Remembering Denise

Last night (Saturday July 31st), at Gorilla in Manchester at the Remembering Denise event where all proceeds were donated to Music Venue Trust, the band took time to reflect on their friendship and lives with our beloved friend.

“The outpouring of love for Denise just shows how well she was respected by everyone, not only an amazing singer but a lovely caring person as well.

Denise was a true professional and we were never worried about her delivering the goods in the studio and live.  In the studio she usually took a few minutes to learn her lines and then would deliver an amazing vocal in one take. She was an absolute pleasure to work with.

I always knew Denise was special but I didn’t realise quite how special until she had left us.”


“It was a great shock when Denise passed away last year. The band had just finished recording new tracks together in a great session in the studio and we were looking forward to the time when we could all return to playing live gigs.Denise was such a warm and caring person, her smile could light up the whole room and her hugs were legendary.I really miss her, as I’m sure all her many friends do, and those who never met her can get a sense of her soul through the many great recordings she sang on.She was one in a million.”


The thing I loved about D was how infectious her huge personality was with everyone she met. We would always look forward to seeing her at rehearsals/studio sessions because we knew something special was going to happen.  When she arrived, she would alway give everyone a huge hugs before she preformed & that would always instantly elevate the session.  If Man City had won that weekend, her banter with the band Reds would be on top form. One of my favourite things live was preforming ‘Knife Slits Water’ with her at the front of the stage where we would use the same mic and she would always try to make me laugh during the song and I’d do the same to her. She was playful yet alway the ultimate professional.


We miss Denise terribly, but her legacy will always remain. She will always be a Ratio x


A Certain Ratio announce the second EP in a series of three, ACR:EPC – out on 2 July 2021 on cornflower blue vinyl and digitally here.

The new EP, which focusses on the art of collaboration and is dedicated to Andrew Weatherall, launches today with ‘Emperor Machine’. ACR and The Emperor Machine’s collaboration came about after a chance meeting at an Andrew Weatherall Weekender outside Todmorden’s infamous Golden Lion. Andrew Meecham (aka The Emperor Machine) explains, “It was Martin who suggested we should maybe collaborate so I sent him a track I’
been working on and when I received the track back, I’ve got to be honest, I was a bit nervous because I’m an ACR fan and wanted to be so perfect. I put my headphones on, pressed play and it totally blew me away. It was just what I was hoping for and more.”

ACR are long-time fans – Jez and Martin often include The Emperor Machine in their DJ sets and describe the track as “a perfect collaboration of ACR & The Emperor Machine.”

Watch the video, by Groovy Chaos, here.


A Certain Ratio today release their ACR:EPA on limited edition Valentine red vinyl and digitally:

Featuring the singles ‘Keep It Together’ and ‘Wonderland’, the four-track EP pays tribute to Denise Johnson who unexpectedly passed away in 2020, and marks their final recordings together. The EP centres around a joyous jam session from March 2020 when the band – Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele, Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson and Martin Moscrop – gathered at Oxygene in Salford for an informal weekend of studio time, in part to celebrate completing the mix of their first new album in over a decade, ACR Loco.

You can even hear the band cheering and Denise laughing at the end of ‘Down and Dirty (Jam 2), the band explain, “We wanted to keep all her laughter and our response in the track as it has such warmth and it highlights the real Denise, always laughing and smiling and full of passion.”

Keep It Together- Out Now!

Following the track’s premiere on the BBC 6Music breakfast show earlier today, we’re pleased to share the video for the new track ‘Keep It Together’.

Manchester video makers Luke Logan (director) and Joe Vickers (producer) created the psychedelic video, which opens at Stockport Plaza.

“We wanted it to be set in the ‘70s so we invited ACR fans to dress up and become part of the video, among the extras that turned up were Calder Valley’s finest The Lounge Society and Lee from Manchester’s Heavy Salad. They arrived as funkateers, punks, soul boys and girls, hippies, post punks and prog rockers – and everyone looked amazing. The video is about overdoing it on a night out and trying to keep it together.”  ACR

Watch the video here.

