Colin Gabbidon is a multitalented artist who grew up in an environment where music and fine art were at the central focus when growing up. Born in Jamaica, he arrived in Britain with the “Windrush generation”. Together with his parents and siblings they settled in the afro-Caribbean community of Handsworth in Birmingham where Colin attended school alongside his older brother Basil.
Settled in this inner-city area of Handsworth, it is when attending the Rookery junior school that Colin developed his drawing abilities that was already very impressive. From this young age he was already teaching other people the techniques of drawing. By the time he reached the end of secondary school his development of the fine arts over the years had shown through as he mastered his drawing skills. He was selling portraits of well known idols to the girls of the neighbouring school. Due to this the, then quite reserved, young Colin had become very popular.
Music had also played a considerable part in Colin’s life. Alongside his brother Basil and a neighbour, Donald Perrin, they would meet regularly for music practice, often playing covers of well-known artists of the time such as Johnny Nash. At that time Colin was only singing. Later on, due to the influence and inspiration of his older cousin Rupert who was a drummer in a band, Colin heard his call to become a drummer. At the time he was unable to afford a drum kit, so instead he carved drumsticks and used chair and wooden boxes to create the actually drums themselves. This was what he used in replacement until he was able to afford a drum kit the later was still used when he started playing with Steel Pulse. Colin and Basil his brother was enamored in regards of music, dreaming of becoming at the image of the Jackson’s Five - whilst also incorporating their other two brothers. The brother’s band were inspired by the image of the Jackson 5 however, the band started to unfold differently. Colin, on the drums, and Basil, on the guitar, joined together with David Hinds, a close friend who was also a guitar player, and they started their jamming sessions. Soon after they integrated Ronnie McQueen, on the bass.
The band carried on growing with the arrival of three other friends: Selwyn Brown on the keyboard, Michael Riley as a vocalist, Trevor Christie as a percussionist, who then left shortly after. It was in 1973 when Ronnie chose the name “Steel Pulse” for the band, called after a successful racehorse. Colin went on to become the original drummer for the internationally renowned reggae band “Steel Pulse” until he left the group in 1976. A few years later Basil ended up leaving the band which allowed the Gabbidon brothers to reunite in a new musical group called “Bass Dance” under Pete King’s management - former Steel Pulse manager. From 1990 they started touring Europe and the USA until 1997 where they put an end to “Bass Dance”. Since then Collin and Basil has been performing alongside friends in a band successively called “Gabbidon worldwide”, “Gabbidon International” and today named “The Gabbidon band”.
In parallel to his impressive music career, Colin has devoted himself to his other passion, visual art, where he has had numerous successful exhibitions here in the UK as well as in Germany. Colin, a self-taught painter of landscapes and portraits, has become well known worldwide. All started for him in 1985 when he had his first exhibitions in Birmingham’s Library followed by an exhibition at the Symphony hall. Colin, to this day, is still pursuing his dream as a visual artist and his works have gained tremendous recognition worldwide.
Colin Gabbidon: Facebook