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Delta 5 - Singles and Sessions Plus

  by John Clarkson

published: 30 / 6 / 2011

Delta 5 - Singles and Sessions Plus
Label: Blue Apple Music
Format: CD


Splendid reissue of 2005 compilation with new remixes for short-lived, but influential punk-funk group, Delta 5

Delta 5 were a short lived, but influential late 1970’s Leeds-based band that came from the same fertile punk-funk school as the Mekons and the Gang of Four. During their brief lifetime, and over the course of a year between 1979 and 1980, the female-fronted two-bass Delta 5, in their original line-up of Julz Sale (vocals, guitar), Alan Riggs (guitar), Bethan Peters (hi-bass, vocals), Ross Allen (lo-bass, vocals) and Kelvin Knight (drums), recorded three singles for Rough Trade and two radio sessions for John Peel. They also released a poorly received album, ‘See the Whirl’, in 1981 on Charisma offshoot Pre Records. By this time, however, only Sale and Peters remained, and it is that early trio of singles which Delta 5 are best remembered for. ‘Singles and Sessions Plus’ is a reissue of a 2006 compilation on Kill Rock Stars. It includes all three singles and their B sides, tracks from both the Peel sessions and an additional one for Richard Skinner, some live recordings from their only American tour, and - new to this edition - sleeve notes from Kelvin Knight and three remixes of their best known song and first single, ‘Mind Your Own Business’. Over thirty years on since its initial release ‘Mind Your Own Business’ continues to hold an edge, merging military-precise, crisply stark funk beats with a shrill, stand-offish vocal from Sale in which as someone tries to move closer to her she pushes further and further away from him (“Can I have a taste of your ice cream?/Can I lick the crumbs from your table?/Can I interfere in your crisis?/No, mind your own business”). Accusatory second single ‘You’ is, like most of their records, another take on personal politics and the sex wars, and equally brittle and funny (“Who left me behind at the baker’s?/You, you, you/who forgot to phone last Tuesday?/You, you, you”). The third single, ‘Try’ (“You want me to agree with you/I tried and we got nowhere/Try, try/You want to hear echoes”), finds the band moving away from their tight, but simplistic beginnings and, with its twanging guitar line and machine gun drum beats, revealing a greater degree of musical sophistication and scope. The Peel sessions and the Skinner session (the latter of which he understandably fails to mention, as he, Riggs and Allen were no longer involved), meanwhile shows Delta 5 ,as Kelvin Knight describes it in his sleeve notes, “at our best” when they were forced to work to especially short recording and mixing deadlines. The three remixes, one from New Order’s Peter Hook, and the other two from Monnie Lamar and Deerhof, all build on ‘Mind Your Own Business’, but are really for fans of remixes only. ‘Singles and Sessions Plus’ is, however, a splendid tribute to a group who with their matter-of-factness and wit would go on to influence groups as diverse as the Au Pairs, the Shop Assistants and Tallulah Gosh.

Track Listing:-
1 Mind Your own Business (original version)
2 Now That You've Gone
3 Anticipation
4 You
5 Try
6 Colour
7 Delta 5
8 Make Up
9 Triangle
10 Innocenti
11 Train Song
12 Final Scene
13 Singing The Praises
14 Shadow
15 Circuit
16 Journey
17 Mind Your Own Business (Peter Hook 'Man Ray' Mix)
18 Mind Your Own Business Featuring Monnei Lamar (remix)
19 Mind Your Own Business Deerhoof Mix

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