Enjoy The Ride. Hull's 'Pearls Cab Ride' Shift Up A Gear
Scout Beck, Features Writer
2017 is a big year for Hull. 365 days revelling in the culture of the city. And with their uncanny ability to surf the seas of change, city residents Pearls Cab Ride have released their own upbeat celebration in album Beatroutes.
The eight- piece funk/soul/Latin outfit first formed some 25 years ago, and over that time have only honed and sharpened their talents, adding new blood and energy that's kept them fresh and at the forefront of a vibrant music scene.
The album is a delicious feast of sound. Funky doesn't really cover it. It's a chocolate-smooth fluid collection with sprinkles of soul and sass from the ever-lush vocals of lead singer Lyn Acton. The chunky brass section are triumphant and a solid bass keeps the relentless groove firmly grounded.
It's mastered by legend - and one-time Hull resident - Pete Maher whose client list is frankly frightening. We'll leave it at U2, The Rolling Stones and Katy Perry. He's polished this album to a mirror-finish. He said of the album: "The Pearls Cab Ride album was a total pleasure to master. They're talented musicians with fantastic songs so it was a no brainer really.
"And as for Hull it's a great city. I grew up there so I've always been interested in the scene but the tracks I'm currently receiving from the Warren amongst others are superb. There's something gritty and cool about them. And like I always said, any city that gives David Bowie his best ever backing band has to be celebrated! City of Culture is well deserved."
Trombonist Pete Robinson and keyboard player Simon Crook talked to us about the band, the album and the city.
What does it mean for Hull to be named City of Culture?
Pete: Financially it's huge which is why the local council backed it to the hilt.
Simon: Very proud of Hull - I hope the vast talent in this city gets the national spotlight it deserves.
What do you think are the elements of Hull that make it a worthy winner of the title?
Pete: It's a unique place, out on it's own geographically therefore less influenced by fashions. Head to the fringes of city's culture though, where the really interesting stuff goes on.
Simon: Yes, Hull is a unique place - isolated in many ways, but that just means we go harder and we're so creative!
What do you think it will do for the city?
Pete: Hopefully more people dipping their toes into things and taking chances on stuff.
Simon: 2017 is huge for Hull - what happens beyond it is what I'm interested in though. Long term investment, and help for the people who live and create here is what's most important, and not just for those who shout the loudest.
Will it be something the band will be part of next year?
Pete: We hope so. Festivals like Humber Street Sesh are well established now and have been great for us. Headlining the Stage at the Dock was a brilliant experience and a huge party.
Simon: We'll be gigging any chance we get, and have some interesting collaborations in the wings...
What can you tell us about the album?
Pete: It's recorded pretty much live at Hymers College over a couple of weekends- 25 years after we first got together. Some old songs, some brand new. A couple of covers. The album was designed by Hull Graffiti ledge Pinky.
Simon: Beatroutes features songs which have been written throughout both our stints as a band - much of it was recorded in single takes to try to capture some of the energy we have when playing 'live'. It comes pretty close.
How would you describe your sound?
Pete: Music from the soul, for the soul (and sole).
Simon: PCR is a big band and so we can deliver some powerful funky chunks of sound. We dabble in many genres but it always has that particular PCR slant which knits it together.
And finally, what's next for the band?
Pete: Brand new funky latin soul vibes.
Simon: New grooves, more out of town gigs and some remix adventures. And dancing. Lots of that.
Pearls Cab Ride on Facebook
Hear the band discuss the album in more depth here.
Beatroutes is out now.
You can find more details about the band here.
Enjoy The Ride. Hull's 'Pearls Cab Ride' Shift Up A Gear, 5th October 2016, 9:24 AM