Steel Pulse at The Roundhouse - gig review

Geoff Travis in Record Mirror

29 April 1978


Steel Pulse / Wreckless Eric

Celebrated in the press as being another imaginative billing for the weekly Roundhouse music day, this concert proved beyond doubt the growing maturity of black reggae music in this country. It was really no contest. Wreckless Eric's display of semi-drunkeness whether for real or caused by nerves or poor showmanship caused one hecker to cry out, 'shut up or play some music'. His reply was a witless: 'why don't you take yourself off to the bar,' a place where Eric would have found himself more at home this Sunday afternoon.

Headlining here for the first time, the Pulse more than fulfilled the faith of the Straight Music promoters. It's been about six months since I last saw them and they've matured into a professional outfit. Their sound is now totally distinctive, their Birmingham accents blending into a strong three-man front line harmony vocal. They are an ensemble group without a strong personality as a leader and while that could prove to be a weakness as well as a strength, on this occasion it worked perfectly. They showcased some of their material from their forthcoming Island album and if Handsworth Revolution, the title track, is any indication it's going to be a very strong album. It's a song about one of the worst slums in England and the Pulse sing the words with a particularly convincing strength. It was a triumph for the group. As they returned to encore with their current chart record, Ku Klux Klan wearing their Klan hoods, the whole house was in raptures.

Text copyright Record Mirror 1978, used without permission.

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