It's not that you can't actually be an ageing rocker - rather that much of Rock's gerontocracy (most obviously the Rolling Stones) only get away with it by pretending that they are still their twenty something selves.
So full credit to Matthew "Ted" Edwards, unashamedly singing "I'm Not A Young Man Anymore" but still writing fresh and creative tunes well into middle age. I first knew him back in the early 80's when he fronted a Birmingham-based band called Dance; later, there was a major label flirtation with Somerville; and then a couple of decades in San Fransisco with the Music Lovers.
Now back home in his beloved Brum, Ted has just released "Folklore", his second album with The Unfortunates, which was launched at the city's Centrala Bar this weekend. Like it's predecessor "The Fates" the record channels richly observant melancholy with an epic wistfulness, drawing on its creator's love of paisley jangle, Jacques Brel and the more apocalyptic side of Bowie. Each song is a bespoke postcard of heartache, decay or fretful celebration - as singular and English in its vision as anything by Ray Davies.
The recorded version has contributions from such luminaries as Dagmar Krause of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow fame, and while the live experience lacks the subtleties of John A Rivers' layered production, there's a corresponding kick of energy here that more than compensates.
Along with Richard Hawley and former Dexy's songwriter Pete Williams who's now making some of the best music of his career in his 50's, Ted is part of a generation of artists who refuse to be governed by Rock's ageist rulebook. Older doesn't only mean wiser - it can sometimes be better.