Too old for the rave? Never! Meet the man entering his prime 🕺
Heading just past the mid-30s mark, sometimes I question whether I should still be raving and gigging.
As a part-time DJ at weekends, it doesn’t bother me that much with a crowd of a similar age, but it definitely feels a bit different at some events where most appear to be in their early 20s.
I guess it all depends on the time and place. Some events obviously have a more eclectic crowd of all ages, and some of my mates – in their late 40, early 50s bring way more to the dance floor than I ever could.
My parents, in their late 60s, recently did their first trip to Ibiza, buzzing that they saw David Guetta at Ushuaia. If they can do it, surely I can too.
We’re obviously talking about the one-off holiday night out here, but still, the idea that once you’re out of your early 30’s, you should call it a day and reside your Saturday nights to Ant & Dec (if that’s still on?) just doesn’t sit right with me.
That assumption is being well and truly flipped in the case of Roger Mairlot.
In his earlier days he loved the few gigs he got to.
But, as family and work life came to the fore, music all but vanished from his life. Now, at 74, he tries to go to at least one gig every night, and sometimes as many as five a day. Before Covid-19, he notched up 725 nights of gigs in a row.
“The idea is to keep going till I drop,” he says.
Mairlot lives in Hampton, south-west London, and, on his nightly travels, says he has got to know his bus drivers. “One said: ‘You must have seen all the bands going!’” Impossible, Mairlot says. “You see one band, they split up, then there’s two bands. The more you see, the more there is to see.”
“I thought: ‘What the hell, I’m going to get up and do a paper round. It was so easy, I ended up doing three a day. That gave me pocket money for gigs.” He came across the Guardian’s weekly music and film guide, and began to go to gigs alone using his senior pass, which afforded him free travel throughout London.
His mission to go to a gig every night “gets me out”, he says. “You meet people, on trains, at gigs, waiting for buses. You see a bit of life.”
Now in his 70s, he has found a spot amongst the regulars he has got to know.
If he can do it, and my parents can do it, and the rave mama’s can do it, I’m sure I can too!
You’re only as old as you feel, and all that.