Steel pulse are a British reggae roots band from Handsworth, Birmingham.

They met and formed the band whilst attending Handsworth wood boys school in 1975 as a trio comprising of  David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals) and Ronnie McQueen (bass). They were the first non-Jamaican act to win the Grammy for best Reggae Album.

That same year came their debut release ‘Kibudu, Mansetta And Abuku’ on the small independent label Dip, and linked the plight of urban black youth with the image of a greater African homeland. They followed it with ‘Nyah Love for Anchor’. Surprisingly, they were initially refused live dates in Caribbean venues in the Midlands because of their Rastafarian beliefs. Aligning themselves closely with the Rock Against Racism organisation and featuring in its first music festival in the spring of 1978, they chose to tour with sympathetic elements of the punk movement.

This lead to the band finding a more natural home in playing support slots for Burning Spear which captured the attention of Island records with whom they released their debut album which payed homage to their home town: Handsworth revolution. Handsworth Revolution was an accomplished long playing debut and one of the major landmarks in the evolution of British Reggae the band had also grown at this point with the addition of Selwyn ‘Bumbo’ Brown (keyboards), Steve ‘Grizzly’ Nisbett (drums), Alphonso Martin (vocals, percussion) and Mykaell Riley (vocals).

After three moderately successful albums the band moved from Island records to Elektra Records and went on to release ‘true democracy’, ‘earth crisis’ and ‘Babylon the bandit’ which won the Grammy for best reggae album making Steel Pulse the first non-Jamaican act to do so.

Steel pulse went on to have continued success with their militant brand of reggae and broke America, the key moment being a performance in Washington on the night Bob Marley’s funeral was beamed across the planet by satellite. They went on to later be requested by Bill Clinton to perform at his 1993 Presidential Inauguration making them the first reggae band ever to be given the honor even been given a secret service detail during their Washington stay.

46 years on from when steel pulse formed they are still going strong both musically and in their fight against racism.