Cymande touring the US around Bonnaroo, playing two NYC shows
A nine-piece funk band from Brixton made up of West Indian immigrants, Cymande were essentially a British answer to bands like War, albeit with a wider sonic palette. A funk band whose sound ran the gamut from Latin, Afro beat, reggae, to soul and funk. While War had million selling albums and sound tracked adverts for yeast spreads, Cymande’s music has spent long spells in OOP limbo, difficult to acquire on CD, and at times on Vinyl as well.Virtually ignored in the UK, Cymande found a mildly receptive audience in the US, where they supported Al Green and appeared on Soul Train. But as the story goes by the time their third album ‘Promised Heights’ was released, their record label issues put paid to that potential success by giving the record a half-hearted release. It wasn’t until the advent of hip-hop and the rare grooves scene in the 80′s that the band actually got some due.
Figure 8 Magazine wrote the above about British psychedelic soul/funk legends Cymande in 2014 when Cherry Red reissued their first three albums, including their classic self-titled 1972 debut. Those reissues were followed last year by Simple Act of Faith, Cymande’s first album since 1981. The band — still with original members Steve Scipio (Bass, vocals) Patrick Patterson (Guitar, vocals) Sam Kelly (Drums) Mike Rose (Sax, flute, percussion) Pablo Gonsales (Percussion, vocals) and Derek Gibbs (Sax) (but without original vocalists Ray King & Joey Dee and saxist Peter Serreo) — is coming over to the US this year for a few shows, including Bonnaroo.
They’ve also got two in NYC, both with cool lineups. One is a free Central Park SummerStage show on June 11 with LA R&B trio KING, Taj Mahal’s daughter Deva Mahal and DJ Parlerr. The other is a Brooklyn Bowl show on June 14 with Sinkane opening. Tickets for that one are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with a stream of their 1972 album, below.
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Cymande — 2016 Tour Dates
May 07 XJAZZ Festival Berlin, Germany
May 23 Le Trianon Paris, France
Jun 04 FONDA THEATRE Los Angeles, CA
Jun 05 The Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA
Jun 11 Central Park SummerStage New York, NY w/ KING
Jun 12 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
Jun 14 Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, NY w/ Sinkane
Jun 15 The Hamilton Washington, DC
Sep 29 KOKO London, United Kingdom