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|Genres||Post-punk, new wave|
The original members of Delta 5, Julz Sale (vocals/guitar), Ros Allen (bass) and Bethan Peters (bass), formed the band "on a lark", but soon became a part of the thriving Leeds post-punk scene, and later added Kelvin Knight on drums and Alan Riggs on guitar. 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 in 1979, "Mind Your Own Business". This song was later covered by Chicks on Speed, Le Shok, R. Stevie Moore and Pigface. Bethan Peters went on to play on Fun Boy Three's second album, 'Waiting'.
Delta 5 were also important figures in the Rock Against Racism movement, and were the subject of a highly publicized assault at the hands of a right-wing group affiliated with rival movement Rock Against Communism.
After the release of second single "You", the band went on a successful tour of the US, and soon thereafter left Rough Trade for Charisma Records imprint Pre. They recorded their debut album, See the Whirl, which suffered from overly clean production, and received low marks both critically and commercially. Because of 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 called Singles & Sessions 1979-1981, capitalizing on the reemerging popularity of post-punk bands like Gang of Four and Wire. The set includes a wealth of unreleased material, along with BBC radio sessions and live cuts.
- See the Whirl (1981)
- "Mind Your Own Business" / "Now That You're Gone" (Rough Trade Records) (1979)
- "Anticipation" / "You" (Rough Trade Records) (1980)
- "Try" / "Colour" (Rough Trade Records) (1980)
- "Shadow" / "Leaving" (PRE) (1981)
- 6 12" EP (first three singles) - Base Record – R.T. 0006 (1981)
- "Powerlines" / "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" (PRE) (1982)