A few years ago, a group email was sent around my office: “For sale – 2 Westlife Tickets. Would make ideal Mother’s Day present.”
Now assuming (as you are reading this blog) you’d agree with me that Westlife were the biggest pile of living sh*te musically since time began, then you’d probably also wonder why 2 tickets to see them would make an ideal Mother’s Day present. Do you really hate your mother that much? The assumption here seems to be that once you become a parent, any good taste you had before goes out of the window.
Well, bollocks to that. I’ve been a parent for 18 years now and in that time, I’ve never lost my taste and passion for music. I've certainly never decided to just add Westlife as a favourite on Spotify. There seems to be a misconception that somehow once you either pop out a little bundle of joy into the world or are involved in the creation and caring of such a bundle, the hard wiring in your brain suddenly turns into a jellified mess and you are only capable of enjoying a certain sort of bland and safe music.
Well if that is the case, I missed the memo. As did many of the other parents that I go to gigs with or meet at shows. Yes, I like Adele, and I enjoy the first Ed Sheeran album. But I also like Aphex Twin, Cabbage, Stormzy, PJ Harvey, Bon Iver, Sofi Tukker, Dream Wife and thousands more artists from a wide range of genres. Some are pretty mainstream. Some aren’t. It was the same when I was 17. 30 years on nothing has changed.
Of course, once you become a parent the time available that you have to yourself (and therefore to listen to music) is less. It's certainly the time when most music bloggers really struggle to continue their blogs. But that doesn’t mean that becoming a mum or dad has to alter what you like. “Music your mum would like,” is such a derogatory term.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing a number of short blog posts about my relationship with music as a parent. I’ll be looking at going to festivals with kids, how my passion for music has influenced and impacted on how and what my children think about music as they reach and approach adulthood, how it’s possible for parents to like modern music rather than just nostalgic listening and the etiquette of attending a gig with your teenage child.
But with Mother’s Day approaching, kids please remember if you’re considering buying that Westlife CD as a present, it’s never too late for adoption. Love Mum and Dad.