Every once in a long while, one of those rare shows comes along that you will end up telling your children about. This time around it will be the first San Francisco performance in four decades by legendary rare funk act CYMANDE, joined by THE BUDOS BAND and MOTION POTION at the Regency Ballroom on June 5.
Some bands just play soul music, while Cymande’s music embodies the very definition SOUL. Fusing funk, soul, reggae, disco, afrobeat into pulsing, yet gentle grooves, Cymande added lyrics that spoke of peace and global harmony. These Carribbean-born black Londoners cut three of the most seminal world-funk records of all time in the early 1970’s and toured the work with the likes of Al Green, Patti Labelle, Kool & the Gangetc. Like another act to which they are oft-compared, Mandrill, their records were so full of poly-rhythmic, multi genre sounds that they were hard to categorize, and ended up being more popular in the States, than back home in the UK. And in 1974, the pressures of touring caught up to them and they went on a hiatus that would last for more than 30 years.
Photo Credit: David Laurel
But in that time, Cymande’s music was everywhere, sampled by the likes of the WuTang, the Fugees, De La Soul, and incorporated into Spike Lee’s Crooklyn and The 25th Hour. Their seminal tracks Dove, Bra and the Message were three of the records that most defined the 90’s rare-groove DJ era, and Cymande’s sounds have been were a constant in Bay Area clubs repurposed into break beat, trip hop, and deep house. The Bay Area connections intensified when the late Chad Newhouse of Oakland-based Newhouse Records went to the UK in 2000, to help the band re-issue its music before his tragic death.
Photo Credit: B. Hockensmith Photography
And then finally, just a year ago, original members Steve Scipio, Patrick Patterson, Sam Kelly, Mike Rose, Pablo Gonzales, and Derek Gibbs reconvened to cut their first record in more than 40 years. This June, they visit the USA for a run of festivals and exclusive theatre performances that will bring their incredible story full circle. They will be joined by Brooklyn-based funk-aficionados, THE BUDOS BAND, and SF Funk festival founder MOTION POTION. This is a once-in-a-lifetime show so don’t miss out. Get your tickets HERE.