• Helen Ferguson

In the Audience at a Hipster Gig!

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

As I began building this blog and community, I would explain to anyone interested enough to ask, that my inspiration and motivation, was to combat the feeling of being invisible that seemed to accompany the onset of middle age for a lot women. To shine a bright light onto women who were increasingly finding themselves pushed into the shadows.

My conversations with a wide range of women in my age group revealed that invisibility seemed to be a recurring theme for many of us. Being overlooked or just plain old ignored seemed to be the new normal.

Well.... allow me to bring blinding light to the darkness, and reveal a place that a middle age woman can go to, and probably be visible from the moon!

A Hipster Live Music Event!

My wonderful friend and partner in crime has an adult son who is computer-wiz by day, and long haired, charity shop clothes wearing musician by night.

Imagine her pride and excitement when his band got booked for their first ever live gig! They were to be the support act for another young and talented band who are on the cusp of great things.

Oh the joy, when no longer mired in the teenage swamp of embarrassment, he actually asked his mother to come and watch!

He even suggested that she might like to bring her mate along, to dole out tissues when the inevitable tears of pride began to flow!

Dutifully, excitedly, we got dressed up for our night out….jeans and a nice top, obviously.

We applied our make-up and attempted to 'rock it' a little bit.

We were going to a gig after all.

Live music on a school night!

Who's middle aged?

Clearly not us!

We entered the Dive Bar venue and had to put our specs on to work out how to check-in on line, and then cooperatively get our temperature taken in our COVIDsafe world.

The very nice lady at the door took a stab in the dark, and asked if we were, perhaps, parents of the band!

Did it show?

It must have been our pride radiating that gave us away.

Tottering down the steep, dimly lit stairs we emerged into the murky bar and performance area, and because we're COVIDsafe, all seats are pre-allocated and bottoms must stay firmly glued to chairs throughout the evening.

We realise, in our fervour to be supportive, we have booked seats in the front row.

Absolute front row.

Knee caps against the woodwork of the stage front row.

With the spotlights intended for the performers spilling onto our beaming faces, we learn the importance of a good matte primer and how not to pull focus.

An expensive blonde bob can be spotted across the gloom, sporting jeans and a nice top, but wisely draped in close proximity to the bar. We surmise that she too must be a parent of an artist; we later learn that the exact same conversation was being had about us.

Whilst the anticipation for the world debut builds, we gawk around the room, soaking in the atmosphere. We take fashion notes on 'Charity Shop Chic' and meet lots of friendly, returned gazes.

The average age of the audience appears to be 'neonate', but they're all drinking and flirting, so maybe I'm not good at guessing ages.

We feel very visible, very noticed.

We're a curiosity, a talking point, but we're warmly accepted.

It's lovely. It's comfortable.

It's showtime!

Our hero and his pal arrive on stage to enthusiastic and encouraging applause from the crowd.

The proud Mum right next to me is valiantly attempting to keep her emotions in check, and failing immediately.

She's beaming, she's radiant, she's crying; she's gazing at her boy up there, singing his heart out and stepping into his dream.

Our visibility ramps up to the next level, when we realise that now that we are here, front row, wrapped in the acceptance of the Hipster home-haircut gang; we are trapped in our seats for the foreseeable!

Our hero has completed a successful set, the crowd has gone wild, and now for the headline act…...

We can't possibly get up!

We can't sneak off and achieve the win-win of a gig and an early night!

The car is so near and yet so far.

To leave now would be the most visible thing that we've ever done.

Two empty seats hugging the very varnish of the stage would be a blatant declaration of our inability to party hard.

We accept that we are here until the finale.

This audience are the die hard cheer squad for this fabulous five piece on the verge of their breakthrough.

We jump in with both feet and enjoy every second of their set.

We sing along with their cover songs, we laugh at their jokes.

We adore their emotion when they dedicate a love song to an embarrassed girlfriend.

A band that we would never have heard of any other way, suddenly and magnificently hit our radar ….because our middle age made us too visible to be able to sneak out for an early night.

With thanks to:

Brass Monkey Cronulla




Fripps and Fripps


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