Babies don’t give a yellow shit about release schedules and the intricate timings of promotional tours, and they’ll damn well turn up when they want to.
I’m so proud of Gwenno. Not only because I can call her a mate – we go back a decade having toured together quite a bit in the heady ‘00s. (Great days, great days). And not just because she’s recently released a flippin’ amazing sci-fi-inspired Welsh language album to out-of-this-world critical acclaim. (Nobody saw that coming from the polka-dotted ex-Pipette). But because, very casually, she’s challenging our perceptions and without fuss, toppling a taboo just by being her brilliant – and as it so happens, heavily pregnant – self. You see, babies don’t give a yellow shit about release schedules and the intricate timings of promotional tours, and they’ll damn well turn up when they want to. How very rock and roll of them.
Perhaps we haven’t seen enough baby bumps on stage. It is, after all, a sight we’re not particularly used to, and undoubtedly for some, a confusing one. (Surely all female singers should resemble professional porn stars, no?) But as anyone who’s carried a child post-35 weeks knows, the dialogue goes something like this: “Ooh, you haven’t got long to go now!”, “Blimey, you’re about to pop”, and “Make sure you’re shopping in M&S when your waters break and you’ll get a voucher!” (MYTH).
My point is, the way we talk about heavily pregnants reveals an underlying fear in society that the brutality of birth – see also death – will rudely interrupt our everyday lives, and we won’t know how deal with it. We’d rather keep preggos past a certain date hidden away, lest they go into labour. (On stage! The horror! God forbid!)
So, to Gwenno, to M.I.A, to Karen O, and even dear old Katie Price in that Barbie pink Eurovision bid – the women who are getting up on stage, and basically just getting on with it – I raise a glass of non-alcoholic sparkling elderflower to you.
Gwenno’s album, Y Dydd Olaf, is out now on Heavenly Recordings