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Radio: Post Punk Britain

From 2011-2016, SIMON McKAY presented a weekly show on Break London Radio called Post Punk Britain. It featured 1970s British punk and post punk peppered with some British and Jamaican reggae from the same era. A number of the shows can still be streamed click here.

DJ Said Liquidator at The ICA, post-punk britain
POST PUNK BRITAIN presenter Simon McKay (Photo ICA 2009)

The music on Post Punk Britain is now considered influential, but at the time was thought to be artless and weird.  There were very few places to hear it in the late 70s and it was hard to find it in the shops. Often there were only small pressings of a record and if demand was high you had to be quick off the mark to get to your local shop and grab it - that's if they bothered to stock it. If you didn't live in a major town, you faced the lottery of mail order: sending a cheque or postal order off to one of the companies who advertised their stock in the weekly music papers like NME and Sounds. You would be unlikely to receive your records within 14 days - the small print in all the orders said that it could take up to 28 days! A world of instant song downloads that you could hear within seconds was beyond imagination… This time even preceded the first Sony Walkman - imagine that; you could only hear your choice of music at home!

Most of this music was only available on 7" singles. Some of the bands went on to to release LPs but singles were the important thing. You couldn't copy a single: you had to buy it, borrow it or swap for it. You could make a cassette recording of a friend's copy, but the technology was so poor it was unsatisfying and also there was a great deal of kudos attached to actually owning the record: it meant you were a real fan. You didn't want to be thought of as somebody who just had the haircut or the t-shirt: credentials were everything. There was a lot of satisfaction to be had from discovering a great sounding new group before your friends and bagging their debut single. It truly felt like my choice of music was at the centre of my life. In that respect, aside from my marriage and close friendships, not a lot has changed for me in 30 years!

Read Playlists for Post Punk Britain

Hear Post Punk Britain radio shows on Soundcloud


As DJ Said Liquidator, on 30 September 2009, I did a set for Spearmint to mark the 10th anniversary of their excellent 'A Week Away' LP at the ICA. To see my set list and match report: click here



After 26 years (including time trading as Plastic Passion), Bill Forsyth and Bill Allerton's shop in Portobello closed down on 1 May 2010. For details, photos
and even audio: click here


More names to follow, but for now; the absolute basics on:

Delta 5


Treatment Room

Urban Disturbance

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