Nick Pride and the Pimptones
Rejuiced Phat Shake
Dancelicious Northern Eastern Funk ‘n Soul
In my younger days I was known to sport a floppy fringe and have some moves on the dance-floor in my shiny loafers and sta-press trousers. Never a frequenter of nightclubs; my dancing days were restricted to Friday night discos in the local Working Men’s Club or the occasional wedding party. But I’ve always harboured a deep love for Soul Music; in particular the Northern Variety and my record collection has always had a few crossover Funky discs hidden in the recesses from the likes of Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield and more recently the Smoove & Turrells.
Which all brings us to Nick Pride and the Pimptones whom I first encountered on the American download site www.e-music.com not knowing they were from my own locality.
I somehow missed this album when it was first released last year; but that oversight has now been rectified and my life has been enriched over the last few days with these mighty grooves.
The album opens with the short and cinematic title track Rejuiced Phat Shake which slides gloriously into Take Care of My Love featuring the golden voice of Susan Hamilton. In days gone by unscrupulous DJ’s in Wigan and Blackpool would have put this onto 7” vinyl and made small fortunes selling it at Northern Soul all-nighters. It sounds like a lost classic of the genre and sadly will go onto be one.
It’s a joy to hear so many great guest singers dotted throughout the album; with each one bringing something different and exciting to the table.
The only singer whom I was aware of previously is Beth Macari who sounds nothing at all like the singer-songwriter I thought I knew when she stomps all over her fella on Why Does My Man Have to be So Tough? If I didn’t know any better I could have mistaken that song for Dame Shirley Bassey fronting the Ronnie Scott Orchestra.
Later on Courtney Valecia sounds like a cup of hot chocolate with a shot of whisky on the steamy It’s a Love Thing, which features some really sharp guitar licks and a horn section straight outta Harlem.
While I pretty much love each and everyone of the female voices here; my favourite track is actually Wanna Treat You Right featuring the cool tones of Micky Moran Parker; who I’d like to hear a lot more of.
This is now a personal thing; because I’m assured that when the band play live the Hippity-hoppity numbers fill the dance-floor; but they aren’t for me I’m afraid.
Courtney Valecia closes the album on the sultry, heartfelt and theatrical Hex On My Soul which has a string section swooping in and out like swans in Springtime as a jazz guitar shadows her voice. What a way to close an exceptional album.
Released Feb 2014