The Gypsies are a Sri Lankan band that perform English and Sinhala songs and have been around since the early 1970s.
The band was formed in 1969 by Anton Perera, a confectioner at the Glucorasa company, composed of his five sons (Sunil, Nihal, Piyal, Nimal, Lal) – all of whom had recently completed high school. Lead singer Sunil Perera, schooled at St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa and St Peter’s College, Colombo. Anton renovated a portion of his house on Galle Road (in Ratmalana) into a recording studio and began recording their first album. In the thirty years that followed, many changes have occurred in the group’s membership that have led to the eight members present today. Sunil Perera and Piyal Perera are the two surviving members from the original line up.
Their early success was due to a series of 5 LPs they released in the 1970s (entitled Dance With the Gypsies). In the 1980s the group released their first audio cassette containing their novelty hit “Kurumitto” (“Dwarfs”), which is a cover version of Dutch musician Father Abraham’s “The Smurf Song”. With the arrival of CDs in Sri Lanka, they released their first CD Gypsies Gold containing 17 songs and following its success there, with two other CDs, Dance With the Gypsies and Singyore, both well received as well. The group has since released other CDs and continues to enjoy success. Sunil Perera and the Gypsies are world famous for their Sri Lankan baila music. The Gypsies have also successfully collaborated with other Sri Lankan stars like Desmond de Silva. They are also credited for having the first ever biala non stop medly. They are known for their hit song “I Don’t Know Why” as well.
Their first performance out of Sri Lanka, as the resident band at the Delhi Taj for three months, was followed by successful tours in foreign countries where many Sri Lankans now reside, such as the UK, Singapore, U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
They are a highly paid band in Sri Lanka, since they constantly perform at parties, dances and perform at many sold-out concerts.
The long standing female vocalist of the group, Coreen Almeida, and Sharon Nesaduray, better known as “Lulu”, have left the group. Radhika Rajavellu is the latest addition to the band after the departure of their well known female vocalist Ginger (Judith White).
Sunil Perera (b. September 14, 1952, Sri Lanka): vocals and guitar
Piyal Perera (b. April 25, 1956, Sri Lanka): vocals and percussion
Gordon Athula: drums
Derek Hepponstall (b. March 8, 1956, Sri Lanka): bass guitar and vocals
Ranil Vas (b., Sri Lanka): guitar and vocals
Dushan Jayathilake (b., 1981, Sri Lanka): keyboards and vocals
Other artists also perform with them on their tours and they have a female vocalist.
- The Beginning
- Dance With The Gypsies
- I Don’t Know Why
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia