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Baker's Dozen

Beloved Transmissions: Mary Anne Hobbs' Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , May 22nd, 2017 08:14

Ahead of her curation at the Manchester International Festival, Mary Anne Hobbs guides Daniel Dylan Wray on an inspiring trip through 13 records that shaped her life


Deftones - White Pony
A bit different to some other choices I've made but in atmospheric terms, when contextualising hard rock in the framework of this list, it works perfectly. I've always been a rock fan. When I was 15, Motorhead played a gig at Hackney dog track and I lived in a tiny little village in Lancashire at this point. I thought, 'I have to go' because I adored Motorhead. I would have jumped the train because I didn't have any money. I remember showing up on a blisteringly hot day and I didn't realise that the gig had been organised by Hell's Angels and so the entire field was mobbed with Angels and I was all alone. I had a ticket so they let me in although eying me suspiciously. There was nothing on this field at all, there were no toilets, not even anywhere you could get a drink of water, let alone a beer or any food. It was just a scorching hot field, several hundred Hell's Angels, if not a thousand, and Motorhead. I remember being simultaneously terrified and thrilled. I wasn't certain what would happen to me but I was so elated that I'd made it there. I remember at the end of the day being so devastated that I had to leave this field of people because here was evidence that there were kindred spirits, people just like me.

When you came from a tiny village in the days before the Internet, there was nothing. Peel might suggest that [other world] to you but you didn't see it physically, there was no evidence around you. That was the first moment in which I saw real evidence that there were a community of kindred spirits. Within that moment there was an enormous sense of promise about what the world might hold for me that I hadn't really experienced beyond that point. To circle back to Deftones, it's that degree of promise I feel in Deftones' music. Deftones are everything that a rock band should be and they deliver everything in this record that a hard rock record could, might and should be. I feel like it's a record that never dates. Seventeen years on and you drop any tune from this record on my show and I'll see twitter exploding and people talking of the very formative experiences they had at their gigs that changed their lives. They trigger those very specific memories of the promise of what rock music might be. So I thought rather than choosing Motorhead, I thought what record sonically still takes me back to that feeling of promise that I got in that field when I was a kid.