Thursday, February 26, 2009

Basement roots

1978 was the year that the band with whom I've shared all of my adult years, Steel Pulse, really took off as a major force in British and world reggae. It was the year they released their first single, Ku Klux Klan, which they perform on this video, as well as their first album, Handsworth Revolution which did incredibly well and they capped the year by touring with the late and great Bob Marley. It also happened to be the year that I saw them play live for the first time, at Cheltenham Town Hall, my own backyard, on 2 June. A gig I will never forget as long as I live. As for this video, it was filmed in the cellar of lead singer David Hinds' parent's house at 16 Linwood Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, which the band used at that time, at the start of 1978, as their rehearsal studio. The footage was used for a film called Reggae in Babylon, a documentary about the reggae phenomenon in the UK that year. At the back is Selwyn Brown on keyboards, then there's Basil Gabbidon on lead guitar, Michael Riley (white cap, white trousers) on backing vocals with Phonso Martin (percussion and vocals), out front is lead singer David Hinds in his woolly hat, with Grizzly Nisbett on drums and Ronnie McQueen on bass. The quintessential Steel Pulse line-up. Enjoy.

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Anonymous Eric said...

Well, you certainly look like The Sweet's lead singer, back in the 70s, with your 'updated' profile pic...

February 27, 2009 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Eric, that's not know I'm under the weather... and did you know that Brian Connolly, the lead singer with Sweet died of liver failure at age 51...I'm 50 later this year, though the picture was snapped in 1976 when I was just 'sweet' sixteen, and by which time Sweet had already had hits with Block Buster, Ballroom Blitz, Wig-Wam Bam and Fox on the Run! Long blond hair was all the rage in 1976.

February 27, 2009 at 1:03 AM  

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