Well it’s that age thing isn’t it with music? The music business thinks that musical talent appears in your teenage years and disappears after 30. But it doesn’t, does it? Recently I’ve taken part in a rather nice idea called “Talent Is Timeless”. It was a nationwide competition aimed at people over the young and young middle-aged bracket. It asked for songs from songwriters and they would be judged by a panel made up of some industry insiders and well-known names. The organiser, an up and coming 20 something called Saskia Griffiths-Moore, thought she’d get a few hundred people interested, she got over 1, 500 entries. The prize was to record your song at the famous Abbey Road studios. But in a way the real prize was realising that many people over 45 were still writing and wanting to perform and the songs weren’t too shoddy either. In fact, the winner, by Fergus Neil, was defiantly better quality than some of the autotuned schlock on the radio.
So, in an age of “Me-too” and over abundant woke-ism, the music business really should get its act together and not dismiss those middle aged and older who can still do the stuff. It needs to realise that great songs can be written, great singers and players can still do their chops, even if they haven’t had the modern leg up of Performing Arts places at industry approved uni’s and colleges in the land. Occasionally someone older does break through, for example Seasick Steve, a blues act that through a TV appearance was pushed into the limelight. But for far too long anyone even over 35 has been dismissed. Why, when the market for the middle aged and older music and money is so large? This includes the fan base that still will pay big ticket prices for those oldies to come and play live. Bruce Springsteen, Robert Plant and many more all over 60 still deliver on stage. It just doesn’t make sense, to stop seeing them just because of their age. So, come and support and investigate the older than 35 acts and you might just discover some amazing talent, even at the local open mic night. Me? I’m off to grab my guitar and practice my chops. Just as soon as I can get out of this chair. “Ooh me back!”