STYLE AND CULTURE
MOST STYLISH ROCK BANDS
By Chris Sayer, 2 September 2017
Thought the uniform of the rock star was a predictable, done-to-death combo of never-washed black jeans and a clinging-on-for-dear-life leather jacket? These brilliantly-dressed group of rocking amigos prove otherwise, not only ruling the airwaves and main stages but bossing it in the dressing room, too…
After a lazy Saturday play of Temples’ tune Shelter Song, you’d be forgiven for thinking this foursome had emerged from the hazy, flower-powered fields of Woodstock, and not, well, Kettering. But the princes of synthy lo-fi psychedelia haven’t let a little thing like Northamptonshire get in the way of sounding and dressing like they’ve been partying with Pink Floyd – velvet long-sleeved tops and jackets, Cuban heels, statement hair, jet-black denim and an all-week-bender complexion complements Temples’ spun-out sun-kissed sound a treat.
A quick listen to tracks like Blood Waves and City Rejects will tell you their furious twist of deep bass hip-hop and gut-punching hard punk ain’t exactly a mother’s fave. However, if you think you’ve got the stones to survive a Ho99o9 show, then you’ll be smart to throw on your DIY-modified leather jacket, bold braces and tapered straight-cut trousers – and develop a healthy relationship with hair dye and tattoo ink before you roll in. Good luck, champ!
Yes, of course, we’d all have a head start in the well-dressed band stakes if our lead singer – like Blaenavon’s Ben Gregory – was picked up by Burberry to star in a New Faces campaign. That said, the hotly-tipped indie rockers are much more than just a pretty face. Dreamy Bastille-like vocals and powerful guitars prove their worth on the aural battleground (their song Prague for example), while sniper accuracy when it comes to picking out trends gives them the edge in the dressing room, too. This pic, in particular, is a visual tick-list for so much that’s right in casual menswear right now.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
You think being in a stoner psyche band is all about staying in bed and doing a whole lotta nothing until you step up to the stage mic at 9pm? Aussie seven-piece King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard might have something to say about that. The serious contenders for sound of the summer 2017 plan on dropping five albums of head-warping tuneage this year, on top of their mega touring schedule that included an epic slot on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury. Probably why they all look a little knackered, what with washed-out tees, beat-up band merch, loose patterned short-sleeves, oversized plaid shirts, scruffy facial hair, long straight-off-the-pillow locks and always, always, slim-to-straight-cut black denim. Or, as we like to think, the ingredients from a grunge masterclass.
We may never know the true meaning behind Scottish arena rockers Biffy Clyro’s bizarro name – they famously give a different answer to any journalist who tries to pry it out of them – but we do know that their approach to stage dress is very much ‘less is more’. Less T-shirts, more tattoos, that is. Simon Neil cracks out the old ink and skin suit for almost any live show these days, showing off a fleshy sketchbook of Beach Boys lyrics, Da Vinci-inspired drawings, album covers and even one that links up with the tattoos on his fellow bandmates. Tattoos and rock music will always go hand-in-hand, so if you’re serious about a life of ear-ringing excess, yours might as well look this good.