Please don't stop the music - the old life versus the new.
Things I miss since becoming a parent number eleventy billion – going to live music gigs. Don’t get me wrong, the Peppa Pig soundtrack that is a gentle and constant background in our home is an auditory delight, but it wouldn’t be my Spotify choice (fact – having kids messes with the algorithm). And so I was very excited about an afternoon of live music in a Shoreditch basement club I’d last seen at 3am many years ago.
Adam and Sarada, founders of Wake Up Gigs, met at a music event and have enjoyed live music around the UK ever since. And then along came Edwin, now an incredibly cute toddler, but of course at the same time a major obstacle to wild nights out. The ticket fee, plus the cost of a babysitter, plus the inevitability of leaving before the encore so you don’t have to queue for the tube means that being a fan of live music is expensive, and the organisation is more complicated than getting Glastonbury tickets. Wake Up Gigs is the answer to that, and yesterday was their fourth event.
All the gear was there – from a soft play area, to hand massages courtesy of Weleda, face painting and balloon artistry (for the kids, but they did a mean glitter-face for me and the band), a fully stocked baby changing zone and an equally fully stocked bar and pizza menu from Pizza East upstairs. The headline band, called Childcare in a nod to the lead-singer’s past life as a nanny, have fans in Radio 1 DJs Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens. But less well-known fans now include my two kids, because the band were so happy to let the kids play with their guitars with Jaffa Cake encrusted fingers. They handed the microphone over to enthusiastic pre-schoolers, crouched down to encourage them to play, and rocked out with enthusiasm. Noise, chaos and interaction is very much encouraged so there is no fear of crying babies, and did I mention the beer and pizza?
I’ll be back for the next event on 3rd December. Because anything that links my new life with my beautiful babies and my old life with moshing and music, is good with me.
Wake Up Gigs: click for tickets to the next show - see you there!
I received free tickets from Wake Up Gigs but was not paid for this article. I can be bribed, but only with chocolate bourbons.
Photograph by Wake Up Gigs but the cute little guy in the ear defenders is all mine.