While bands typically elect for a range of t-shirts, badges, stickers, wristbands and physical copies of their discography to flog at shows, others groups choose to go very much against the grain of this established musical protocol. From the outlandish to the downright practical, we look at the latest range of unconventional band merchandise that truly breaks the mould.
This is the first part of a two-part blog (part two is available soon). Take note small, unsigned and DIY bands and musicians seeking band merchandise ideas.
Food & drink band merchandise
The sheer number of bands today with signature brews serves as liquid proof – if we ever needed it – of the shifting demands for the contemporary music consumer.
From Iron Maiden’s infamous Trooper beer, Enter Shikari’s Sssnakepit lager and Frank Turner’s Belgian style wheat beer, we’ve recently seen the emergence of a whole host of bands venturing into food and drink market, and in the process have been breaking new ground in the world of music merchandise. These are some of our favourites.
Don Broco’s Don Brewco Brazilian Coffee and English Breakfast Teas
Staying with signature brews, Bedford outfit Don Broco introduced their very own range of tea, coffee and mugs, as part of their merchandise range in support of their latest LP ‘Automatic’.
Rating: 8/10. Tried and tested by Musician Go, we can safely say that certainly makes a fine tasting brew! Although at £15 a pot for a mere 125g, Don Brewco represents a costly alternative to Douwe Egberts and other big name brands.
Ideal for: caffeine fuelled thug workouts.
Price: £15 for tea/coffee; £10 for mug (+P&P).
Available from: Don Broco’s official merchandise store.
Pierce the Veil Hot Sauce Collection
There is now a growing number of bands offering condiments as part of their merchandise range, including Bring Me The Horizon’s short lived line of BBQ sauce and Bastille’s limited run of hot sauce, although Pierce the Veil currently enjoys an unrivalled variety of red-hot dressings. The Pierce the Veil Hot Sauce collection is comprised of FOUR daring and flavoursome condiments: ghost pepper, ragin’ cajun, diablo verde and en fuego.
Ideal for: the “mexicore” fan whose appetite is just as fiery as their music taste.
Price: $34 US
Available from: does not appear to be available from a UK based retailer, though you are able to order directly for the band’s US merch store.
AC/DC BBQ Accessories Range
BBQ and hard rock enthusiasts are well catered for with this line of band merchandise. Aussie rockers AC/DC have rather fittingly have enlisted a grill mitt and BBQ cover into their official line of merchandise.
Ideal for: an Aberdeen Angus.
Price: $29.99 for the grill mitt; $89.99 for the BBQ cover (now discontinued).
Mark Mulcahy’s Premium Grade A Honey
Mark Mulcahy, the former frontman of Connecticut college rock band Miracle Legion, Polaris (the house band for the television series The Adventures of Pete & Pete that aired on Nickelodeon during the mid-1990s), now spends his days focusing on his solo work. However, there appear to be many strings to Mulcahy’s bow; as a keen beekeeper, fans are able to buy honey harvested directly from his very own apiary.
Rating: 10/10 for originality;
Ideal for: …it’s a sticky one.
Price: $99 US for 64 oz (~1.8kg) of Miracle Blend; $298 US for 64oz (~1.8kg) of Mulcahy Reserve (pictured). It certainly costs a pretty penny but when you consider that if Bees were paid minimum wage, a standard 454g jar of honey would supposedly set you back around £130,000…
Available from: Mezzotint Label
British Sea Power
Brighton indie rockers British Sea Power have a long history of outstanding band merchandise, from jam-making, beer, first aid kits, pencils, soap and travel sweets. However, it is their very own Kendal mintcake is the pick of the bunch as far as we’re concerned. A delectable freebie given out during their 2003 shows to promote the release of their single ‘Remember Me’…
Rating: 7/10 – a very thoughtful move from the band, certainly trumps any flyers or more generic handouts.
Ideal for: gig goers seeking a glucose-based energy injection.
Slayer Reign in Blood Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
This full-bodied Californian cabernet sauvignon, which takes its name – rather appropriately – from their third studio album Reign in Blood. The metal veterans, who have also released their very own red ale, describe their signature vino as having “a soft nose of dark berry fruits with oak and spicy nuances”
Ideal for: those seeking a thirst-quenching beverage that’s as uncompromising as their record collection.
Price: a 3 pack starts at €44.44 (inc. UK shipping), with free t-shirt options available!
Available from: the band’s official online drinks store
Clothing and footwear
While clothing remains a common choice for bands when assembling their line of merchandise, here is a selection of musicians that went above and beyond t-shirts and hoodies.
The Wonder Years Flip-Flops
In another non-conformist move, The Wonder Years introduced their very own flip flops as part of their band’s merchandise line.
Rating: 5/10; not overly outlandish, yet an unorthodox choice nonetheless.
Ideal for: sun-seekers and free-spirits alike.
Price: $9.99 US.
Available from: does not appear to be available from a UK-based retailer. Available from Cold Cuts Merch (US).
Metal Christmas Jumpers
Surely anyone who voluntarily wears one of these monstrosities does so merely to maintain social veneer during the season of yuletide festivity. In 2012, “big four” giants Slayer initiated an unlikely pairing between trash metal – a genre largely devoid of such endearing sentiments – and these woeful garments. It’s difficult to ascertain under what grounds a genuine Slayer fan would willingly purchase such knitwear. Perhaps what is most remarkable is that guys that brought you ‘Raining Blood’ ultimately proved to be a trendsetter in metal band merchandise with this tacky offering, with Metallica, Motorhead and Devildriver among those to since follow suit.
Rating: 1/10; this garment is nothing short of a diabolic eyesore.
Ideal for: the misguided metalhead.
Price: £39.99 (+£4.99 P&P).
Available from: there’s still a few unclaimed over on eBay (Nov 2015).
The Pixies Cycling Jersey
Joey Santiago, The Pixies guitarist is also a cyclist enthusiast, which must have surely inspired the creation of the band’s very own lycra cycling jersey.
Rating: 5/10; perhaps should have back-pedalled on that one.
Ideal for: people that really should get a grip.
Price: £75 (+P&P)
Available from: Pixies online store