Formerly known as Astromoda, Baby Said prepare to launch their debut EP Who Gives a Rock at The Loft, Southsea

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If you’ve been paying attention to the local music scene in the last couple of years there’s a good chance you will have come across Astromoda.

Since starting in 2021 when Veronica Pal (guitars/vocals) was just 16 and her sister Jess (bass/vocals) a mere 15, the two have been impressing people with their precocious talent.

However, this year when the pair, from Havant, decided they wanted to focus on their own material, rather than the more covers-based Astromoda sets, they became Baby Said.

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Wanting to create a full band for their new harder rock direction they found two more young women, Holly Knowles on guitar and Maddie Hackett on drums.

Baby Said at Electric Ballroom Camden, London. Picture by Emma Barrott.Baby Said at Electric Ballroom Camden, London. Picture by Emma Barrott.
Baby Said at Electric Ballroom Camden, London. Picture by Emma Barrott.

So far they’ve released a clutch of singles – all short, sharp and to the point, rocking tracks.

Now the band is launching its debut EP, Who Gives a Rock, with a headline gig tomorrow night at The Loft in Southsea.

It was important for the sisters to bring in two other women to complete their lineup.

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“We wanted two female musicians just because we're doing a genre that's very male dominated,” says Veronica. “It's heavily dominated by men. There are women doing rock, don't get me wrong, but I think it needs to be a bit more widespread.“It is growing. But we want to really drive the message that you can do what you want to do, it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman.”

Veronica and Jess Pal of Baby Said. Picture by Ellie SvrlanskaVeronica and Jess Pal of Baby Said. Picture by Ellie Svrlanska
Veronica and Jess Pal of Baby Said. Picture by Ellie Svrlanska

Given the sisters’ close bond, was it difficult for them to get with Holly and Maddie?

Jess recalls: “As soon as we first started our rehearsals, we just made sure to tell each other, don't be awkward or anything, just be exactly how we are.“We joke around a lot and we laugh, obviously when we have to do our stuff we're serious, but we're always taking the mick out of each other. That's how we started off, so I think hopefully it relieves any pressure.”

Although the EP isn’t out yet, the girls are already recording their debut album, working with Stephen Battelle of the band Lost Alone and Patch Boshell at The Puzzle Factory in London.

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Even both are still in the teens, they owe their musical skills to playing from a very young age and growing up in a musical household.

Veronica started on acoustic guitar at six, while Jess began at four – but by her own admittance didn’t stick with it, also dabbling in piano, before finding her instrument, the bass, when she was inspired by Italian Eurovision winning glam-rockers Måneskin.

“Mum used to do a lot of singing,” says Veronica. “She used to sing in a seven piece band in Italy,” their mother is Italian, their father Punjabi.“And then she came here and she was singing in restaurants, sometimes she'd sing for stuff at the church. We always had that sort of musical influence and instinct around us, so we just picked it up."

Their mum remains their “biggest supporter,” having booked many of Astromoda’s gigs and driving them hundreds of miles around the country.

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And when it comes to playing live, they’ve definitely paid their dues – the sisters clocked up 200 shows in two years as Astromoda.

“Playing in pubs we've developed a really thick skin,” says Jess. “There are going to be people making comments about everything – either your playing, the way you look, whatever.”

Veronica adds: “We've had people say: ‘You're not playing that, show me you can play’. We literally stopped a gig once just to show them that we were playing – no backing track, no drums, nothing.”

“And they still didn't believe us!” Jess finishes with a laugh.“We turned up to play at this family gig once, and there were some men that they saw us, and they just started taking the mick out of us because we're girls.” But the sisters soon won them over.“By the end they were really drunk, but they were screaming ‘One more!’”

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If you need any further example of their determination, the August bank holiday weekend is a perfect demonstration. On the Friday they are playing the BBC Introducing stage at Leeds Festival, on Saturday they play our own Victorious (the Casemates stage at 7.40pm), before Reading Festival on Sunday.

They play The Loft on Friday, June 21 supported by Mega Sun Machine. Doors at 7pm. Tickets £6. Go to

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