Keep It Together’ is the latest track to be taken from the forthcoming ACR:EPA, out on Mute on 7 May 2021. The four-track EP centres around a jam session recorded last year with Denise Johnson, sessions that unexpectedly became their last together after the much-loved and much-missed artist passed away several months later. Pre-order here.

Wonderland- Out Now!

Wonderland- Out Now!

‘Wonderland’ is the first track to be taken from ACR:EPA, out on Mute on 7
May 2021.

Back in early March 2020, ACR gathered at Oxygene in Salford for an informal weekend of studio time. With no fixed agenda and no preconceived ideas, the band – Martin Moscrop, Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Denise Johnson, Anthony Quigley and Matt Steele – entered the studio in part to celebrate completing the mix of their first new album in over a decade, ACR Loco.

‘Wonderland’ is unmistakably ACR, their fusing of genre is impossible to pin down but the rhythmic groove and Denise’s vocal evokes a dreamlike idyll.

ACR:EPA, is a four-track collection that centres around the studio jams with Denise Johnson. These sessions became their last together after the much-loved and much-missed artist passed away unexpectedly several months after the recordings.

ACR LOCO Editions

A Certain Ratio celebrate a busy year with the release of a limited edition series of vinyl releases of their first four albums – the ACR Loco editions – due out on 11 December 2020 (15 January in N America).

The Graveyard and The Ballroom, Sextet, I’d Like To See You Again and To Each will all get the ACR Loco treatment, each album will be available on white vinyl in specially adapted black and white artwork. Each limited to 1000 copies worldwide.

Order here >>


Following the release of ACR Loco – described by Uncut as “their best LP in decades” – A Certain Ratio return with a new single, ‘YoYoGrip’ accompanied by a mesmerising animation by Griff, created using rubber Japanese Kinnikuman wrestler figures from the ‘80s. 

The new single, a collaboration with producer and mixer Jacknife Lee, marries two of the new album’s standout tracks, ‘YoYo Gi’ and ‘Get A Grip’. After hearing their track ‘Lucinda’ feature on Jacknife Lee’s guest mix for BBC 6Music, ACR got in touch, discovered he was a fan and the conversation went from there, “Seeing that Jacknife Lee had produced and mixed some of the biggest artists in the world (U2, REM, The Killers, Editors, Taylor Swift, Bloc Party, Robbie Williams) it was a bit of a curveball for us, but we like the unexpected and we’re glad we took the chance.” The band go on to explain, “Jacknife Lee took two songs that were totally different tempos and keys (one is a 99 bpm Funk chugger and the other is a 126bpm banger aimed at the dancefloor) and joined them up perfectly using the best elements of each song.”

Jacknife Lee expands, “When I was a kid in Dublin, my older brother Derek bought ‘Shack Up’ and we listened to it so much it embedded itself into our DNA. We learnt how to play it, formed bands and we played ‘Shack Up’ in the school halls. It was a thrill to me to make the connection with ACR and I’m ecstatic that the collaboration worked.”

The track melds ‘YoYo Gi’, influenced by the Tokyo neighbourhood of the same name, with ‘Get A Grip’, which features Maria Uzor of Sink Ya Teeth. She reminisces, “I remember being pretty excited when they first asked about the collaboration. I mean, when you start a band you don’t expect to end up collaborating with one of your influences!”As well as this collaboration with Jacknife Lee and Maria Uzor, ACR have been in the studio recently crafting reworks for Baba Ali, Number and AK/DK.  

New Single ‘Berlin’ + 2021 UK Tour

A CERTAIN RATIO have shared the brilliant video for ‘Berlin’, the latest single to be taken from their eagerly anticipated new album, ACR Loco – due out on Mute on 25 September 2020.

Over the last few months, the band have shared a taste of the directions and styles distilled into their forthcoming new album. From ‘Friends Around Us (Part 2)’ to ‘Always in Love’ via the Tokyo suburbs on ‘Yo Yo Gi’, now comes the brand new single ‘Berlin’. ACR Loco, explains Jez Kerr, “…is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done.”

‘Berlin’ also includes the beautiful voice of Denise Johnson, who sadly passed away in July this year. “Denise will be missed so much by us,” says Martin Moscrop, “but her soaring voice will live on forever in our music and we are so blessed to have recorded with her on ACR Loco.”

