Steel Pulse at The Music Machine - gig review

Dave Ramsden in Melody Maker

11 February 1978

Steel Pulse played to a packed house at the re-styled Music Machine, London on Thursday. It's easy to see why they have such a strong following. Their music is as lively and exciting as that of any of the present new wave of reggae bands, particularly when they play dub style with plenty of echo effects on the drums.

It was impossible for them to leave without playing at least one encore, and the appreciative audience would have stayed for much more. Their playing is tighter and their set better organised than when I last saw them. Apart from a few numbers, notably Ku Klux Klan and Cally Man, however, their material is not as memorable and distinctive as it might be. This should improve with time, though. In the few months since I last saw them they have developed considerably and I'm sure they will continue to do so.

Surprise of the evening was provided by relatively unknown band Pressure Shocks, who appeared first. I missed the beginning of their set but was very impressed with what I saw. They're a tight and professional six piece, who are equally adept at reggae and soul funk: they have some good original material of their own and a distinctive style. Their instrumental work is immaculate, the result of five years' hard work together. They are based in Derby and rarely make it to London. Watch out for them on their next visit.

Also appearing were Reggae Regular, currently having great success with their single, Where Is Jah. They also played an enjoyable set. Apart from their two singles, Where Is Jah and Black Star Line, with which they closed their well-received set, they have plenty of other good material. With a little more experience they should soon be in the frontline of the newer reggae bands.

Text copyright Melody Maker 1978, used without permission.

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