UK 12 September 2013 DJs should give free rave tickets to mums Alice O'Keeffe's "Squeezed Middle" column Print HTML ‘‘What’s your name, darlin’?” The bouncer examines his clipboard. “Erm, Amanda Collins,” I say, my voice going a bit squeaky. I am lying to the bouncer in order to get guest-list tickets to a house rave. No, that is not a typo. I, a thirtysomething, suburban mother-of-two, am attending a rave in Kentish Town. I have a very tight dress on. I feel like I should also be wearing a badge reading: “DON’T LOOK AT ME. I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE.” The only reason I am here is that DJ Slippa, the headliner, is a childhood friend of mine. One of my new resolutions is to get out of the house more. So when his sister offered me her spare ticket I thought, why not? In more innocent days, Slippa (aka Dan) and I used to play “Daddies” together in the sandpit at Highbury Fields playground. Since then, our paths have diverged somewhat radically. I am living in a slightly-toosmall flat, bringing up two children and spending weekends grappling with Ikea self-assembly furniture. He is earning megabucks, jetting around the world first class, buying flats across Europe with nary a mortgage, playing to crowds of adoring fans, batting off the groupies . . . The bouncer waves me on. Inside, the club is dark and thunderous. Young people are milling about clutching bottles of water. I can’t help but notice that many of the girls are wearing very impractical shoes. I make my way rapidly to the bar and spot my friend Lizzie, who is just about to be served. “Thank goodness you’re here!” I pant. “I feel like a prehistoric fossil!” “I don’t think fossils wear Lycra. What is that dress?” Lizzie, who is more rock’n’roll than me, has bought a double vodka and Red Bull. I ask for a bottled lager (£4!!!) and we retreat to a dark corner. Slippa’s set is about to begin. Hundreds of mobile phones wave in the air and green lasers dart up and down. In a puff of smoke, Dan emerges from the wings and ascends a great altar-like construction in the middle of the stage. He raises his hand to the audience, presses a button, and a bassline shudders up through my feet. The place goes crazy. After watching for a few minutes, I turn to Lizzie. “What do those buttons he’s pressing actually do?” “Oh, nothing. The music is pre-recorded. He’s just pretending,” she says. Truly, the world is a strange place. Dan gets paid thousands of pounds an hour for pratting around on stage, not even pressing buttons, but pretending to press them. Meanwhile, I slave away from dawn till dusk raising the next generation and I get paid . . . nothing. Never mind all that. It feels amazing to have a dance. My body has spent so long in the service of small humans that I’d almost forgotten it could move just for fun. As I head off into the far-too-late night, I conclude that in return for their huge salaries DJs should have to give free tickets to all mums. Come on, fair’s fair. › Will Self: the first step in dealing with your speeding problem is agreeing that you have one A New Year's Eve rave in Las Vegas. Photo: Getty Alice O'Keeffe is an award-winning journalist and former arts editor of the New Statesman. She now works as a freelance writer and looks after two young children. You can find her on Twitter as @AliceOKeeffe. From only £1 per week Subscribe This article first appeared in the 09 September 2013 issue of the New Statesman, Britain alone More Related articles How did I, obsessed with non-places, not know about the Trafford Centre? 7 problems with the Snooper’s Charter, according to the experts Could Labour lose the Oldham by-election?