Cymande – S/T [ORANGE VINYL] – New LP
Steve Scipio - Bass
Mike Rose - Alto / Flute / Bongos
Peter Serreo - Tenor
Derek Gibbs - Alto / Soprano
Sam Kelly - Drums
Pablo Gonsales - Congas
Ray King - Vocals / Percussion
Joey Dee - Vocals / Percussion
Our band was formed some twelve months out of the ruins of a few other bands. The influences are vastly different, as are the backgrounds and personalities, the only main link being the fact that we all hail from the West Indies. The band got together at about the same time the “Afro-Rock” wave took hold, but it brought its own kind of rock.
The above form the NYAH-ROCK band CYMANDE. All of our music is our own. We’ve worked at trying to convey a true spirit of togetherness and we believe that this comes across best in the “Rasta” folk song and Zion, the earth tunes brought to the band by Mike and Pablo who are grounded in the teachings of Rastamen, but prefer to retain the prefix, self taught. We call our Music NYAH-ROCK and through it we speak of our ideals, our heritage and ourselves. We try to engender a feeling of happiness and to convey this feeling to those people who want to find the time and reason to listen to us. NYAH-ROCK is our rock. It is the music of the man who finds in life a reason for living.
CYMANDE is symbolised by the Dove and the head of a Rastaman. They in turn, we believe, symbolise peace and love. The Dove is one of the main characters in calypso from which the name was taken. Steve, Mike, and Patrick have played together in bands before getting together in CYMANDE, Ginger Johnson and his African drummers being the best known. We have all known each other for quite some time gigging around here and there, we finally go together first five of us then the rest came one by one. Now we are one.
We can make it together, you and I Cymande
We can teach the people love if we try
In all their hearts, there rests the problem
In my heart and your heart, the answer lies
We can seal our friendship now, you and I Cymande
If we show them love
This is the time
There is an answer
If into our heart flies our dove
My meeting with CYMANDE was purely chance caused by confusion of dates, for on the afternoon of 18th October 1971 in the basement of a club in Soho, London, I was due to see another group. The band were rehearsing, or rather what they termed as rehearsing was a troup of friends specially brought for the occasion and which seemed to increase as the afternoon went on shouting, chanting and jumping about like there was no tomorrow and this I later discovered was how it was everywhere the band played. I found myself caught up in an atmosphere of electric excitement and my brain pummelled with music and rhythms which had an incessant infectiousness. When I confronted the band and asked them to describe their music the answer came back very quickly and I might add with considerable pride “We are a NYAH-ROCK band man. We play NYAH-ROCK. It is our music. It describes the way we feel about life and people.”
On this album I have tried to capture the excitement of this band. The music is unpretentious, extremely infectious but above all absolutely sincere. On stage CYMANDE are a joy to watch. The colour and movement is captivating and the music is simply - NYAH-ROCK
– John Shroeder