Today is the 123rd anniversary of the birth of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia.
Rastafari liveth forever.
Presented here is the beginning of a painting in livication to the Lion of Judah… to be continued…
Birmingham’s reggae legends UB40 and Steel Pulse have confirmed they will play two very special shows together for the first time in December 2015.
The first show will take place at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Sunday, 20th December, followed by a hometown show at the O2 Academy Birmingham on Monday, 21st December.
Steel Pulse’s lead singer David Hinds said, “Yes, this is history in the makings when the two Birmingham giants have come together to make our city proud. This is a legacy to be witnessed and documented and treasured for the rest of our lives. Forget about the million dollar question as to why it took so long. The hard core fact is that it is happening and we hope everyone will “show up” for this “show down” come December 2015. We, Steel Pulse, will be celebrating our 40th anniversary, too.”
UB40’s Robin Campbell said, “I’m looking forward to seeing Pulse again, they’re one of the best live reggae bands, a class act.”
UB40 formed in 1978, naming themselves after the unemployment benefit form, before releasing their debut album ‘Signing Off’ in August 1980 – considered by many to be one of the greatest reggae albums ever released by a British band. It was the start of a career that has since seen the band have over forty UK Top 40 hit singles and achieve sales of over 100 million records, making UB40 one of the most successful British groups of all time
Formed in 1975 at Birmingham’s Handsworth Wood Boys School, Grammy Award-winning Steel Pulse have been true to their roots for the past forty years. One of Bob Marley’s favourites, the band has maintained a sense of fierce integrity as it strives to get the message of love and justiceacross to all people. They won a Grammy for their 1986 album ‘Babylon The Bandit’, and received further Grammy nominations for the albums ‘Victims’, ‘Rastafari Centennial’, ‘Rage & Fury’, ‘African Holocaust’ and ‘Vex’.
Steel Pulse are David “Dread” Hinds (lead vocals, rhythm guitarist, composer and harmonica player), Selwyn “Bumbo” Brown (keyboards, vocals), Sidney “Predator” Mills (keyboards, backing vocals), Amlak “AmBASSador” Tafari (bass), Wayne “Ceesharp” Elvis Clarke (drums), Moonie (lead guitar), Keysha McTaggart (backing vocals), and Jerry “Saxman” Johnson (saxophone).
UB40 are Robin Campbell (co-lead vocals and guitar), Duncan Campbell (lead vocals) Earl Falconer (bass, vocal), Brian Travers (saxophone and keyboards), Jimmy Brown (drums), Norman Hassan (percussion, vocals). The band also feature, Martin Meredith (sax) and Laurence Parry (trumpet) and Tony Mullings (keyboards).
Tickets are £35 (STBF), available on O2 PRIORITY from Wednesday 27th May at 9.00am
General sale Friday 29th May at ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000
As we are into our 40th year of existence as a band, we give thanks for each and every moment for the opportunity that was given to us by the Most High. Because we are totally aware that if it was not for H.I.M, there would never be a “Steel Pulse.”
Our first recognition on ‘centre stage,’ was our debut album, “Handsworth Revolution” (1978), which came at time when the UK was facing absolute turmoil in regards to the policies that were very much disenfranchising the first generation of blacks of post colonialism, stationed throughout the many pocketed communities in Britain. Already plagued with unemployment, there were laws and socially political issues that were not working in our favour. Having our limited outlets of entertainment under constant surveillance, along with the youths no longer accepting the “back seat” (so to speak), that was offered and accepted by our parents, and to top it all, the occasional police brutality…. it was only a matter of time for the lid to have been blown off that pressure cooker.
Steel Pulse predicted the sentiments of Handsworth Revolution at least three years before the very first riots kicked off in Bristol, back in 1981. HR became a landmark, a milestone; call it what you may, in the history and development of ‘Black Culture,’ in Britain. As a result the band played a significant role among the punk and new wave music that was sweeping across the country. Our lyrics and stance became part and parcel to the issues that the punks were lashing out against. it was at a time when being left winged and being an anarchist, was at its heights.
Today, we can see clearly how current and relevant those lyrics and ideologies of yesteryear have become. Now, do you see why I started out this blog by thanking the Most High, in the first place? In all honesty, the band never dreamed that the whole HR experience would have taken such a stronghold throughout the rest of the world. We could barely play our instruments when all this happened. Yet, we were eager to make a difference in our lives that we had hoped, would in turn, influence others.
We are looking forward to returning to the shores of England, after a very long hiatus to deliver this same album that created us, “live” in its entirety to the nation that was first in line to bear witness to such an enlightening experience. We sincerely hope that you can be present to join the masses that will be attending this walk down memory lane.
Yesterday, was the third anniversary of the slaying of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon who would have been 20 years old, was cut down in his prime while on his way home from buying a packet of candy and some ice tea. The results of this incident has created a huge rift in regards to race and racism in America.
But like Steel Pulse says, it’s “Love and Justice thru Music!”
Today, is a day that I hold close to heart, because it was exactly half a century ago that Malcolm X got slain. And yes, it was only 9 days before his actual assassination that he was in our neck of the woods back in England, with the aim to fight the universal injustice perpetuated on the African Diaspora.
The quality that Malcolm had that most leaders lacked, regardless of their colour, was that he was capable of being analytical and critical of his own comments and beliefs.
In other words, he was capable of admitting if he was wrong.
Leaders of today and of yesteryear are controlled too much by arrogance, stubborness and egotism, yet they are all more than willing to lead the world down the wrong path.
A big up to Spike Lee, who directed the incredible film, Malcolm X, back in 1992. Strange, but according to todays conditions, that film will forever stand the test of time.
“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” - Malcolm X
It’s been 52 years since the slaying of the hotel kitchen worker in Baltimore, MD, known as Hattie Carroll. Her name became very popular due to the meager punishment her perpetrator received, the following six months later.
It was Bob Dylan that made a difference being a voice against the racism in those days by writing his song based on this incident called, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.
We, Steel Pulse, have honoured the efforts of Bob Dylan by doing our own rendition of his song, which we have titled: From Natty to Hattie.
Hattie Carroll’s name will forever live on because her case was one of the many cases where Justice was not served. Anyway, checkout our updated version of the track. A big up, too to any of Hattie’s surviving family members.
Bless Up Mr. Dylan…
It’s a year today since one of the greatest voices from out of Jamaica, went on to sing exclusive for Jah…. William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke.
We tip our crowns to the legendary Third World band that have been among our selected influences. Cat, Ruption, Richie, Herbie, Rupert, A J Brown and anyone else we might have left out, keep up the solidarity my brethrens, ’cause the race is not for the swift but those who endure. In other words you are winners!!
Tickets here >>
We have not forgotten you, mi Irieites. Too much remains the .
I took in a very dynamic live performance by one of my favourite reggae bands, Dub Inc, coming from out of St Etienne, south east France. They performed at Ko Ko, in Camden, London, first night. This is a band worth investing your time in. Never a dull moment….
Bless up, Dub Inc! It was an honour to jam with you. May humbleness continue to be your forte.
A bientot, tout le monde.