One of the funniest insults I’ve heard in recent years was Noel Gallagher’s judgement upon his brother Liam: “He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup”. The two ex-Oasis frontmen now seem to communicate purely through insults traded via interviews with the music press. One of the regular sticking points between the feuding rock’n’rollers is Liam’s ongoing preoccupation with the fashion world. Now Liam’s fashion label Pretty Green have teamed up with the UK charity the Teenage Cancer Trust to bring out a range of T-shirts featuring illustrations by Jamie Hewlett.
This seems to me to be another stage in the rapprochement between the major players of the 1990’s Britpop wars: back in March, Liam called Noel “a snake in the grass” when he played onstage with Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon of Blur at a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concert. Now, in a typical volte-face for the mercurial singer, he’s happily working alongside Albarn’s regular Gorillaz collaborator, and posing in a shirt adorned with the cartoonist’s frantic rendering of The Who’s Pete Townshend in mid-air.
Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott and The Jam’s Paul Weller complete the set. The three designs, called the White Guitar Collection, are classic Hewlett. All three rockers are featured in iconic poses, and I found the wild bug-eyed stares the artist has drawn on each of the caricatures particularly tickling. Cameos from the worlds of rock and pop were common in Hewlett and Martin’s Tank Girl comics (I get the familiar feeling he may have essayed Weller before, somewhere); similarly, back in the day, Jamie illustrated many Deadline covers featuring musicians, from the sublime (Teenage Fanclub) to the ridiculous (Right Said Fred). Hewlett has also previously designed the Les Paul-smashing logo used by the Teenage Cancer Trust for its series of fund-raisers at London’s Albert Hall.