Watch the Groovy Chaos directed video here:

The album’s release on Friday 25 September will be marked by a very special online event. An Evening with A Certain Ratio will see the band will play their new album in full at the Hope Mill Recording Studio following an exclusive premiere of their 2019 hit-laden gig for the Manchester Warehouse Project’s Haçienda night. The band will also be in conversation, with a  Q&A  and to finish, expect one of the band’s infamous ACR Soundsystem DJ sets. To book your ticket, visit:

Looking ahead to 2021, A Certain Ratio will be continuing their run of unmissable dates with a winter tour, starting in Huddersfield on 3 November, with a show at London’s EartH on 13 November, finishing at Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on 17 November.


3 Nov 2021 – Huddersfield, The Parish
4 Nov 2021 – Newcastle, St. Dom’s Social Club
5 Nov 2021 – Manchester, Gorilla
6 Nov 2021 – Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, The Sugarmill
7 Nov 2021 – York, The Crescent
9 Nov 2021 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
10 Nov 2021 – Southampton, Engine Rooms
11 Nov 2021 – Brighton, CHALK (formerly The Haunt)
12 Nov 2021 – Bristol, The Exchange
13 Nov 2021 – London, EartH
15 Nov 2021 – Preston, The Ferrett
16 Nov 2021 – Leeds, The Warehouse
17 Nov 2021 – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

ACR Loco was recorded by the core line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with contributions from the ACR live line up – Tony Quigley on sax, Denise Johnson on vocals and Matt Steele on keyboards. Additional guests include Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce (The Smiths) and experimental multi-instrumentalist Eric Random.

Keen on the joys of collaboration and sharing, it makes sense that adding the ACR touch to other artists via a series of reworks led to their latest album taking shape. Recent reworks of tracks for the likes of Baba Ali, Maps, Number, Barry Adamson and The Charlatans saw the band return to the studio to unpick those original tracks. “The reworks were crucial,” says Donald Johnson. “They got us back in the studio and forced a union and a bond. They allowed us to start getting a groove again.”

The new 10-track album is out on CD, cassette and limited edition coloured vinyl. The vinyl will be available in one of four colours: white, blue, red and turquoise, randomly packed, with each colour of varying rarity.

An Evening With A Certain Ratio

Join ACR for an exclusive online event to mark the release of their new album ACR Loco

The band will stream a performance of their new album in full from the Hope Mill Recording Studio. 

ACR will also be in conversation, with Q&A (questions are invited from fans) and to finish, the band’s infamous ACR Soundsystem DJ Sets. 

Livestream – September 25th at 7pm BST

Book your tickets here >>

A statement on behalf of Denise’s family…

We’re so disappointed that what should be a fabulous celebration of Denise’s life has to be limited under the current restrictions, so have already started planning an event in her memory, on her birthday next summer: 31 July 2021.

Her funeral will take place at the Manchester Crematorium, Southern Cemetery at 1pm on Wednesday 19 August.

Due to restrictions on how many mourners are allowed inside the crematorium grounds, well-wishers are asked instead to line the route that Denise will take (see below).

Close friends have been invited to gather in the grounds of the cemetery, with family making up the very small number of guests allowed inside the chapel. We respectfully ask that anyone not already invited should take their place in the lining of the route instead.

Family flowers only: donations in lieu of floral tributes please to either The Music Venue Trust or Age UK, quoting “In memory of Denise Johnson.”

It’s hoped that Denise’s service will be available to view online, either live or shortly afterwards. Details / links will be made available as soon as possible. 

Everyone in Denise’s family has been stunned by how much love has poured from friends and colleagues around the country and from all corners of the world: they’ve found it so supportive after Denise’s sudden death, and their message to you all is, simply, “Thank you.”

Please line the route for Denise’s final journey:
Starting at approx 12.15pm on Manchester Road in Whalley Range (at the junction of Stratton Road) her route will be straight into Chorlton past the former Baths, Chorlton Library, continuing by the four banks and down Barlow Moor Road by the bus station, over the tramlines at the junction of Mauldeth Road / Hardy Lane, and finally to Southern Cemetery.