“Hello this is Bowie to Bowie” or is it Ziggy Stardust, or Aladdin Sane? I guess that’s exactly the point right? Being able to pinpoint exactly where a musician was emotionally and artistically from the attire and persona they brought to the stage and their music at a certain performance in their career.
Besides the inexplicable impression that music leaves on our senses, humans are drawn to the visual, by nature. Aesthetics and props help to tell the story, enhance our sound and bring cohesion to the vibes we’re trying to create. Especially when taking your audience on a journey during a 2-hour pub set, against a grungy, carved-up stage.
What makes you stand out as more than “just another band that sounds great”? Your clothes are a good start.
But what am I gonna wear though?
Not just a question for a big night out with mates, choosing what to wear can be a crucial part of your sound and audience perception. If you really want to make a statement, which we believe you should, then it pays to do your research and make as much of your physical appearance as you do the music you play.
For the same reasons you keep your instruments so shiny and pristine, or why I’m obsessed with keeping my CDJs in mint condition, they are the vessel for the sounds we create. Clothing is the super fly packaging, and we’re gonna take you seriously if you’re donning a vintage ‘ain’t nuthin but A G thang’ tee at your hip hop set in Fitzroy, because hipsters be hip yo.
Where are you playing?
Dress for the room you’re trying to impress, which can sometimes mean dressing down. Well, not literally, but that’s also fine if it’s your thing. You probably aren’t out to be the punchline in an abrupt joke like ‘a girl wore a ballgown and velvet gloves to an afternoon pub set which ends with you being the joke.’
Always know the dress code of the venue you’re playing at. Most cocktail lounges will be surprisingly laid back, but it still doesn’t pay to rock up in old sweats and a backward baseball cap, if they’re trying to cater to a sophisticated dining audience.
Even if there are no expectations to fill high-end loafers or jandals for that matter, you’ll still be thought of as a professional musician who takes themselves seriously.
This goes for functionality too
Piping Summer desert festivals may not be the time to debut your full-body latex suit, as much as we would love to see you rock that, and depending on factors like the length of your set, and playing conditions, there could be some health and safety requirements to consider… Yeah we know we sound like mums here, but we care about you, and we don’t need your gorgeous wigs and giant headdresses catching on fire if you’ve got a flamethrower in your act.
Above all, be yourself, and your own genre
We for one would be here for an absurd David Byrne big suit rehash, but each music scene wouldn’t be such a collab of expression and genre if it weren’t for the accompanying Docs and boot-kicking punk, flare jeans and Byron fuzz-folk, hip hop and ironic street tee’s or a mix of all the above.
There are no fashion faux pas when it comes to expressing yourself artistically, so wear whatever accompanies your sound best, darlings. In a world of grey suits and denim on denim, dare to stand out, and make your sound larger than life in the process.
You do you bbs.