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Three Chances to See Reggae Legends Steel Pulse This Week

April 12th, 2016

Rising up from Birmingham, England, protest-minded Steel Pulse have been known across the world for their take on roots, reggae and dub (not to mention jazz and Latin music) for more than 40 years. Their debut LP, Handsworth Revolution (stream it below)—named after the band’s hometown—arrived in 1978. According to AllMusic, it’s “about politics first and religion second, with a quick nod to the dance and another to the herb and not a single love lyric to be found anywhere. This gives the music a certain intellectual urgency, and the band’s instrumental virtuosity is impressive given its youth and relatively inexperience.” Their sixth studio full-length, Babylon the Bandit (stream it below), out in ’86, won the Best Reggae Album Grammy the following year, making Steel Pulse (above, performing “Steppin’ Out”) the only non-Jamaican act to win the award. Of course, the lineup has changed over the years but founding member David Hinds (vocals and guitar) remains onboard, joined by Selwyn Brown (keys and vocals), Sidney Mills (keys and vocals), Amlak Tafari (bass), Wayne Clarke (drums), Keysha McTaggart (vocals) and Jerry Johnson (sax). And, as ever, Steel Pulse remain an energetic live force, repping reggae everywhere they go. The band’s winding down a U.S. tour this week, and you can catch them tonight and tomorrow at Brooklyn Bowl and on Thursday at the Space at Westbury.