Kelvin Knight (Delta 5) RIP

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We are sorry to report the death of Kelvin Knight – a leading light in the post punk scene and the founder member and drummer with Leeds band Delta Five. Kelvin wrote a few pieces for this site and was a music enthusiast who was still championing bands even up to a few months ago.

Delta 5 were  great band – a two bass, boy/girl outfit with angular post punk funk and were the archetype post punk outfit. Kelvin write a great column about the band which you can read here

 

Alex Staszko knew Kelvin well and sent this

 

‘I first met Kelvin Knight in 2000, The Chameleons had just reformed and we were following the tour. We met him outside Glasgow Garage a few hours before the gig. He had a big painting of ‘What does anything mean basically?’ on his leather jacket.

We got on like a house on fire instantly, at first he mentioned he was in a band but when pushed he told us it was 80s post punk faves ‘Delta 5’ (in the early 80s their ‘Mind Your Own Business’ single sold over 20,000)

We then spent the next year following the Chameleons around Europe. As well as me visiting him in York, Most noticeably on the night of a Sisters Of Mercy anniversary gig where they poisoned the audience with hash cake.
He will be remembered by many as being funny, wacky and as daft as a brush. There was the time whilst selling mobile phones, that he actually mailed out his own phone! There were several ‘in’ jokes we always shared, such as ‘the lift sketch’ and the time we were in Germany Where a mutual friend of ours got a huge huge map out and he said to me, what scale is that, 1 :1 I replied, and his trademark guffaw went on for ages.
As well as Drumming with Delta 5 in the 80s he was involved in music management in his latter years, managing several bands in York and bringing over American band, Chaos Of Birds over to the UK for a successful tour
He oversaw the release of 2 successful Delta 5 compilations in the last few years. Indeed he spotted someone selling the American CD on eBay. So he then emailed him up and asked ‘why are you selling this CD, as its obviously cost you some time and effort to a buy it”
The fella replied saying that “when I put it on eBay, I didn’t expect the drummer of the band phoning me up complaining”‘

 

John Robb adds…

 

Delta 5 were, perhaps, the epitome of post punk

They were a two bass guitar driven, 3 girl/2 boy outfit from Leeds who managed to break all the Trad Rock rules and create a brave new pop that was beloved of the John Peellisteners of the time but strangely sounds like an almost mainstream pop these days as the rest of the world finally catches up.

Their dislocated dance was fantastic.

I saw them support fellow Leeds band Gang Of Four on tour in 1980 and they were great live. Their words had meaning and their songs were intelligent but still had a spiky, punk energy and a taut British funkiness. They also made the two bass thing work, with those two basses covering top and bottom creating a really supple, elastic modern sound. On top of this, of course, that slashing guitat thing that was so key at the time dropping in and out and leaving space for those great defiant girl vocals that were so perfect.

So many modern bands either sound like them or should check them out for further inspiration- they were decades ahead of their time. Their former drummer Kelvin Knight has written these bits and pieces that give an interesting insight to another era and form part of the sleeve notes/potential backbone of an upcoming book on the band that will form part of yet to be finished book, WARD7BED6 PUNK AND BEYOND.

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10 comments on “Kelvin Knight (Delta 5) RIP”

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  1. Kelvin was an irresistable man who could make a joke about the worst times. I met him this year after our first and only other meeting in 1980 on the stage of a NY nightclub. Connecting with him on Facebook and having plenty of laughs, I decided to go meet him, and make a film with the concert footage and our meeting on his home turf. He talked of the comradery of the Leeds bands, his humility and his life as a dream come true. He remained a talent who could also spot and nurture talent, right til his last breath. He will be sorely missed.

  2. Kelvin was a great guy , he was also in one of the first bands i ever saw THE JERMZ at the De Grey Rooms in York, along with Charlie Francis (ex Patrick Fitzgerald, Toyah) on bass, we used to cross paths quite a lot in York , Such a shame. RiP Kelvin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9WL1iownJY

  3. This is such sad, sad news. We had become good FaceBook friends in the past few years…he was always “up”, always joking and being positive about any and all of the bands he was working with or helping. Alwasy honest about his old demons and proud of his sobriety. And he would post G4 songs regularly…his way of reaching out across the ocean, across the internet.

    Ugly bastard — but I loved him.

  4. Sad news. I saw Delta 5 in Leeds around 1979-80 but didn’t really take much notice of them then. Took me 30 years to rediscover the music, and it sounds very contemporary – I gues they were ahead of their time.

  5. Saw D5 loads of times live in Leeds ( inc. the Fenton) and in New York in 1980 or 81. Kelvin was a lovely guy, I bought a blue drum kit off him ! Sad news RIP.

  6. Had fun with Kelvin many years ago

    • I new him so many years ago
      But with some realty found memories
      I am supprised how sas I feel about his passing as I have not seen him for years

  7. looking to spread the word of Delta 5, I became aware for the first time of the sad news that Kelvin had died.
    I am just a fan but feel moved to add my thoughts.
    I met him just in passing a number of times when the band were visiting London late 70s early 80s and he was one of the friendliest and warmest and funniest of people. Outside the Lyceum, after gloriously putting-down the posturing U2 (bloated even then), we gave him a guard of honour along the Strand. Puts a smile on my face still x

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