THERE’S A PULSE
Soundlounge will welcome a Grammy-winning reggae band who’ve opened for The Clash and played the night of Bob Marley’s funeral
With Steel Pulse having been MIA on the studio album front for more than a decade, fans of the legendary reggae band can take some solace from the fact that founding member David Hinds has suggested that a new album is finally on the horizon.
The roots reggae outfit, founded in 1975, won the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album back in 1987 for their record Babylon the Bandit.
These days, the outfit is made up of eight performers, and all of them will be there when the band makes its debut on the Gold Coast at Soundlounge on Monday night.
“All of us will be out there – skin, flesh, bones and dreadlocks,” Hinds says, referring to their Cairns show, set to go off tomorrow night.
The band’s last studio release, African Holocaust, dropped way back in 2004. Hinds says a follow-up studio album is in the works and acknowledges that it “is well overdue”.
There is a hope it will be out in early 2017, not that fans of the group have been left totally without new material to devour and dissect in the intervening years.
Steel Pulse have recorded a number of singles, including Hands Up I Can’t Breathe, which was in dedication to a black American teen who was shot dead by a police officer two years ago.
“It seems to be a pandemic, an epidemic here in the United States at the moment where a lot of black youths have been gunned down by police officers, so we decided to write a song about that when Michael Brown was gunned down two years ago, and several others,” Hinds says.
Steel Pulse are not strangers to using their music to address social and political issues. Their song Blues Dance Raid from their 1982 True Democracy album also looked at the actions of police officers.
“It was all about the officers coming in and trying to really break up our only means of entertainment within the ghetto we came from back in Birmingham,” explains Hinds.
While nostalgia occasionally kicks in on Steel Pulse tracks, the musician reveals he isn’t one for dwelling on past music. Still, there is a track that brings tears to Hinds’ eyes when he revisits it. Titled Soldiers, it appears on the band’s Handsworth Revolution album.
“It’s all about the invasion of a first-world country on to a third-world country, so to speak,” Hinds says. “That’s the one that moves me.” Steel Pulse, Soundlounge, Monday
Veteran members of reggae band Steel Pulse David Hinds and Selwyn “Bumbo” Brown.