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Baker's Dozen

Driving Home: Anika’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , July 21st, 2021 08:53

In this week’s Baker’s Dozen, Anika guides Stephanie Phillips through the records that made her, from the power of Grace Jones, Courtney Love and PJ Harvey, to the soothing effects of Goldie and Guru


Patti Smith - Live in Berlin 2015

I have this on CD too. It was another one of my car albums. It was a gift from a friend of mine who went to the show, but it's a really great album. It also just has this really good energy. I love listening to it in on my trip back to Berlin, because it takes like an hour so you need a good co-pilot. I love Patti Smith anyway. I didn't really get her when I was younger. Of course, Horses is a bit more of an accessible album, but it was just a strange person to somehow comprehend as a kid growing up in 90s garage era England.

She’s another person I respect a lot. I think the respect came when I read Just Kids, and she was reading it out on Radio Four at the time. It’s quite an honest and vulnerable account of what it is like to be an artist. For so many artists that are starting out it's such a confusing journey. You think you should know everything and know what you're doing, and the fact that you don't makes you feel like you're not a real artist. That’s bullshit. You shouldn't know what you're doing. It's really nice when you read books about other artists saying, ‘Yeah, I didn't know either so don't worry, it's okay.’

The instrumentation on the album was really good and the songs were actually performed really well. With an artist like Patti Smith, and in the same way as with Malaria!, a lot of the material wasn't always recorded so well or maybe it had some weird instrumentation, so I feel like this album specifically brings out a lot of her songs in their best light. Maybe because of where she was at that specific time, it just put across certain emotions. That's the thing with live, often they can go the other way. When an artist starts performing their hits from the past and it's just like terrible, but this is one where she really put together a killer band and it's very well recorded.