The pulse grows firm in the park

Steel Pulse at Regents Park Theatre - gig review

John Shearlaw in Record Mirror

10 June 1978

Steel Pulse's frontline on stage at Regents Park Theatre - from The Record Mirror.

With the weeks before their debut album is released now being counted on one hand, Steel Pulse, now confidently one of Britain's best up and coming young reggae groups, had no trouble filling London's premier open air venue.

Further - and better - it was two hours of roots and setting sun, the sort of concert that you feel lucky to have seen. And certainly a change from the naked Shakespeares and redundant folkies that normally grace the selfsame plastic turf.

Steel Pulse, as the cant now runs, are Birmingham's rockers. Tight, rhythmic and righteous - heralders of the Handsworth Revolution. They've come up firmly on the JA beat, but their feel, their songs, are of life here. Serious subject matter.

'Bad Man', of pickpockets and t'ieving, 'Prediction', of things that must come, or 'National Front' - the reaction, like the chopping rhythms and the front line harmonies, is fierce and united. They're sharp and clever, using a lot of unusual percussion for that extra edge and likewise missing no chance to dub it up for the killer punch.

An all people audience too, swaying first...dancing later. Steel Pulse play a long set, keeping up the euphoric mood with their own ganja elegy in 'Macka Splaff' and exiting finely with (I think) 'Soundcheck' - for that get up and jive time.

They return for the song that everybody knows, again it's serious, 'Ku Klux Klan'. The song that somebody stopped becoming a hit. Strong stuff, no lesser.

An excellent move, too, to bring the reggae into the park. Demand, enjoyment and fulfilment this time must lead to more of the same. We do know how lucky we are.

Text copyright Record Mirror 1978, used without permission.

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