Stirring a funky soul stew: Nick Pride and the Pimptones
dancing crowd 1
Easter 2018 at The Night Owl
March 28, 2018
Friends of The Night Owl
April 11, 2018

Nick Pride and the Pimptones are the epitome of soul - from their compositions and melody to their commitment and love for the stage.

Their music is a wild fusion of jazz trumpets, funky bass and soulful voice that this six piece band blend into a completely unique sound. With over a decade on the scene, four albums and a heap of side projects under Nick Pride and the Pimptones' belt - you'd think they would grow tired. However, Nick Pride and the Pimptones are constantly evolving, following a unique sound with each project. "There's a few things which decide [the sound we follow], sometimes a new album might be a reaction to the old one" Nick explains. "Our first album 'Midnight Feast of Jazz' was a mostly instrumental jazz/funk vibe, but with the next album ['Rejuiced Phat Shake'] I started writing soul for the vocalists. We had loads of different guest lead vocalists so it sounded like a compilation."

The next album 'Go Deep' bounced off the multiple lyricists and heavy production in 'Rejuiced Phat Shake'. 'Go Deep' is back to basics - incorporating all the band members strengths - such as sax player Alex Saxon's talent for the flute, and the sheer range of vocalist Eliza Lawson. "Some singers make you want to write ballads, others are badass and funky, so I'm always writing to the strengths of whatever the current line up is" Nick said.

With this constant evolution - Nick Pride and the Pimptones' music is timeless. They keep up with current trends like musical mash ups by releasing 'The Bootleg Project', original scores written by the band with acapellas by Aretha Franklin, Old Dirty Bastard, Kelis and more. Whatever the trend may be, Nick Pride and the Pimptones follow the flow - creating easily accessible jazz, funk and soul pieces for any audience. 

These genius compositions are led by Nick - but would be no where near as funky without his other band members. As well as vocalist Eliza and sax player Alex, Nick Pride is joined by bassist Jimmy Brown, drummer Pete Lawson and trumpet player Keith Nicholson. Instead of just jamming out groove after groove like most funk bands - Nick Pride and the Pimptones' music is meticulously thought out and curated. "I'm in an amazingly lucky position where I get to write and arrange all the music for the band, and I get to work with an incredible bunch of musicians who play the heck out of whatever I give them" Nick explained. "I'll write a bunch of songs which won't see the light of day, but then if one or two of them are good enough then I'll sing them to Eliza and see what she thinks. Just hearing a proper singer sing a song for the first time is a game changer as my voice tends to ruin even a really strong melody!

"Then my next job is to figure out what I want the drums and bass to do and write an arrangement for the horn section. That first rehearsal of a new tune is usually a bit shocking while everyone finds their feet, but I'm always amazed by how quickly it starts to click into place and sound right. Gigging it a few times is what really gets a new song cooking though."

Their successor to their last album 'Go Deep' is a experimental seeing eye into the world of relationships, but looking further than love. In a similar vein to the penultimate track of 'Go Deep', which talks about legalising gay marriage, Nick has been working on a new track 'Queens are Stronger than Kings' - exploring femininity and compassion resolving situations better than masculinity. Getting political is a challenge, especially for a funk band, but Nick reassured: "We're still a funk band who love to dance and have fun!" 

Bringing tenacity and furore to every smooth, slick melody or pounding phat beat, Nick Pride and the Pimptones always bring electrifying sets. Recordings of hit tracks 'Come and Get It' and 'Why Does My Man' are living proof of this, the latter being such a powerful live performance the band can't scale it down for the studio. Passionate and inspired, their live energy has fans hooked. Nick explains: "Audiences love the energy which comes from the band being outside of its comfort zone and having to really think. It's that fine line between artistic expression and sheer panic!"

A live performance by Nick Pride and the Pimptones can only be summarised by the leading man himself: "We kick off with a few funky instrumentals to get things going, then Eliza comes on stage and steals everyone's hearts. It's all funk and breakbeats and disco soul from then on. And suits, very nice suits!"

 

Nick Pride's record of choice: 

"'No One Could Love You More' by Gladys Knight & The Pips - its got everything, loads of power and emotion in the performance, a terrific band arrangement, a really well written song and Gladys Knight is one of my all time favourite singers who delivers a stonking lead vocal on this."

 

Nick Pride and the Pimptones will be stirring their funky soul stew and pouring it on The Night Owl on Friday, May 18th. Tickets are available from The Ticket Sellers and include entry to Dig? soul and retro club night afterwards. 

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