A step up from their ABC gig in the city in 2011, The Pigeon Detectives made their return to Glasgow, this time in the 2000 capacity Arches at the start of an altogether wet and miserable bank holiday weekend north of the border.
Not that the boys let that affect them one bit, roaring straight into recent single Animal at 8.45 prompt. From the off Matt Bowman was oozing an energy and enthusiasm that didn’t waver at all throughout the set. He must’ve gone through about 10 bottles of water in total, though his penchant for soaking both his own head and unsuspecting fans with them may have contributed to such a high volume of water usage.
Mixing old with new, the Pigeon Detectives floated through their set featuring old favourites like Everybody Wants Me and Romantic Type blended with new tracks which bring a return to form for the band. Unsurprisingly, no songs from album ‘Up Guards And At Em!’ featured in their modest setlist. However a few fresh tracks including I Don’t Mind and I Won’t Come Back from new album ‘We Met At Sea’ – released just four days before the gig – received a warm welcome in Glasgow, much to the band’s relief. Fans joining in the unfamiliar choruses by the end up can only signal a move back in the upward direction for The Pigeon Detectives, who are well on their way to regaining their catchy, indie-pop crown.
Before wowing the crowd with one of their biggest hits, Take Her Back, Bowman insisted fans climb on top of each other’s shoulders, and although acknowledging “I’m going to get into trouble for this,” still proceeded to usher the crowd up as high as they could get, before creating a frenzy on stage and off by charging into the song in the proverbial bull and china shop manner.
For an encore fans were treated to the uptempo Hold Your Gaze, taken from ‘We Met At Sea’, giving the crowd the chance to dance to the surprisingly chipper song about not wanting to fall in love with someone who appears to be trouble. But then that juxtaposition is when The Pigeon Detectives are at their absolute best, as they proved by bringing the evening to an end with a rendition of I’m Not Sorry which sent both the crowd and Bowman wild. For a man who refuses to stand still for a whole song, be it by jumping off drumkits, swinging microphones, throwing water and beer, crowd-surfing or just generally owning the stage, Bowman’s voice doesn’t falter, nor does his energy waver. This alone is testament to what a great live experience you get from The Pigeon Detectives, despite their short setlist, and is something which is certainly underrated in the indie circles of late.