Steel City Soul Club a hit at The Fruit Palace


The Soul Club’s blend of eclectic genres went down a treat at the Elephant and Castle venue.


By Harry McAlister

The Fruit Palace enjoyed a juicy opening as they welcomed the prodigal ‘Steel City Soul Club’ to south London last Friday.

Elephant and Castle listened as the Soul Club blended an eclectic range of genres with a mix of virtuosic skill and maturity. 

This year Steel City Soul Club shocked onlookers by playing The Secret Garden Party, Latitude, The Big Chill and Beachbreak in their first ten months together as a band.

The Sheffield University students began as a seven-piece Afro-beat collective before rooting themselves in an agreeably indefinable hybrid of hip-hop, reggae, funk and soul.

Frontman Gabriel Benn says this mixture could be the key to their success.

“We are scattered from all over the world. Some are from Sheffield, our singer is from Jamaica and our bassist is French.

“We made the transition from reggae, to hip-hop, to something with a more housey feel, but now we’ve stripped it all back, we finally have a sound we can call our own,” he said.

Lead singer Danae Wellington has been singing traditional Jamaican gospel since the age of six.

Her vocals imbue the Soul Club with an enviable authenticity revered by experts in the industry.

Coda music agent Sandy Marris said: “This collective has the potential to move within the elevates spheres of the music world, the energy and class that permeates their sound speaks far more about their enthusiasm for the music they play, than their ambitions in the music business.”

If anything is missing, it is a suitable uniform to match.

A few-too-many grey, three-pound Primark hoodies suggests more that they just came back from Sainsburys on a cold Sheffield Sunday morning than the costume of a group of musicians so deeply entrenched in African history, culture and politics.

Nevertheless, Steel City Soul Club possesses ideas to burn and a radiant talent which frigid onlookers at The Fruit Palace were only too happy to soak up.

For more information on Steel City Soul Club contact Gabriel Benn on [email protected] or 07889604096.

For more information on The Fruit Palace contact Udi Ngethe on [email protected] or 07852705196.


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