13th March | Thekla
Photos: Will Fahy
“I bet your mates got you here tonight by promising we’d play the classics – not any of this new shit”, Matt Bowman drawls to a sold-out Thekla crowd after opening the show with riff-riddled new track ‘Enemy Lines’, before swiftly exploding into ‘This Is An Emergency’ – and it’s there that The Pigeon Detectives’ return to Bristol really kicks off.
It’s been four years since the release of We Met At Sea – the last offering from the Yorkshire five piece, and if the excited turnout lining the decks of Thekla was anything to go by, the band’s candid stage presence and chant-fuelled hits have been sorely missed. Although doing the rounds to promote new album Broken Glances, the evening’s setlist is a hardcore fan’s wet dream, with ‘I Found Out’ and ‘Animal’ smashed out early to drum up the desired effect – a very sweaty, energetic mix of old and young going wild for the band’s trademark cheeky conversational lyrics and stellar indie-rock.
Frontman Bowman is on fantastic form, showering both himself and the crowd with water flicked from his mop of curls, swinging from the speakers and getting up to general mayhem on-stage, much to the crowd’s adoration as every finger in the room raises to the questioning chorus of ‘Done In Secret’ and the floor trembles as each pair of feet quite literally do as they’re told to for ‘Lose Control’.
As the jarring opening chords of ‘Everybody Wants Me’ start, Bowman encourages everyone in the room to get up on someone’s shoulders, and a sea of people comply. What’s nice to see is that The Pigeon Detectives draw in such a diverse crowd, from the fresh young faces discovering them for the very first time, to those who have been involved from the band’s inception in 2004 and all too familiar with the pounding drums of ‘Romantic Type’ and the tongue-in-cheek songwriting in the ever memorable ‘Take Her Back’.
And as the firm favourite ‘I’m Not Sorry’ draws the night to a close in explosive fashion, there were a boat-load of music lovers that definitely were not sorry they spent their Monday night with a much loved classic Noughties indie band, who hopefully will stick around for quite a while longer.
Check out the video for single ‘Enemy Lines’.