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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


The Raincoats – The Raincoats
I don't know how I heard The Raincoats. I went to university in Oxford to go to art school and I was kind of over being there. It's an incredibly white, straight, oppressive place. I spent a lot of time going to London to see my friends and making music and that was when me and Rachel started our twee folky band where I was playing violin in that band. Somebody heard us and then sent me The Raincoats. Maybe it was my partner, I can't remember, but I just remember hearing that album and being like, 'It's got violin on it!' and sending it to Rachel and my friends.

It turned out that we were connected. Rachel was at Westminster University and her photography teacher was Shirley [O'Loughlin], the manager of The Raincoats and Ana's partner. They went to a little gig that Ana and Gina played at a university. I wasn't there because I was in Oxford and I remember them like raving about how cool it was. They met them and then that started a kind of friendship between all of us, because I started going to their gigs. I just instantly connected with this music it's like hearing records made by your friends, but I didn't know them yet.

Knowing that Ana was queer... I would listen to any queer music at that time, because it was around the time when I was coming out so I was desperate to hear queer voices. When people hear my music, I feel like we get compared to The Raincoats a lot and it's the one band that I think is fine. You can compare anything I do to The Raincoats and I'll always be happy.