Born in Nevis, the eldest of seven children, he left the Caribbean in 1957 at the age of nine to join his parents who had migrated to Saltley, Birmingham, in the UK. He began playing drums and percussion as a teenager, and was a member of various soul bands, such as Penny Black, Rebel, and Roy Gee and the Stax Explosion. He joined Steel Pulse in 1977 before their debut album Handsworth Revolution through to their 1997 release Rage and Fury. Seen as the old man of the group he was the main drummer until 1998 when he gave up the honours to Conrad Kelly, but continued to play percussion. Nisbett retired from the band in 2001 due to health concerns, on good terms.