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Baker's Dozen

Friends Of Mine: Rachel Aggs' Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , February 24th, 2021 10:14

Rachel Aggs takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that made her the musician she is today, from Smokey Robinson to Robyn, Mahotella Queens to Sleater-Kinney. Portrait photo by Stephanie Gibson


Electrelane – The Power Out
I probably also read about Electrelane in Plan B magazine before I was in the guitar band and definitely someone told me they were all lesbians. I was like, 'really? I better check this out' and I became completely obsessed with them. They were definitely my favourite band. I remember when I was in Oxford, I had just started university and then Sleater-Kinney came to town and I didn't go because I didn't have anyone to go with. Then literally the week after that the tour ended, they announced that they were splitting up. I was so angry with myself for missing that gig that when Electrelane played in London, I was like, 'fuck it I'm going'.

I went on my own and absolutely loved it and there was a small mosh pit of short lesbians. I was 19, not really out yet and I just thought it was so exciting. The music was like nothing I'd heard before. I didn't really know you could have songs without words. It also had a similar kind of minimalism to it that I was really attracted to. I think [Verity Susman's] voice had a real power to it as it was not like a traditionally strong singing voice, if that makes sense. It was quite brittle and vulnerable at times. When she really goes for it, it's just so cool.

They were another band that I was like, 'I wanna be friends with these people', and I did end up being friends with them, not for a while, but it was kind of wild. When I first met Ros [Murray] who played bass in Electrelane I actually met her through the folky band that I had, but I was such a big fan I remember being really starstruck. She then ended up playing bass for us in Trash Kit.