Jamaica (The Caribbean)

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Monty Neysmith of Symarip

 

Symarip (also known at various stages of their career as The Bees, The Pyramids, Seven Letters and Zubaba) were a British ska and reggae band, originating in the late 1960s when Frank Pitter and Michael Thomas founded the band The Bees. The band's name was originally spelt Simaryp, which is an approximate reversal of the word pyramids. Consisting of members of West Indian descent, Simaryp is widely marked as one of the first skinhead reggae bands, being one of the first to target skinheads as an audience. Their hits included "Skinhead Girl", "Skinhead Jamboree" and "Skinhead Moonstomp", the latter based on the Derrick Morgan song, "Moon Hop".

They moved to Germany in 1971, performing reggae and Afro-rock under the name Zubaba. In 1980, the single "Skinhead Moonstomp" was re-issued in the wake of the 2 Tone craze, hitting No. 54 on the UK Singles Chart. The band officially split in 1985 after releasing the album Drunk & Disorderly as The Pyramids. The album was released by Ariola Records and was produced by Stevie B.

Pitter and Ellis moved back to England, where Ellis continued performing as a solo artist, sometimes using the stage name 'Mr. Symarip'. Mike Thomas met a Finnish woman while living in Switzerland and relocated to Finland doing the groundwork for the Finnish reggae culture through his band 'Mike T. Saganor'. Monty Neysmith moved to the United States, where he toured as a solo artist.

In 2004, Trojan Records released a best-of album including a new single by Neysmith and Ellis, "Back from the Moon". In 2005, Neysmith and Ellis performed together at Club Ska in England, and a recording of the concert was released on Moon Ska Records as Symarip – Live at Club Ska. In April 2008, they headlined the Ska Splash Festival in Lincolnshire as Symarip, and later performed at the Endorse-It and Fordham Festivals. Pitter and Thomas now perform in a different band Symarip Pyramid. Their Back from The Moon Tour 2008–2009 was with The Pioneers. In 2009, to celebrate the rebirth of the band and the reunion of the two original members, Trojan Records released a compilation album, Ultimate Collection. Pitter holds all copyright and trademark rights for the name 'Symarip Pyramid'.