Interview: Pearl

Rob GarrattAfter five years of gigging around the city, 2009 looks to be Pearl's year with the momentum building and their first big release set to hit the shelves this summer.Rob Garratt

After five years of gigging around the city, 2009 looks to be Pearl's year with the momentum building and their first big release set to hit the shelves this summer. ROB GARRATT grabbed five minutes with frontman Rob Kelly before their gig at Norwich Arts Centre.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

t Tell us about the band.

'There's only two of us, myself and guitarist Carl Day and we bring in other musicians wherever we can, but there's just two of us who write all the songs. We were formed in 2003 and have been together since then.'

Most Read

t What kind of sound do you have?

'Acoustic folk-rock is what we like to call it.'

t What are your influences?

'Mark Ashton - he's who we are supporting at the Arts Centre - Jeff Buckley and KT Tunstall. I don't think we need any more.'

t Have you played the Arts Centre before?

'It's our first time - we're Arts Centre virgins. We've wanted to for years. It's good news.'

t Where do you normally gig in Norwich?

'We play lots at the music house on King Street. We played a sold-out show at The Playhouse last time we supported Mark Ashton - we're good friends with him, he was in a band with KT Tunstall's drummer, and now husband, who happens to be my drummer's cousin. That's the Tunstall connection. And we played the Cobden Club in London in October which is a prestigious place to play and that was the best gig we've ever done.'

t Will it be just the two of you on stage tomorrow night?

'No, we'll have drums, bass and female vocals as well.'

t Any recordings you want to plug?

'We've got a new EP which is as yet untitled, and we'll be giving a few copies away tomorrow. It should be finished by summer this year. It will be five tracks and it's taken three years to record. It's out first major release - it's the first time we've spent decent money on it and gone in a proper studio and paid an engineer. We've used lots of other musicians and instruments. We just need to get some female vocals and some piano on it and we're done - then we'll get it printed, pressed and released.'

t Is there a big launch party planned?

'We'll probably do a big gig at the Music House with a few of our friends playing.'

t Where did the name come from?

'I knew you'd ask that - we were hunting for a band name for about three years. We ended up finding one on an album sleeve - it said 'words of pearl', I've forgotten what band it was. In the end we just shortened it, bands like Blur and Oasis have one word in their name.'

t You're spending a lot of time on the EP - do you prefer the studio to playing live?

'Live all the way. When we are in the studio we are not limited to what we can do and even if we can't reproduce it live we'll just get it down. I love what we're recorded but I'd like to keep it live all the way.'

t Sum up the band in five words.

'Foot-stomping, good rock and roll.'

t Why should anyone come to tomorrow's gig?

'Secondly to see me, but firstly to see Mark Ashton - he's got one of the best rock voices in the UK and he doesn't play very often. I always wonder if he dies someone's going to discover all the songs he's written.'

t Pearl will be supporting former Addict member Mark Ashton as part of Twentypercent Perouctions' Out of the Wood 2 at Norwich Arts Centre on Saturday. Doors are at 8pm with tickets priced �4. More details: 01603 660352.