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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Delta 5 April 20, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a Leeds group from the dawn of post-punk (that would be 1978) and don’t they sound it. Deep resonating basslines, spiky guitar lines, near disco-like percussion and to bring it all together female vocals. Add to that a strongly feminist outlook, leftwing political activism including participation in Rock Against Racism and they really have to be one of the more compelling groups to emerge from that time.

Initially all-female, with Julz Sale on vocals and guitar, Ros Allen on bass and Bethan Peters on another bass they later added in Kevlin Knight on drums and Alan Riggs on guitar.
Interestingly they came from same broad group of students that Gang of Four and the Mekons originated in and for myself as a long time Three Johns fan there are distinct commonalities as with GoF and The Slits.

The songs themselves are fantastic. Journey (with a bass that tracks left to right and back again), Try, You, Colour, Mind Your Own Business, these are short sharp bursts of funk inflected agitpop whose lyrics are both critical but also optimistic. After the first tranche of singles they moved label and released their first and only album proper – See the Whirl. Some aren’t fond of its crisper production but, perhaps typically, I like it even if the addition of horns was not necessarily a great idea. And tracks like Anticipation or Delta 5 are just great, the former a classic of its kind – propulsive, melodic and none outstay their welcome. Also the layered call and response vocals are even stronger on later tracks. Thought Christgau was a bit glib here, but their career was remarkably short given the sheer range of abilities and potential. I’d have liked to have heard them have a go at a second album. Sorely underrated and well well worth a listen.


Journey


Try


You


Colour


Mind Your Own Business


Anticipation (on Top of the Pops)


Delta 5 (non album version?)

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