Denise Johnson, the gifted singer who collaborated with Manchester post-punk/funk band A Certain Ratio for 30 years, and added vocals to Primal Scream's seminal 'Screamadelica' album, has passed away, aged 56. According to her family, she 'died suddenly, after an illness.'
Tributes to the respected and much-loved performer have been flooding in, and longtime ACR colleague Martin Moscrop stated, “Even though she was younger than us, she always looked after us at gigs. She’d always have treats in the van on the way to the gig, and afterwards she’d always pour extremely large rum and cokes and make sure everyone was OK. In the studio she was something else. We were never ever worried about her delivering the goods. It would take her a few minutes to learn her lines and then she’d deliver an amazing vocal in one take."
I was fortunate enough to catch ACR twice over the past year, at Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms, and Glasgow's King Tut's, where as ever, her strident and soulful voice complimented the bass-heavy funk vibes. Ross Galloway, the bassist in my own band, Noniconic, caught ACR several times during the band's 40th anniversary celebrations, in Scotland, England and Germany. Here's a montage of his video and photos capturing Denise in full flow.
Condolences to Denise's family and friends/bandmates.
Denise performing with A Certain Ratio, Georgian Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees, 6/12/19