Miki Berenyi on freeing yourself from the anxiety of youth

Today’s guest is the singer-songwriter Miki Berenyi. If you were a teenager in the late 80s or early 90s with even vaguely alternative taste you can’t have missed Miki and her band, Lush. Miki’s distinctive look and bright red hair was an icon for anyone who didn’t quite fit in. When the band split, Miki went on to build a new career as a - wait for it - magazine sub-editor. A job that on the face of it could hardly be more different than the rock’n’roll glamour of life on the road. Holidays! Maternity leave! Leaving at 6!

But once you’ve drunk the Kool Aid, there’s no going back and now 56 Miki still plays and tours with her band Piroshka.

I met Miki in her north London kitchen to talk - and talk and talk! Believe me, this conversation goes EVERYWHERE! From revisiting her teenage diaries for her memoir, Fingers Crossed, to breaking free of the wrong kind of woman narrative and how the macho music industry made her feel “over the hill” at 30. We also discussed, the double standards around ageing and the joy of freeing yourself from the anxiety of youth.

Note: Miki refers to someone called Nora a few times in this episode. Nora was her paternal grandmother.

If you liked this episode, you might enjoy my interviews with Martha Wainwright and Tracey Thorn.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on Bookshop.org, including Fingers Crossed by Miki Berenyi and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Juliette Nicholls @ Pineapple Audio Production. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker

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