Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 6, 1985
Sincerity, spirit pervade
reggae of Steel Pulse
They've been called a new wave dance band. They've been called R&B revivalists. They swing, they sway;'
they rap, you'll clap. If it moves they play it. Hot on the release of their successful and heralded 12" mini-LP
and a whirlwind East coast tour, the Urbations bring their set of diverse danceables and catchy covers to the
Mudbowl tonight on the corner of South U. and Washtenaw. The band will play at the open-air party sponsored
by SAE from 8 to11 p.m.
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By Hobey Echlin
C RITICS HAVE always been wary
of non-Jamaican reggae acts,
and it's not without good reason.
Closely strummed bar chords, a syn-
copated, choppy beat, and sensuously
lilting melodic lines can be - indeed
have been - copied by today's
stylistic chameleons. Their efforts,
which appear at first to further
promote the universality of reggae
music, are often little more than the
commercial bastardization of a
popular genre. The reggae sound is
easily imitable; the spirit, however,
is not. Thus acts like UB4O and Eddie
Grant have often had to defend them-
selves from charges of musical rape.
One non-Jamaican act has never
fallen under such criticism, for their
spirit and their sincerity have never
been questioned. Not only has Steel
Pulse gained acceptance as a true
reggae band, they have managed to
become respected members of the
tight reggae community - in 1981
they were the only English group in-
vited to Jamaica's Sunsplash Reggae
Steel Pulse came together in 1975,
rising from the pre-punk miasma of
culture and consciousness of a black
working class district of Bir-
mingham, England, where they
began by playing covers of funk songs
written by the likes of War and The
1976 saw Steel Pulse burning up the
club scene in and around Bir-
mingham. It was here they fine-tuned
the band and began to work up their
repertoire of original songs.
Progressing rapidly, Steel Pulse ear-
ned the respect of the dreadlock set
with two top singles, "Kibudu, Man-
setta And Abuku," released in late
1976, and "Nyah Love" in '77 which
topped the U.K. reggae charts.
During the same period, the band's
popularity exploded within the often
narrow confines of the punk
movement. Gigging at thrash clubs
like The Vortex, they became the first
reggae band to perform on the all-
punk circuit, playing shows headlined
by The Stranglers and Generation X.
Steel Pulse brings its brand of spirited roots reggae to the Michigan
Theatre tonight at 8 p.m.
This wide range of appeal - from
spitting punks to mellowed-out
Rastafarians - is the result of
singer-songwriter David Hinds'
universal style. Rather than tackling
only local issues, his lyrics embrace a
more general understanding of the
world's problems, both spiritual and
physical. True Democracy, Steel
utnutrNsi iEu ran (lIranpe
1511 WASHTENAW AVE. - 663-5560
(Between Hill and South U.)
Sunday Services at 9:15 and 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Supper at 6:00 p.m.
A Student Chapel Serving the University of Michigan
Campus Community for 43 years.
REV. ROBERT KAVASCH, Pastor
Pulse' 1982 release, featured songs
like "Chant a Psalm," a kind of sim-
ple hymn of spiritual guidance which
transcends geographical barriers.
Likewise, their following album, Eqr-
th Crisis, embodied an understanding
of interaction on a global scale, and
confronted issues of worldwide , it-
portance. In such an approach Hirfls
found a greater appeal for the album,
at the same time achieving greater
satisfaction in providing songs that
all people could appreciate, regar-
dless of their nationality.
This general appeal, this sim-
plicity/profundity that has such a far-
reaching message, is the reason Steel
Pulse has been so successful as a real
roots reggae band. From the punk
clubs of London to the sun-swept
streets of Kingston, Steel Pulse
proventhemselves a band the world
can relate to.
Steel Pulse performs tonight at the
Michigan Theater at 8 p.m. Tickets
are no longer available at the
Michigan Theater, however they can
still be purchased at CTC outlets and
Schoolkids' Records for $10.50 and
in a free concert
Friday, Sept. 6
from8 - 11 p.m.
in the annual
U EVTIT T 'TATT RN A KT.