The Pigeon Detectives – Rock City, Nottingham – 20/10/17

The Pigeon Detectives have a new tour with an old twist as they celebrate a decade since the release of ‘Wait for Me’- the debut album which went platinum and skyrocketed them to indie rock stardom.

Unlike most indie bands of the noughties, The Pigeon Detectives have stuck it out, and whatever you may think of their current music it is hard to dispute their debut album ‘Wait for Me’ will forever be a banger. A golden formula of 3-minute songs, shouty choruses and amazing melodies makes for a very raucous gig. The Pigeon Detectives have had 10 years to perfect their on-stage presence, and the songs sound perhaps even better than they did in 2007. This is because the crowd now has sweet teenaged memories attached to the music.

As Matt Bowman proclaimed during their gig in Rock City, they “certainly aren’t students anymore”; but from the on-stage bum wiggling, beer spraying and mic swinging it are easy to mistake them for some. Opening with Romantic Type the crowd hopped and whooped with recognition. The Nottingham crowd mixed up of older fans and current students like myself were in store for a mad night. With The Pigeon detectives throwing hits such as I Found Out and Take Her Back it was difficult to catch a breath from all the jumping. Although Rock City is an indoor venue the staff seemed to be very relaxed about crowd surfing and sitting on shoulders. I think the pinnacle of the night was a three-person tower forming right in the middle of the crowd for I’m Not Sorry.

Given that this is an anniversary tour and the ‘Wait for Me’ album is only 33 minutes long, the band had to include B-sides to lengthen the gig to 1 ½ hours. The lead singer sums up The Pigeon Detectives and the emerging indie-rock bands of the noughties quite well: “Not half of the s**** in the charts these days is as good as the B-side we just played… and we [Pigeon Detectives] used to record these B sides just for fun!”. B-sides such as Dick’Ed and You’re Just No Good for Me are excellent examples of the band’s lyrical satire and the band just having fun making music. I don’t know why they were cut from the original album, but the B-sides are now available to listen to on the deluxe edition of ‘Wait for Me.’ Despite being unfamiliar to the crowd, the boisterous mood continued throughout because it was a joy to see the band’s own excitement in finally unleashing these hidden gems to the public. Somewhere along these past 10 years, The Pigeon Detectives have collected a dedicated crowd willing to try and sing along to anything and will clap, wave and jump when told. To a The Pigeon Detectives fan, you don’t even have to know the B-sides in depth to have fun, it is just all part of the experience.

Pigeon Detectives are having a barrel of laughs on their anniversary tour. It is great to re-live the now well-established tunes as though they are new and to watch the band perform with such fervour. On this evidence, the Pigeon Detectives should be around for some time yet – and we should all raise a glass to that.