Flashback to December 2008 at the Oasis leisure centre in Swindon; I was 13 years old and I saw one of my favourite bands, The Pigeon Detectives, live. This was a turning point gig for me for a few reasons. 1. It was the first concert that I had been to which was standing not seated (and therefore a proper concert in my eyes – I felt so grown up). 2. It was on a school night (absolute rebel). And 3. The Pigeon Detectives were one of the best live bands that I had ever seen. And they still are. Talk about nostalgia or what? 8 years and 2 albums later, here we are – The Pigeon Detectives announced a small tour, playing some of the most intimate venues in the UK, including the Louisiana in Bristol. Most, if not all, of these dates sold out pretty quick and Spilt Milk were lucky enough to get a ticket to the Bristol date!

The small venue hadn’t filled much before the show; a few twenty-somethings walking around the pub in old Pigeon Detectives t-shirts was about it, leaving a fairly sparse crowd for opening band Fossette. Fosette are a Bristol based indie rock band, and a perfect fit as supports for The Pigeon Detectives. Despite a cold holding them back, they still powered through their set and impressed us! Their sound is upbeat and fast paced with tenacious energy and euphoric guitar licks. Their set contained a back catalogue of strong indie anthems that had the crowd moving. Be sure to check these guys out!

Next up were The Pigeon Detectives themselves. The intimate venue filled up and anticipation grew. For most of us, this gig had been a long time coming. The Pigeon Detectives opened strong with ‘Animal’ sparking an instant sing along and had frontman, Matt Bowman, springing around the stage and off of monitors. Next followed classic track ‘I Found Out’ from the first album –this was guaranteed to get the rest of the crowd moving, moshing and chanting. This track carried powerful energy with commanding guitar riffs and strong beats wrapped up in a 2008 throwback frenzy. The next track ‘What Can I Say’ gave us a moment to catch our breath as the tempo slowed a little. That dominant drumbeat had us moving in time before the guitars ripped in creating a deep, layered sound. The next track brought back the chaos – ‘Romantic Type’. Another early anthem from these boys, following suit in their guitar fuelled indie rock. Once again Bowman was all over the small stage, bursting with energy, and took to the crowd for a spurt of crowd surfing. Two new songs came next; ‘Wolves’ and ‘Lose Control’, which gave us a taste of future pigeon Detectives tracks. They presented a developed version of the sound that we know and love. They powered through some more classic anthems, including ‘Emergency’ and ‘I’m A Liar’. ‘Bowman invited one dedicated fan from the front row to duet during ‘Emergency’, which highlighted the intimacy and how special this gig felt – and this kid was pretty good so fair play! A few newer tracks from recent albums followed, and the energetic disorder followed its pattern too, before peaking during the encore. Crowd surfing, moshing, dancing and singing filled the Louisiana from the front row to the back row and the energy was reflected on stage. The encore included some of the Pigeon’s biggest tracks – ‘Everybody Wants Me’, ‘Take Her Back’ and finally ‘I’m Not Sorry’ which saw an lively midway stage invasion and had Bowman climbing up over monitors and amp stacks.

This gig certainly delivered! Great tunes and a great atmosphere matched with the excitement of future tours and music from this Leeds five piece! And what’s better is that they are touring again so get on that!

Long live indie rock yeah?



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