Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Priceless memorabilia

Posting details of Steel Pulse's latest documentary reminded me once again of the first occasion that I had the pleasure of seeing the band play, in my home town of Cheltenham, on 2 June 1978. The band were in the midst of making a name for themselves at that time by partnering high energy punk bands and bringing their unique brand of British reggae to audiences across the country. Staid Cheltenham was an unusual stop over for them but I am thankful they made the effort. I watched their amazingly powerful performance and was literally blown away. I've been hooked on their music ever since and have got to know the band members personally and delved into their history like no-one else. Here are two pieces of memorabilia from that magic moment in time, 2 June 1978, that are priceless to me; above, a poster from the concert and below, two tickets. To find out the full story on Steel Pulse, as documented by this author, click here.


Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

4th July
Birmingham Mail Interview, Nelson Mandela 90th Tribute Concert - by Andy Coleman

We will delight our fans with a blast from past

SCOTTISH superstars Simple Minds have a Birmingham band to thank for giving them their big showbiz break 30 years ago.

The group's first gig was supporting Handsworth's Steel Pulse at Glasgow's Satellite City Club on January 17, 1978.

Recalls Simple Minds' frontman Jim Kerr: "For us to get any kind of gig was a big thing. We'd been writing and rehearsing for a few weeks and this was a chance for us to play in front of a couple of thousand people. It set us on the right road. We went down a storm."

"Not many reggae bands played in Glasgow back then but we knew about Steel Pulse because John Peel had been playing their Handsworth Revolution album."

"In fact, Steel Pulse were the first Rastas we'd seen - there was no West Indian community in Glasgow." Jim, aged 47, says they got the gig, their first as Simple Minds, because they already had a local following as a punk band.

"We'd built up a bit of a reputation as Johnny and the Self Abusers and I suppose the promoter thought we'd sell a few extra tickets," Jim grins.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the formation of Simple Minds there are plans to make their show at Birmingham NEC on November 28 extra special.

"We wanted to do something a wee bit different so we thought we'd pick a complete album to play in concert," explains Jim. "New Gold Dream was our landmark album, our break-through record, so we'll be playing that from start to finish. But there are a few songs on it that we've never played live so we need to start rehearsing!"

"It will be quite special for those who like the album but it's only a 38 minute record - and it's a two and a half hour show, so fans will get to hear plenty of other songs."

And there may even be a song we've never heard before slipped in.

"The shows are about the past but we may put in a new one for the hell of it."

So new material is on the way but there will still be a link with the past.

Tracks are being written by Jim and guitarist Charlie Burchill with former Simple Minds members Brian McGee, Mick McNeil and Derek Forbes. "I don't know if they'll be on stage with us in Birmingham. What would I like to happen? I'd like the best to happen!"

July 8, 2008 4:35 PM  

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