Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 20 April 2024.

Saturday 20 April 2024. CYMANDE live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Cymande are a British funk group that was originally active in the early 1970s. The band name derives from a calypso word for "dove", which symbolises peace and love;"Dove" is also the title of one of their best-known songs. With a membership deriving from several Caribbean nations, Cymande were noted for an eclectic mix of funk, soul, reggae, rock, African music, calypso, and jazz that they called "nyah-rock". The band formed in 1971 and released three albums before disbanding in 1974. After gaining newfound popularity when their music was sampled by many notable rap artists, Cymande reformed in the 2010s. They released their fifth album in 2015. This show sold out a month in advance. A five city tour of Europe...Berlin , Paris , Brussels , London and Amsterdam. ------------------- A DJ playing jazz funk classics warmed the crowd up . Nice to see him playing all vinyl. The band are selling their albums here on vinyl. The venue is rammed solid by the time the band arrived on stage. CYMANDE arrived on stage at 9.10pm for 85 mins. The nine piece band include keyboards, percussion and three man brass. A mainly older middle aged white crowd here enjoying the smooth jazz funk with some head nodding and a bit of dancing. The show grooved along nicely , and was enjoyable. ----------------- ----------------- WELCOME BACK BRIXTON ACADEMY. Friday 19 April 2024. Brixton Academy to host gigs again for the first time in over 16 months , since two were killed there in a crush in Dec 2022. Nirvana UK on stage at 8pm for 70 mins . The Smyths on stage at 9.40pm for 75 mins. This is the first of two restricted capacity test events , with tribute bands...1700 here tonight. Both bands played a good set of all the classics. Both had a good light show , and plenty of moshing. The venue looks stunning They have spent 1.2 million on maintenance and improvements , including a new carpet on the stalls standing , brand new numbered reserved seats in the circle , plenty of painting etc. Brixton Academy opened as a gig venue in 1983. My first gig there was New Order in 1983. I have seen over 200 great shows at this venue , including a five man Clash and U2 in 1984 , PiL in 1986, Wham in 1986, , Gary Glitter , Beastie Boys , Run DMC, ZZ Top, Black Crowes, Placebo , Soft Cell , Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, Manic Street Preachers, Libertines, Morrissey , Iggy Pop , Neil Young, Big Audio Dynamite , The Alarm, The Godfathers, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pulp , The Cult , David Bowie and Tin Machine, INXS, Green Day, Rammstein, Stiff Little Fingers, The Ramones , The Damned, The Rolling Stones in 1995 , 3 x Iron Maiden in 2002 and all five SEX PISTOLS shows there in 2007.