The Pigeon Detectives
@ Leeds Met

It is heaving in Leeds Met and full of beery men. One has just seen Pull Tiger Tail off their support slot with a stream of bellowed expletives. It’s really not the friendliest place and a contrast to Bowling For Soup in the same venue last week, full of smiles and excitement.

It doesn’t take long for the chants of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ to begin. We’re proud of our bands and The Pigeon Detectives are playing on home ground tonight, selling out Leeds Met, less than a year after the launch party for their first single. With only a few singles out, it’s not going to be a long set tonight. Matt Bowman bounds onstage and cups his ear like he can’t hear the chants. Kicking off with a strong one, they choose You Know I Love You (Take Off Your Clothes). For ‘I Found Out’ he insists we chant ‘going out with’ and taunts us with claims Sheffield were better. Half of South Leeds is here and they don’t take a challenge like that lightly. He jumps and wheels, a dervish onstage, being hosed down with water five minutes in to keep from catching alight or melting. The photographers are kicked promptly out of the pit as the bouncers struggle with the turmoil in the crowd, fishing people out non-stop. Matt is down bouncing in the pit after a couple of numbers, before embarking on the ska bounce of Can’t Control Myself.

New single, Romantic, is a shambles with Matt heading into the crowd before wrapping a huge bra round his neck for Caught In Your Trap. Where The Pigeon Detectives were a rolling moshpit at the launch last year, tonight sees a tightly rehearsed band working very hard. The constant effort of rushing about sees Matt become a whirligig. He does knee-slides ala Peter Kay’s kids parties and spends more time swinging his mic around than singing into it. The effect is energising and the band’s concentration shows the songs off, revealing at least four memorable ones – and that’s without a single out yet.

Oliver Main on lead guitar smiles and focuses hard, lifting notes slowly into stinging lines. Dave best plays a groovy bass while Ryan Wilson stands by him swapping licks and glances as he holds the rhythm down on guitar. Poor old Jimmi Naylor doesn’t get to pose behind his drum kit. They have become a tight machine and it’s a surprise a bare forty-five minutes later when Matt announces ‘this is our last one – we’re too cool for encores’.

Ross McGibbon