I was going out the other night, my middle boy asked me where I was going and I replied ‘band practice’ and he said ‘Since when do you play in bands?’
I wanted to reply ‘well,duh, since always’ but then I realised I haven’t been in a band for over 6 years. He had just had his sixth birthday when I last had a band practice, it isn’t really surprising that he doesn’t remember.
But to me his ‘since when do you play in bands’ was quite a jolt, as it is a core part of what makes me me, part of my identity – ‘Sonya? Yeah you know her, she played bass in such and such’. Having done it for 18 years (with just a couple of short maternity leaves) until the last few years, I am not sure I recognise myself without that being part of me, and yet to my two youngest children it is an alien concept.
I played gigs until heavily pregnant with my older two. I returned to gigging with my all girl punk band when my middle child was just 12 weeks old, leading to decidedly un-Rock’n’Roll breast pumping in seedy club toilets when too long a break from my new-ish born caused engorgement. I maintained my Rock’n’Roll in the throes of early motherhood. And then one day I just stopped.
My last band came to an abrupt halt for personal reasons. And I just didn’t join another one immediately, then I had my third child and suddenly what had so easily fitted in when I had two children seemed an impossible ask.
I nearly joined another band a couple of years back, and then I saw their gig schedule – virtually every Friday and Saturday night from May until September. I can’t give something that kind of commitment these days.
Well, I say I can’t, but I have done that more or less before, so maybe it is more that I won’t. I feel it would be to the detriment of my very happy family life. So am I just not Rock’n’Roll anymore?
At my lovely man’s 50th birthday party a couple of months back, me and a couple of the girls from one of my old bands spontaneously played one song, with my fella on drums. It felt good, even if we were rusty and totally unrehearsed. That night we were asked if we would play at a charity tribute to Bowie and Lemmy in April – and drunk and flushed with the excitement of playing again we said yes. So we are – just 4 songs and under a whole new band name.
Having totally loved rehearsing for the first time in 6 and a half years the other night, I can confirm that Rock’n’Roll me is alive and well and just about capable of playing my bass guitar still. Phew. I don’t have to re-assess who I am anymore! But maybe I need to find time to let that side of me out just a little more regularly.
Practice went surprisingly well for such a long break, and I am looking forward to the gig next weekend. And then I hope we might do the odd thing again, not all the time, just every now and then, a very few times a year maybe. It feels good to be doing something I love with people I love and with no pressure to be good or constantly gigging. Just Rock’n’Roll for the sheer fun of making a noisy noise with your mates. Perfect!
Love Miss Cisco XXX