Delta 5

Last updated
Delta 5
Origin Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Genres Post-punk, new wave
Years active19791981
Labels Rough Trade
Past membersJulz Sale
Ros Allen
Bethan Peters
Kelvin Knight
Alan Riggs
Graeme High

Delta 5 was an English post-punk band from Leeds. [1]



The band was formed from the same art school scene at Leeds University as Gang of Four and The Mekons. [1] [2] The original members of Delta 5, Julz Sale (vocals/guitar), Ros Allen (bass) and Bethan Peters (bass), formed the band "on a lark", [3] but soon became a part of the thriving Leeds post-punk scene, and later added Kelvin Knight on drums and Alan Riggs on guitar. [2] Combining feminist politics with a two-bass funk-punk sound (much in the style of another, more famous Leeds band, Gang of Four), they released their debut single "Mind Your Own Business" in 1979. This song was covered by Chicks on Speed, Le Shok, R. Stevie Moore, Pigface and Dum Dum Girls. Bethan Peters played on Fun Boy Three's second album Waiting .

The members of Delta 5 were important figures in the Rock Against Racism movement and were the subject of a highly publicised assault at the hands of a right-wing group affiliated with rival movement Rock Against Communism. [4]

After the release of second single "You", the band went on a successful tour of the United States, and soon thereafter left Rough Trade for Charisma Records imprint Pre. [5] They recorded their debut album See the Whirl, which suffered from overly clean production and received low marks both critically and commercially.[ citation needed ] Due to the failure of the album, the group disbanded. A cover of "You" (with Japanese lyrics and renamed "Saboten" (Cactus)) was recorded by Shonen Knife and released on the band's 1982 debut Minna Tanoshiku .

In 2006, Kill Rock Stars released a compilation of early Delta 5 material titled Singles & Sessions 1979-1981 , [2] capitalising on the re-emerging popularity of post-punk bands such as Gang of Four and Wire. The set included unreleased material, along with BBC radio sessions and live cuts. [6]

Kelvin Knight, their former drummer, died on 2 December 2015 from liver and kidney failure at the age of 56. [7]

"Mind Your Own Business" was featured in episode 5 of the series Sex Education in January 2019, [8] an episode of the BBC TV series The A Word in May 2020, and an Apple commercial in 2021. [9]



Compilation albums


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  1. 1 2 Lester, Paul (2008). Gang of Four: Damaged Gods. Omnibus Press. p. 17. ISBN   978-1-84772-245-4.
  2. 1 2 3 Lily Clarke, Mia (24 January 2006). "Delta 5: Singles & Sessions 1979-81". Pitchfork . Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  3. Jason Ankeny. "Delta 5 | Biography & History". AllMusic . Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  4. "Delta 5 Biography". 2011-02-12. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2011-02-12. the group's role as political leaders increased in the wake of a notorious street attack on its members by right-wing thugs, culminating in the rise of the Rock Against Communism groundswell.
  5. "Delta 5". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  6. Horning, Rob (19 January 2006). "Delta 5: Singles & Sessions 1979-1981". Pop Matters . Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  7. Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2015 July to December". Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  8. Midkiff, Sarah. "Every '80s Song & The Originals That Make Up "Sex Education's" Soundtrack". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  9. Tannenbaum, Rob (10 June 2021). "In the '80s, Post-Punk Filled New York Clubs. Their Videos Captured It". The New York Times . Retrieved 12 June 2021.