Having walked through the foggy streets of Hull, on a day when De Grey Street is aptly named, I was pleased to enter the lit chamber of the Adelphi. There’s something comforting about the venue – of which I am becoming somewhat of a regular – with its red hues and chatty staff.
The song ‘One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer’ welcomed me, and my foot was tapping before I’d even sat down. I was early, as usual, and watched the slow meandering crowd grow into a bustling blend of personalities. The compilation of funk and soul from the speakers had people dancing before the band even stepped up onto stage, preparing everyone for the night’s main event.
Pearls Cab Ride are a nine-piece funk and soul band, which fill the stage at Adelphi. With all sincerity, they can fill most stages, performing with a powerful energy and a mixture of instruments.
Their set started with a simple beat, enticing the audience in, building in volume and speed. Drums, guitars and brass instruments meeting a climax, Lyn Acton steps up to front the band. She’s a small woman, who should drown even on this small space, but her personality reaches the back of the room in waves.
Throughout the set, she shares her soul with the audience. Her voice is that force you get from a jazz singer, and by intercepting each song with her own repartee – teasing the other members of the band and a continuous banter with the crowd – there is that consistent connection with the audience. At times this is merely a bit of wordplay dropped in, such as when introducing a song: “Hard Times … we’ve all had them.” At other times, it’s directly involving audience members as she calls out to them by name; friends and local business owners, as well as plugging their new single ‘Colours’ by pointing out that BBC Burnsy, stood near the bar, had played the song recently on his radio show. She also offers anecdotes; the most significant of this event being an introduction to the song “I Believe in Miracles”, which she told the room was a song she and her son Jack had played when they heard Obama had been voted as president, adding that “we did believe in miracles”.
What I really love about this band is the personality and the joyous comfort with which they all play together. Each member is introduced to us at least once, having their moment to take centre stage – not literally; this would be chaotic on the Adelphi stage – and showcase their individual talents. And then they come back into the collective again and produce a sheer compilation of energy, all with smiles on their faces. When the brass section aren’t playing, they’re dancing or singing along. It’s more than just enjoying the music, they create the atmosphere and an aura of vitality and elation which pierces the grey skies of a winter weekend.
It’s the definition of a good time – wonderful music, charming conversation and an energy which gets everyone involved. It’s impossible not to join in, swaying to the beat or completely letting loose on the dancefloor.