Best Band T-Shirts of 2016

The mighty T-shirt evolved from the cutting in half of an undergarment, the oh so sexy ‘union suit’ before it was introduced to seaman’s lockers by the US Navy in 1913. It took Marlon Brando’s starring role in ‘A Street Car Named Desire ‘in 1951 for it to be transformed into clobber. A decade and half later the counter-culture adopted its perfect simplicity as a canvas for self-expression and it didn’t take long for bands to make statements as readily on cotton as they did on vinyl. Sweating, head banging and tongue in cheek devil worship embraced the tee; Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and that damned ‘Rush’ patch common place amongst the month-long guitar and drum solo seventies soundtrack.

Punk was to the tee what dub was to reggae; deconstruction of the form.

Punks made their own tee’s rather than popping into TopShop to buy a Ramones band T-shirt. Eight years later ‘Frankie Goes To Hollywood’ took the tee to another level in terms of popularity with their infamous ‘Relax’ slogan and only the Manchester band ‘James’ have enjoyed such t-shirt popularity since.

Echo Boom - band t-shirt inspired by Lee Scratch Perry

Our very own Lee Scratch Perry inspired t-shirt, 'Echo Boom'


As a wardrobe staple the tee shirt has constantly mutated, rightfully taking its place alongside walls, buildings and frames as places to present art. The independent music scenes on both sides of the Atlantic were particularly fertile scenes for t-shirt art and following Radio 6’s T-shirt day on the 25th of November, here we present some of Colour Is Sound’s favourite band T-shirts of all time:

  • Spacemen 3 – For all the fucked children in the world we give you Spacemen3

  • Happy Mondays – Logo design

  • Dead Kennedys – DK logo

  • Black Flag – Black Flag symbol

  • Inspiral Carpets – Cool as fuck/ Moo design

  • Velvet Underground – Nico LP / Banana

  • Cramps – Bad Music for Bad People

  • Stone Roses – Waterfall

  • Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

  • Pixies – Death To The Pixies

  • Sonic Youth – Goo

  • Minutemen – San Pedro - Anchor

  • 13th Floor Elevators - Logo

Colour is Sound fuses art, fashion, music and stylistic innovation to create high impact original band T-shirt art inspired by some of the most influential music ever made. A brand made in Brighton bold enough to offer something unique, compelling and highly desirable. Luxurious men’s classic cut t-shirts made from 100% combed cotton jersey, designs lovingly silk-screen printed onto each garment by hand;  t-shirt art created by some of the most talented designers in Great Britain.

Our limited edition wall-art print - 'View From Yourself Is Sublime' Inspired by Can


Here is Colour Is Sound’s very own top five tee’s from 2016:

  1. Paris 68 - inspired by the Stone Roses

  2. Echo Boom – inspired by Lee Scratch Perry

  3. Blissful – inspired by the Happy Mondays

  4. New York – inspired by The Velvet Underground

  5. View From Yourself Is Sublime – Inspired by Krautocker’s Can