Silence for the Preacherman!

Steel Pulse at Newcastle Guildhall - gig review

Paul Knox in Nice Biscuit 'Zine

January 1978

Steel Pulse, probably the first reggae band to play in Newcastle [21 January], took the stage and instantly got the audience in their grip. Michael Riley with priests clothes preached to the collected gathering (inc. a few Penetrants and all the local rock luminaries!) using the song themes. They got off to a great start with songs dealing with the badmen/things of society. Musically they were endlessly inventive turning out their superbly original material in true roots reggae style. The audience lapped it up. Visually they displayed a wide variety of garmenst and for Ku Klux Klan were complete with white hoods. This, the new single, when performed live featured a magnificent 5 part vocal harmony, acapella style and then Steve Nesbitt rattled in with some brilliant top ranking drumming - an almost timeless few moments.

They played rockers and improvised dub numbers utilising all the characteristic techniques of reggae. The highlight of the stupendous set or one of them, was undoubtedly 400 years (of slavery days!) featuring bubbling guitar from Basil Jabbidon and another sublime piece of vocal harmonising. Moving on to the good things they performed the Anchor single Nyah Love, proceeded to have a tune up and then showed impressive use of harmonics oin the next number. Just after the drug squad(?) arrived they chanted 'we want to smoke some tonight'. Nice timing! One of the last numbers incorporated a telephone conversation with Jah. For the encore they came back and asked if we would settle for a jam, you bet! - mesmerising.

They were great, they don't get too bogged down in politics, etc and neglect the music. They transcend all barriers and classification and are one of Britain's best bands!!

Text copyright Nice Biscuit 1978, used without permission.

Home : Steel Pulse : Articles Index : E-mail

The contents of this website cannot be reproduced or copied without permission of the site author. (c) Andy Brouwer 2005