Cimarons

Stalwarts of UK reggae get a feature in Ital Rockers, issue 4, Winter 78-9. The zine was edited by Dougie Thomson from Edinburgh.

Cimarons
So far in “IR1-4” we’ve featured most of Britain’s most popular and established bands (the ones who actually play in Scotland), and obviously we couldn’t leave out the Cimarons who are still going strong after fourteen years.
The Cimarons were Britain’s first ever home grown JA band and formed around 1965, and it is a tribute to their resilience and conviction that they are still together today, and, they will tell you, still in the front line for reggae. The history of the group is pretty well known – session band backing all Trojan’s JA stars on their British tours in the sixties, recording occasionally and touring often in their own right (remember the reggae evening at the Empire Ballroom back in 1973 filmed by “OGWT” with the Cims, Nicky Thomas, Judge Dread and Dennis Alcapone?), cutting two LPs, “In Time” for Trojan and “On The Rock” for the now defunct Vulcan label in ’73 and ’75, but above all staying on the road, spreading the reggae message, from the cabaret stage to black and white audiences, and to listeners all over the world, playing in Spain, Ireland, Thailand and Japan over the years.
Nowadays they’re with Polydor, and still touring as much as ever – in the last year they played Edinburgh three times, a superb set at the Astoria in April, a delayed but worth the wait Freshers’ Ball at the Assembly rooms, and most recently as support to the appalling Sham 69 at the Odeon in November. There have also been two more albums – “Live At The Roundhouse”, and an exciting set dating from 1977, released last year and reviewed in “IR3”, and the interesting, worthwhile “Maka” studio set, that is listenable, if somewhat flawed. The record (pressed on green vinyl!) is divided into two concepts, the first dealing in broader, more African cultural terms, with Earth, while the second side is more loose yet narrow, a celebration of reggae. It’s not an album that I play very often, but it has good moments., such as the single “Mother earth” or “Civilisation” on the first side, “Willin’ (Rock Against Racism)”, another single on the second side, and numbers such as “Truly” and “Give Thanks And Praise”. For all they have done for UK reggae over the years I am very grateful to carl Levy, Franklyn Dunn, Locksley Gichie, Maurice Ellis and Winston Reid. The Cimarons – harder than the rock.

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