Dorec-a-belle turns 10!
Most birthdays during the last year, even special landmark ones, have been low-key affairs. With restaurants and venues closed, and family and friends unable to get together, we’ve all just had to go with the flow and accept there are much more important things to be concerned about. However, with restrictions hopefully easing over coming months, thoughts in our band are turning to what might be possible by way of a small celebration - for Dorec-a-belle turns ten this year!
Ten years together is a milestone for any band and, I would venture, particularly for a female-fronted ensemble who are all mums. The challenges faced by women musicians are only now being highlighted and taken onboard as serious issues, and it’s not just a matter of getting the gigs.
While new networks such as Scotland’s BIT Collective and the global Keychange are campaigning for gender equality in the music industry, promoting, among other issues, equal representation for women on festival and concert stages, it is also a question of being able to do those gigs.
Someone recently asked me how it was that Dorec-a-belle had not played in Europe or ventured to Canada or the USA like so many other Scottish bands. It’s simple, I answered. Kids! How do you tour abroad if you have no-one to look after your children while you are away?
If a mother is a bringing up children alone, then unless lucky enough to have a family support network or the father of those youngsters willing to step up for some parenting, it is just not possible. We have often taken our wee ‘uns with us to gigs and festivals, but abroad? Much too complicated without a shed load of help!
We have never managed to be away for more than three consecutive days of gigs - there is only so far you can push sisterly or granny generosity - but the positive upside is the knowledge that we’ve been there through our kids’ young lives.
For school, homework and exams, chauffeuring to play days, music lessons and hobbies, bolstering them through emotional and personal development, the years of several nights-a-week football training car runs and weekend fixtures, putting food on the table, the caring and nurturing, and, yes, getting to enjoy huge amounts of fun, love and affection.
Against this background, Dorec-a-belle has written and released one album, one EP, several singles and music videos, performed hundreds of gigs, concerts and festivals across Scotland, built a decent following and had so many good times. Not too bad for a band with three mums and six children!
(First published by Highland News & Media 9.4.2021)