THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE RADIO QUESTIONNAIRE: Rachel Ashby

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE RADIO QUESTIONNAIRE: Rachel Ashby

And in a special occasion at Elsewhere we introduce a new questionnaire – one for radio people who are, despite streaming services, still tastemakers and shapers . . . and are more passionate about music than most a-log programmer could ever be.

This is Elsewhere's chance to bring to attention those who are not idiot children styling themselves as “influencers”, but are real people there for the music . . . and not about accruing Facebook “likes” and Instagram ego-gratification.

So we introduce Rachel Ashby who is the new bFM morning host – alongside producer Tess Barnett – after the departure of Mikey Havoc . . .

And Rachel has some serious credentials.

She did thankless graveyard shifts three years ago on bFM, clawed her way up to listenable hours and more recently hosted Sunday morning's very engaging Artbank.

She also did a podcast with Nikon (The Wide Angle, which introduced local photographers, on radio! Think about it.) And she was a vocal and articulate voice in fighting against the assimilation of Fine Arts library at Elam into the main Auckland Uni library.

Rachel Ashby isn't a new voice on bFM, but a smart one which has been around and seen around and . . .

So we asked her dumb questions . . .


The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Listening for the Weather by Bic Runga. I got given Beautiful Collision when I was six, and it was the first CD I had ever owned so I felt very grown up and cool listening to that.

Your first role models in radio or music were . . .

Jarvis Cocker is the art school/radio/music crossover icon so he is definitely high up the list. When I was a teenager we briefly lived in the UK and I remember Fearne Cotton’s BBC Radio 1 mid-morning show being a huge revelation for me.

Prior to that I’d grown up listening to RNZ at home, and RDU at my primary school best friend’s house, so those stations had a big impact on me too. I also definitely have to shout out John Campbel l- I’m from Christchurch and I have a lot of respect for the way he and his team covered the earthquakes. He really understood what was happening in the city in a way a lot of media failed to get at the time.

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z? Or a couple artists of your own choosing.

PJ Harvey.

If radio was a career option and didn't pan out, your other choice would be . . .

When I was a kid I used to want to be an ornithologist because I liked the way the word sounded. But I went through art school so I guess making more art would be what you’d actually catch me doing.

The three songs you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Different for a Boy by Polyester

In the Dark Places by PJ Harvey

Andy by the Front Lawn

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home...

I have about six shoe boxes full of gig and exhibition flyers, zines, posters and badges. They get lugged from flat to flat whenever I move and I keep telling myself I’ll have a go at organising them…

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Patti Smith’s M Train is gorgeous, very moving, and probably one of my favourites across genres. I also raced through Viv Albertine’s Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys last year and loved it. Dan Graham’s Rock Music Writings were really significant for me when I was doing my honours year at art school.

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be?

I think maybe Grace Jones because she looks like she just has the most fun performing. Her set at Auckland City Limits in 2018 was wild.

71YlUGssw4L._SY679_The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Bend it Like Beckham, Labyrinth and The Blues Brothers.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include…).

Designer by Aldous Harding was the last record I bought. I pre-ordered it like a giant nerd too. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Cate le Bon and Weyes Blood recently, spooky women forever!

If a station programmes an ad for a product or service you didn't want to be associated with to the point of making you quit, what might that product or service be?

Ermmmm… pass

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

I have a lovely painting by my friend Claudia Kogachi up at the moment. It’s of her grandfather in Hawaii and it’s yellow and warm and makes me grin.

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

I am waaaay too indecisive.

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where and doing what?

Parked up in the bush with my tins of baked beans, reading books and waiting for the apocalypse to arrive. Nah, I’d probably spend it getting to as many good gigs as I could cram in.

And finally, if you desperately need the bathroom and “might be a while” what album would you bang on to fill the airwaves?

Patti Smith’s Horses, brilliant album- long songs.

The Ashby/Barnett duo’s first show starts at 7am on Monday 6 May Drivetime if you are on a Lime or a bus or a train!

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