We play the most beautifully tuned steel band instruments and we play them to the professional level required of full-time musicians on any other instrument. Most often we’re required to play just instrumentally as an entirely ‘unplugged’ acoustic steel trio- a unique steel band format that the Cherrie family helped forge in London in those post-war years, so we mostly play ‘cover’ tunes that are very strong melodically whether they’ve originated from the Caribbean or not and irrespective of how ‘traditional’ or ‘modern’ they are. Our band has the history and passion to play the traditional Caribbean songs authentically and the progressive approach that embraces all genres of popular music where great melodies can be found.
Much of what distinguishes us from other steel bands musically is that most of our musicians also have a second instrument we play at a professional level. This enables us to better serve more bespoke demands to play in other sized formats offering vocals and other instrumentation. Evidence of this can be found on our videos, our latest CD which you can buy here and our playlists should you read on.
Most traditional steel bands, especially first generation Caribbean ones like The Cherry Pickers will principally play ‘Caribbean Folk’ music consisting of calypso (the national folk music of Trinidad & Tobago) and Harry Belafonte-styled ‘island music’- along with some old Latin-American ‘standards’. We still love these songs and when hired as a fully-instrumental and unplugged acoustic steel band really enjoy playing these wonderful melodies. But, we also meet the modern demand for our steel band to play the pop and reggae that is familiar to younger audiences and is the most requested these days. Because we offer vocals within the band itself, we’re more suited as a steel band to meet the demand for modern pop covers that might be unrecognisable if played just instrumentally on steel drums.
When we are required as a fully-instrumental and unplugged acoustic steel band the melodies that we play need to be long and strong and our own traditional Caribbean music- in particular calypso- fits the bill perfectly.
Of course, we play other melodic music which we also love, particularly Pop and Latin American standards, but there’s a lot of great songs that don’t have particularly strong melodies yet have catchy ‘hooks’ and are very strong rhythmically. We like to play this music too, but preferably with vocals!
During the band’s history, Solid Steel must have performed around 200 different songs but here’s a more concise list of the ones most recently played organized in playlists that are either generic or specialist. Please feel free to make a few requests before your event. We can provide bespoke playlists, if required. Please bear in mind that on the average gig we may only get to play 25-30 songs and that the style of song we choose at any given time is a result of what we perceive to best suited for the audience at that time- given our considerable experience. We advise you to take full advantage of that experience and not to attempt writing a whole set for us!