Favourite Fives: Denise Johnson

Hold the front page, we’ve somehow managed to convince another woman to do a favourite five for us! Which now brings the female quota up to the staggering amount of two. Oh well, quality not quantity right? Speaking of which stepping up to the plate this time we have the charismatic Rock ‘n ‘Roll diva Denise Johnson who has provided vocals for loads of our favourite groups. Though not content with bringing some serious soul power to A Certain Ratio, Electronic, Primal Scream, Pet Shop Boys, Ian Brown et al she’s now got her own band called Honestly Express Yourself (H.E.Y) whose album was recorded with members of that ace Scando band ‘The Soundtrack Of Our Lives’. A group I once saw blow Oasis clear off the stage even though they were supporting them. But anyway, here is our new best mate Denise and her five.

adidas trainers
I love Gazelles, Spezials and Sambas, I’m certain this stems from being a kid and wanting the latest ones that all my mates were wearing ”Mum, it’s the ones with the 3 stripes!” My Mum comes back from Town with a box.. And inside indeed are trainers, with stripes…5 bloody Stripes! Cried my eyes out but learned to love them, to the other kids I’d be like ”Well, yeah, mine are more individual” Yes I was that kid with the no brand version of everything. Apart from Clarks shoes (A Jamaican thing).
Kate Bush
Leading the way here is Kate who is fabulous and shaped how I heard music as a youngster, on first hearing The Kick Inside she blew me away but I can’t leave out Karen Carpenter, Diana Ross and Abba, especially Agnetha.What these other ladies had collectively were voices that were straightforward, no vocal gymnastics, just heartfelt delivery that still gets me every time I hear them. I spent many a day pretending to be Agnetha, wearing a yellow cardigan on my head for hair, I can hear all these influences in my singing voice and I salute them all.
kate bush
Films where I’ve no idea what’s going to happen next
There’s more than one! The first is ‘Bad Boy Bubby’ no-one I know has seen it and think I’ve made up this title. It’s about a grown man with the mind of a child after being kept from the real world by his mum, top film, the second is ‘The Piano Teacher’ French subtitles where to this day I’m still squinting about the ending, again, no-one I know has seen it so if anyone wants to enlighten me please do. Oh and ‘The Human Centipede’.
What would I do without Bill Hicks, Larry David, Chris Rock, Richard Pryor and Lucille Ball, These people can single-handedly make me laugh till I ache, tears and all.
Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum
All roads lead to rum” W.C.Fields. Enough said.


Check out H.E.Y. on Soundcloud and on Twitter @honestlyexpress



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