“Whatever happened to The Pigeon Detectives?” a friend of mine asked me recently and I honestly answered “Erm…I don’t know.” A mere matter of weeks later I am standing in the sweat box that is the O2 Academy 2 in Liverpool eagerly waiting for the band to come on stage.
As the release of their third studio album Up, Guards and At ‘em looms the band are showcasing the new songs on a 13 date tour across the UK. After an amazing debut Wait For Me and the somewhat less impressive follow up Emergency I rather naively expected there to be a lull in attendance. I was wrong. The strength and calibre (and possibly the infamy) of The Pigeon Detectives live stage antics was shown by the excited turnout who waited – breath baited – for the show to start.
Having previously been witness to some truly memorable performances by The Pigeon Detectives which have included stage diving, crowd surfing, bras and knickers being thrown on stage (not my own I hasten to add), microphone throwing, water drenched audiences and even the crowd rushing the stage it is needless to say that my expectations for the gig were high.
As the band bounded on stage, front man Matt Bowman geared the crowd up, shouting “Right then Liverpool, let’s fucking have it.” Straight away the floor was bouncing. The playing was big, loud and hard and I couldn’t help but notice the remarkable tightness in the musicianship from the previous times I had seen them. Their playing had matured but without losing all the excitement of their earlier shows.
Bowman’s showmanship was at his best, swinging from the rafters, making the speakers precariously lurch to the crowd. The audience paid for a ticket but got so much more. The hour and a half, 18 song (with 2 extras in the encore) set really did give more bang for its buck. Playing classic crowd pleasers such as Romantic Type, I Found Out, Caught In Your Trap, I’m Not Sorry and Take Her Back, the band played up to their call and response style to effusive enthusiasm from the audience.
Intermittently they previewed songs Lost, Turn Out the Lights (a love song which Bowman himself commented is not what you would normally find in The Pigeon Detectives repertoire) and Done in Secret, the current single off the new album. It was apparent to all that the fans love the new material. From the excellence of this performance alone it is safe to say that The Pigeon Detectives are back and ready to fly.