I won't do them in order to save brain function. I also realise that I have been to see certain bands multiple times *cough Foo Fighters* so I'll try and space out those so I don't O.D on one band.

Anyho after just saying that...I'm gonna start with the Foos as its the nearest band merch to me right now and I might as well start with my favourite band ever who may end up with the most entries on this blog anyway! To help the old brainbox, I will link each entry to my Songkick account which is an online concert database. I went through all my ticket stubs a few years ago and uploaded which gigs I'd been present at. On some occasions I'll put up the stub seeing as I don't actually buy merch at every single gig I ever attend but that'll only be if there is a story to it.

So we begin:

Foo Fighters Milton Keynes Bowl Sunday 03rd July 2011.
Support: Biffy Clyro and Jimmy Eat World

Easy guess, which album was this tour in support of?! Wasting Light is an absolutely amazing record and quickly clawed its way into my heart on release, its easily the best thing the Foos has done in years and I say that as a superfan. As you may have noticed, this isn't a band shirt at all, its a hoodie. That is because I'd already seen the Foos twice that year already in support of this album so there are two more shirts to upload here someday! I don't usually buy hoodies unless I really love the band as they are usually only men's sizes and I'm rather small but for this band I plumpted for spending the extra cash that day and I fucking love it, its decent quality, very soft and hasn't faded in the wash at all. And it has Dave's beautiful horsey mug on the back, what more could I want?! This gig was on the Sunday after a very hectic weekend (seeing Take That the night before at Wembley believe it or not!) and my usual gig companions of Sarah and Nat had travelled up to London to see the Foos with the Icelander aswell of course. It was a lovely sunny day, aside from the fact the MK Bowl is a pain in the arse to get to and from and for once I was happy to stand further back on the bowl edge and relax for once at a Foo gig (usually I'm at the barrier). Great support lineup, especially Jimmy Eat World and the Foos were on fire, Dave doing Everlong solo from a mini stage in the middle of the field being a highlight and Bob Mold (Husker Du) and Seasick Steve joining for a few songs was fab too. In terms of Foo gigs, it wasn't my favourite but that was mainly to do with the venue really and it worked out cos after 10 years, I finally got a Foo hoodie :D

Hey, I'm Amy Davis! I am a character designer/compositor/animator who currently works for the VFX studio Framestore. Enjoy my blog and feel free to contact me at amy_davis86@hotmail.co.uk and on 07515060296.