The Pigeon Detectives

The Pigeon Detectives are true innovators. Probably the first band to hit critical backlash on the release of their first album. It’s a kind of premature attack on a band with a bare three singles out! It really makes you see how much we hate manufactured hype. On the other hand, without it, would the Pigeons not be still languishing in some damp basement in Rothwell, coming up to the big town for a weekly gig?

The Pigeon Detectives are a Leeds fixture and definitely see themselves as inheritor of the ‘next local thing to go big’ banner last draped on Kaiser Chiefs. Their name has been scribbled on dressing room walls and toilets in small venues all over Leeds for years. Always good for a beery, shouty night out, their songs feature Northern vocals, bouncy tunes, big choruses and a down-to-earth gritty social realism. Or, more accurately, they discuss the particular minutiae of relationships that you talk about when you’re down the pub with your more laddy mates. Or, even more accurately, their lyric repertoire is more or less identical to Artic Monkeys.

Romantic Type is very Artic Monkeys. I Found Out was a big single hit (chorus ‘going out with, going out with’) that forms a huge shout along at gigs. Caught In Your Trap is about shaking off a girlfriend. I Can’t Control Myself is about dumping a girlfriend who’s bad for you and has a quirky pattern that reminds me of early Beatles. I’m Not Sorry is about not feeling bad about dropping a girlfriend. Is there a pattern here?!?!

Refreshingly, You Know I Love You (Take Off Your Clothes) is the big single we remember and is about shagging not dumping. You Better Not Look My Way is a refreshing change, an honest sounding song, empty of the boasting of the rest of the album. Take Her Back spends its time describing a lovelife dilemma and could pass as the aforementioned Freezing Simians. Full of silly beery chat about pulling birds, it sums up the shallowness that limits the Pigeon Detectives.

A night out at a Pigeon Detectives gig features chanting ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ over and over, chugging gallons of beers, shoving about with your mates and the inevitable disappearance of Matthew into the crowd and an attempted stage invasion or two. Sadly, larger venues lead to more crowd control and the loss of the band’s USP (unique selling point). This album acts as a souvenir of beery nights and a set of fine-for-now songs that we’ll forget by the end of the year. But who cares? It’s just pop music and doesn’t have to be more than this disposable bit of fluff. Just fine for shouting along to at parties this summer.

Ross McGibbon