When you’ve been around for 40 years as an iconic roots-rock reggae group, such as Steel Pulse, then its no surprise that there’s a story there to be told. That story is here with Dreadtown, the first official documentary film to tell the story of how Steel Pulse took the Black British experience to the world through their unique reggae sound.
We at The Pier have yet to view the film, but as the press release outlines to us: The first half of the film explores the British context to Steel Pulse’s influential reggae music. Coming from Handsworth in Birmingham/England, Steel Pulse witnessed the hard edge of British working-class life during the 1970’s, a time of political upheaval and racial tension. Songs such as “Handsworth Revolution” and “Ku Klux Klan” looked to music to confront the exploitation and violence faced by the Caribbean and Indian migrant communities in the U.K. Steel Pulse responded to the rise of the far right in Britain through catchy reggae beats.
The film also explores how Steel Pulse related this past to audiences in the U.S, now the band’s second home. They climbed the ladder of obscurity in the US through the 1980’s and by 1993 they were playing at the inaugural festivities in Washington D.C., at the personal request of an unlikely fan, President Bill Clinton. A rich mix of contemporary performance, interview and exclusive archive will frame the incendiary issues of race and police/minority relations from 1970’s Britain to the present day in America.
Narrated by renowned Hollywood actor and activist Danny Glover, the documentary is being directed by Yoni Gal and produced by oscar-nominated producer, Mike Lerner. Fans are being invited to help with its release by donating to their Indiegogo campaign, which can be found by clicking HERE!
The asking price to dish out this documentary is $40,000 with expected delivery of December 2016. All fans contributing to the crowdfunding campaign will have access to exciting and limited perks such as Behind the Scenes backer access, original signed movie posters and DVD’s, a chance to see the movie before anyone else, a cool Dreadtown t-shirt and even a VIP screening with members David Hinds and Selwyn Brown in attendance in four cities in the world.
The film not only explores the forces that made Steel Pulse, but also their significance to communities inside and outside the music world. Dreadtown will feature interviews with stars such as Snoop Lion, Rita Marley, Gwen Stefani, Matt Groening (creator, The Simpsons), Lennox Lewis (World Heavyweight Boxing Champion), Alpha Blondy (United Nations Ambassador of Peace), Burning Spear, UB40, John Lydon (Sex Pistols), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Chris Blackwell (founder, Island Records), Aswad, Billy Idol, Jason Mraz, and many more.
Stay tuned for more details regarding this release as we look to speak with the band in an interview to get more information as we’re pretty stoked to see a documenatry of this caliber get released.
Watch: Dreadtown Trailer