Anthony “Pure Silk” Brightly on keyboards, Chris “Music House”Hanson on rhythm/lead guitar and Desmond “Drummy” Mahoney on drums and percussion represent the first generation of members in Black Slate. Colin “Steam Fish” McNiesh on bass, Jessie “Energy” Brade on lead vocals, known as J.E.B. and Gaven “Magic Voice ” Creary also on lead vocals, known as G.M.B. represent the newer additions to the band lineup.
Black Slate was formed and based in the United Kingdom in 1972 and worked originally as a backing band, members would work with other Jamaican artists like Leroy Smart, The Heptones, Johnny Clarke, Ken Boothe, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Sly & Robbie and Peter Tosh. In 1975 Black Slate became their own group and had a hit in 1976 with the song Sticks Man. The band had other successful songs during this period like Mind Your Motion,Boom Boom and the the massive world wide hit: Amigo.
The father of keyboardist Anthony Brightly, George Brightly managed the band, he was also a promoter, DJ and wholesaler. The band started off going by the name Young Ones From Zion. Guitarist Chris Henson came up with the name Black Slate when working at a telecom service, choosing the name from a type of cable which was used in transmission and communication. The name Black Slate stuck as it was this type of slate that was used to write on back in the day in school.
During this period the Black Slate band would travel on thirty day tours as a support act for artists like Peter Tosh with whom they toured with on several occasions. These tours were all across Europe to Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, and throughout Italy. Wherever there were music festivals the band was present on the lineup. The band also performed at the Rainbow Theatre in London to a sold out crowd and shortly thereafter toured to Australia and New Zealand.
It was during this period that the British rock and roll explosion was happening and in reggae there was a pa