The Pigeon Detectives Gig Review
Posted by Rachael Mott on Sun, 27 Nov 2011.
I had pre-show nerves. It's even worse when it's your first gig. Especially when you're reviewing The Pigeon Detectives… A band you've loved since you were eleven. Lined up in the freezing cold outside the o2 Academy Birmingham, I was bricking it.
The show opened with the humble Leeds' quartet The Chevin, a friendly mix of Hoosier-esque vocals and the standard indie guitar-synth-drum combination. Despite technical difficulties, the band laughed it off and played on. Their songs, from their Champion EP (which is well worth a listen), were received with plenty of nodding and foot-tapping by the subdued crowd; The Chevin played the calm before the storm.
The stage was cleared; after a couple of minutes of roadies running around the stage, it started. Lights flashing, pounding drums… The crowd were rapturous. Then, through the smoke, a curly-haired figure stepped up to the microphone stand, arms raised, soaking up the chants of 'Yorkshire! Yorkshire!' rising from the floor. Screams were drowned by the exploding speakers as the first bars of 'This is an Emergency' shook the whole building.
The set list was made us of tracks from all three of their albums, including their latest, 'Up, Guards and At 'Em' had a much heavier, rocky edge than the recorded versions, and the background vocals of the audience added an extra magical dimension to the sound.
Matt Bowman, the lead singer, played the wild fans like a yoyo. At least ten bottles of water were thrown, kicked and spat all over the crowd (not to mention my camera), and the amount of times he jumped on the amps, hung from the ceiling or nearly fell off the stage were countless.. Matt fearlessly swung the microphone in terrifying circles while the rest of the band coolly played their part and let him take centre stage.
After a silly rendition of 'Go At It Completely', during which Bowman wore a towel as a cape, he announced that it was their "pretend last song… Encores and that, we have to do 'em!". They filed off the stage.. Tense minutes passed as the crowd grew more and more impatient, but as promised, they sauntered back onstage, beer-in-hand, to blast out 'What You Gonna Do?' and 'I'm Not Sorry'.
Once they'd finished, the group ran around the stage, grabbing and throwing every available set list, bottle, towel and drum stick on stage into the sea of hands. Bowman stood on the stage, hair dripping with water, put his arms up and shouted "Give yourself a round of applause! You were BRILLIANT!" It's not often the audience who are applauded at the end of a gig… And tonight, they definitely weren't the ones who deserved it.
Check out the rest of my photos from the gig!
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