Cymande, the Calypso word for ‘dove’, is a British band most prolific in the early 1970s. The nine-member formation released three albums between 1972 and 1974, mixing American styles such as funk, soul and jazz with their Afro-Caribbean roots in reggae, calypso and African rhythms. ‘Nyah Rock’, as they called it themselves, proved to be a success and was soon picked up by US media, leading to listings in the Billboard charts, a headlining show at the famous Apollo Theatre (as the first British band) and a tour with soul great Al Green. However, success in their home country failed to materialise, causing the band to break up in 1974 and Cymande’s music to disappear under the radar for many.
A decade later, the band suddenly gained a load of new fans, as pioneering DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc regularly used their ‘breakbeats’, and a little later, their music was sampled by hip-hop giants such as The Fugees, De La Soul and Gang Starr. In addition, they also inspired the British weird groove movement with their ‘reinvented’ music. The appreciation of these new fans eventually resulted in an official reunion of the band in 2012, and three years later, they even released a new album titled ‘A Simple Act of Faith’. Today, the experienced band continues to play sporadic shows worldwide and will be performing at Paradiso’s Main Hall for the first time on 22 April.