Parenting job no.42: roadie

Parenting includes many additional functions, from taxi driver to costumer maker. This week: roadie.


There are many roles that parents take on in the course of their lives that they may not have contemplated pre-baby. Psychologist, taxi driver, nurse, costume maker, castles expert and driving instructor are just some. This week there was a new one in our house – roadie/superfan.

Daughter three is in a band and they had their first gig at the weekend. To be honest, we haven’t been doing much up until now. Just dropping her at rehearsals, but the band is ambitious and also, to my untrained ear, good. We were there to support for their school music festival in which they won best band. For me the bigger win was seeing daughter three on stage looking relaxed and having fun. She is one of the guitarists in the band and spent much of lockdown honing her skills with the help of only son’s online guitar tutor. Music has been what has kept her going in dark times.

The band were spotted during a rehearsal. They were overheard by a man who runs an open mic night and invited to perform, nay, headline. I have already volunteered to tour the world with them and play tambourine. Daughter two also offered to be a backing singer and back-up drummer [she did a few months of drumming lessons when she was about 10]. Only son is heavily into music and plays guitar, but he doesn’t like attention so he would probably only play with his back to the audience, but he could provide valuable back-up support. My partner’s main interest is getting them a supporting band slot with Depeche Mode. All suggestions of family involvement in the music side have been, needless to say, rejected outright.

So we are restricted to support roles. They played a mix of covers and original songs – brilliantly, in my unbiased opinion. I was filming the whole thing. Daughter three came back from rehearsals mid-week and played them to me and only son. They sounded really good to me, the kind of indie guitar music that my brother used to force me to listen to back in the day when I was heavily into Wham! My argument was that I was already depressed so didn’t need to listen to angsty tunes that would only make me feel worse. I wanted to feel the possibility of a lighter world. My brother mercilessly ripped apart the lyrics of the likes of ‘You can have your credit card, baby, but keep your red hot fingers off of my heart lady” which I posited was a treatise on hyper capitalism.

My brother would have liked daughter three’s band, but he’s not in the UK at the moment. Maybe he could be their [long-distance] manager? The gig took place around an hour’s drive away. The audience consisted of most of the band’s parents and actual members of the public. It’s a first step, but it’s already been a success in terms of friendships forged and confidence gained. My brother has already offered to promote them internationally…

*Picture credit: Feliciano Guimarães from Guimarães, Portugal and wikimedia commons.

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