Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Maiden England

I got along to see Iron Maiden recently at the O2, and spotted some fantastic battle jackets in the crowds - here's a few examples. Thanks to everyone who let us photograph their handiwork, and for permission to use the images. There should be some paintings to follow from these.

This jacket features a great range of bands - from the classic metal of Motorhead and Maiden through 1980s thrash of Slayer and Megadeth to new wave West Coast punk of Offspring and even 90s rappers Cypress Hill. Not forgetting some classic British rock from Queen, Pink Floyd etc. and goth instigators Sisters of Mercy are also represented. It's good to see a jacket that reveals the range of its owner's record collection. I also like the symmetry of the patches on the back, with good balance between the round patches in the four 'corners' and even spacing between the elements. And of course the badges - an old skool touch!

Like the previous example, this jacket features an eclectic range of bands - select a track from each of the bands here and you'd have a pretty good playlist charting much of the history of (mainly British) mainstream rock and metal. The small patches on the front are in many different shapes and sizes with the result that its owner has chosen to space them across the garment rather than fit them tightly together. This gives some good visual rhythm and keeps things interesting.

This jacket is in a minority in that the sleeves have been left attached. The advantage of this is that there more space for patches! The back of the jacket leaves us in no doubt about the owner's favourite band. Most of Maiden's best known albums are represented, with a couple of more recent additions as well. The front side opens things up a bit to include a wider range, from Pink Floyd to Kiss, Motorhead and Alice Cooper. The main back patch features one of my favourite pieces of Maiden artwork - on the way back from the gig I met a (very drunk) Swedish metal fan who had an excellent version of this tattooed on his arm. Well done sir!