All Downhill from Here

Happy Monday! So, earlier this year I was going through my wardrobe to see what really sparks joy for me (Marie Kondo style). For those unfamiliar with the “Konmari method”, it basically involves you closely looking at all the stuff in your life (clothes and books just as an example), and taking note of how it makes you feel – ultimately deciding whether you want to keep it or not. It’s an exercise I really recommend doing if you’ve not tried it, but as a borderline hoarder, this wasn’t a particularly easy task for me… Especially when it got to one particular area of my wardrobe – my band shirts.

I’ve probably got close to thirty shirts here with me in London, and even more from my teenager years back where I grew up. I’ve been buying merch religiously since I was old enough to go to gigs, and still even now it’s rare for me to leave a show empty handed. So yeah, I’ve got myself quite the collection now… But whilst they don’t get the love I once gave them, digging them out of the back of my wardrobe and seeing them all together in a pile gave me an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and yes, Marie – joy. So of course, they all ended up staying. But it’s prompted me to dust them off and get them out more often. I’ve decided to make an effort to wear a different shirt each Monday, with the aim of sharing it and hopefully starting a conversation around that band. It might be a memory of where I got the shirt, a specific gig or album tied to it, or just why I love(d) that band. If you fancy joining in with me too, great. It doesn’t even have to be a shirt – share your favourite band’s pins, hats, jackets, socks, vinyl – whatever you’ve got. Merch Mondays!

The growing popularity of streaming services makes it incredibly hard for bands to make money like they used to. Whilst it’s an amazing and convenient way for them to share their music globally with their fanbase, studio time and touring are a massive expense, and thus, bands are much more reliant on fans buying merch or physical copies of their music to make a decent living and to be able to continue doing what they do. So yeah, just a friendly reminder to please support your favourite bands – buy their shirts, get tickets to their shows, share their music with your friends. Support the scene!

Today’s bit of merch is a bit of a throwback to the mid 00s. I’m a long-standing New Found Glory fan (1997-Forever), so this vintage little number is just one of many NFG shirts I own. Circa 2004, to mark the release of Catalyst. Despite the album recently celebrating its 15th anniversary, this somehow still fits me. I was 16 when Catalyst first came out, and it played a massive role in shaping who I am today. Getting through my teens without this band would’ve been a lot harder, so this album and shirt will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s one of NFG’s more underrated releases in my opinion, so I’m off to stick on “Failure’s Not Flattering” now and reminisce about 2004 – when I didn’t have bills to pay and MSN Messenger was life.

Does anyone else have a vintage NFG shirt hiding in the back of their wardrobe?

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