Helena, Debra, Erica, Sally, Daphne and Sharon are a group of parents who’ve forged a friendship hosting DJ sessions at their homes. On a sunny Thursday in Richmond, they talk kitchen discos, nostalgia, and embracing life as mums (without feeling too mumsy).
Left to right: Daphne, Sharon, Sally, Helena, Debra and Erica.
Sally: Myself and a group of friends run a festival called Carma in honour of a friend of ours, Carmen, who passed away. Obviously, we couldn’t do it during lockdown. Everyone was stuck at home, so we just started streaming music online. Just for something to do.
Debbie: We had a ladies’ night. None of us are great mixers or anything like that. It was just for anyone who wanted to play.
Daphne: I can't function without music every day – be it in the car, come home, turn on the radio.
Debbie: It’s so important. I find some days I haven't listened to anything and then I get home and wonder why I'm grumpy, then I'll put some cheese on. It's like a soundtrack of your life.
So, tell us more about this mutual love of music you all share?
Helena: Music has always been the common thread. When you’ve got young kids you don’t really go out, but we always want to have a bit of a boogie. From kitchen discos and going to gigs, to a bit of camping and going to places we went when we were actually young.
Debra: We love those nights where you’re listening to something and it reminds you of another song. You go on this journey. You're finding all these different tracks and then you’re battling with your mates, jostling for position, trying to get your next song in the queue. And then suddenly it's 4 am.
Sally: Music is powerful. It's almost like a tribal thing. People have danced for eternity to some kind of beat. And it’s so important when you find the people that dance to the same beat as you, as a collective.
Sharon: Even though our children aren't necessarily mates, we've always been close. And I think that's what happens with a lot of mums. You gravitate to each other. We've found our tribe, our kindred spirits.
Debra: I like that I’ve found my feet. I think when you get over 40, you know that you can just say ‘no’ to stuff. You can say it quite smugly as well.
Daphne: I like that I'm quite picky. I’ve never been a follower. I’ve never been that person that thought ‘we've all got to do this because we're mums and this is just what we do’. I’ve got to want to do it. My time is precious. I don’t want to filter myself and not be myself around some people. If I can't be my authentic self around you, it's pointless.
Sharon: We’re certainly not mumsy at all. We’re anti-mumsy but certainly not anti-mums. I go on those camping trips, but I've also almost gotten kicked off the campsite for blaring music too loudly.
Sally: My style is how I express myself. It's almost like a suit of armour. You're going out to fight your battle.
Sharon: I love to be colourful. I've certainly got more colourful as I've gotten older.
Helena: I just love shopping at the moment. I think it's something about lockdown. It's so cathartic and it's nice to have an opportunity to dress up again.
Daphne: For me, it’s not about what’s current. I like to get new pieces, but I’ve got pieces from the 80s. It still works now. You make it work. It's never been about the now. Although stirrups and rah-rah skirts, we can leave those behind.