Based in Hong Kong, Sean Hocking is the founder and owner of Metal Postcard Records. An avid listener of John Peel from the late 1970s onwards, Sean discovered, between the hours of 10pm and midnight when Peel’s show was aired, the true breadth of music available. Inspired by Peel (as well as impressario and label owner Tony Wilson), Metal Postcard Records follows the philosophy of, “play it, release it, and don’t worry about other people’s opinions too much; they all come around eventually.”
“My first DJ experience aged 15 was being asked by older schoolboy Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins/Bella Union) to play a six form dance in the dim distant days of Dexy’s Midnight Runners and a three-piece Cure. Since then I have played Sydney warehouses, West Sussex fields, Brooklyn Bars, Cambodian restaurants, Vietnamese Riverbanks, Hong Kong rooftops and too many empty houses with dodgy fuse boxes to mention.”
We asked Sean to give us his Essential playlist – well, actually, we asked him to narrow down his playlist to just ten songs – and this is what he came up with.
We should also point out that it’s David Bowie’s 68th birthday today – as well as what would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st – so it’s only fitting that both should receive a mention.
Siouxsie & The Banshees – ‘Metal Postcard’
So good I named a label after it. It’s punk, it’s post punk , it’s about a German anti-fascist artist and collagist who angered the Nazis so much he had to escape to England in the mid 1930s. It’s sounds as good sung in German as it does in English and by the band who defined my teenage years.
Eddie Cochran – ‘Summertime Blues’
In the early 70s when I was but a young boy, teenagers all seemed to have long hair, silly flared jeans and wore make up. I saw pictures of young Eddie Cochran and Elvis Presley then I heard them. Short sharp songs about cool stuff by people who just looked so cool compared to anything I saw around me. Too good for words.
The Triffids – ‘Wide Open Road’
I went to Australia as a 17 year old in the early 1980s and spent a lot of time bussing around the country. Days and days out in the desert. They released this song a couple of years later and it just says everything about my travels and my life at the time – it was all a wide open road.
The Dodgems – ‘Lord Lucan Is Missing’
The Dodgems were a band from Brighton in the late 70’s. I grew up in Chichester just down the road. Nothing cool ever came from the south coast it was always London, Manchester Liverpool. The song subject was so English, the sound was English and John Peel loved it. He played it a number of times and I really believed it to be his and my little secret.
The Doors – ‘Soul Kitchen’
The ultimate sixties song. Have listened to it a million times and could happily listen to it a million more.
New Order – ‘Blue Monday’
The best dancefloor song ever. Sounded good then sounds as good now. And it always suits any dance floor anywhere on the planet.
David Bowie – ‘Station to Station’
It’s rock, it’s funk. it Berlin, It’s Philadelphia, it’s Bromley , It’s David Bowie…it’s perfect.
The Small Faces – ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’
Quite simply the best rock band ever. Everybody else copied them. Each one of their songs is another band’s whole career.
Smokey Robinson – ‘Tears of a Clown’
Not called that for no reason at all. I cry with joy on the inside every time i hear this song.
Augustus Pablo – ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’
Nowadays you hear dub in almost everything to do with pop music. But back in the late 70s you’d hardly hear it at all. This was another one discovered via the John Peel show and that sound coming through the radio at 10.45 pm on a September night was beyond exotic…it was almost as though it came from the funkiest beach in outer space…and then when he said, “that was Augustus Pablo – King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown” the immediate reaction was I haven’t got a clue who that is but they sound so cool i have to buy it.
Check out Metal Postcard Records on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Bandcamp, Youtube, and Soundcloud. Sean is also a DJ on Dandelion Radio – check out the schedule here to find out when you can listen to him.