Gig Review by Sam Higgins / Gig Photography by Katja Ogrin

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

My first visit to the institute in Digbeth, Birmingham and what a pleasant one it was. One of my favourite guitar driven indie rock bands from the mid 2000’s, in what happened to be my favourite type of venue.

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

I arrived towards the end of the set of ‘The Black Sea’, hit and taken aback with the sound of bass drum and throbbing low frequencies from the bass guitar. I made my way down to the bar and was quite confused when the bass didn’t seem to fade. Far too much, to the point I couldn’t hear a word the lead singer was saying, not for the lack of volume, but for his battle against bass, synth and keyboard sounds piercing through the room. Sound beyond the bands control, and trying to look past it, the songs they played sounded well arranged and tight. Unsure whether the band were meant to sound like this, I checked them out afterwards and found that they actually sound something like I’d want to listen to. It’s a shame, and I felt let down by what I heard. That said, the room was three quarters full and the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - BirminghamThe Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

Fifteen minutes or so passed by and four new haircuts arrived on stage. ‘Must’ looked a lot more in charge of the stage than the previous band. I was really impressed by the lead singers presence from the off ­ he looked at home on stage. The sound improved for this band and I was able to hear the lead singer from where I was standing, bonus. Must reminded me of The Vaccines in two of the songs that they played both vocally and song structure, but with more aggressive bass lines and guitar riffs. However, I was listening for something a little more than what was on offer. Perfectly executed music but missing something. A few songs with the potential to go somewhere that seemed to fade away. These are the problems that so many support acts have and exactly what keeps the crowds hands on their glasses and feet firmly on the ground.

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

‘The Pigeon Detectives’ performance imminent and the crowd funnel out to the bars and smoking area. The tech guys arrive on stage to set up instruments and dish out bottles of water.

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - BirminghamThe Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

An extra hundred people or so appear in the main room and a sudden wave of energy fills the room as the five Leeds lads kick off with “Animal” from the new album. No time for talking they get straight into the next song “I Found Out” from their debut album. I was a little worried before the gig that the band would not be playing many songs from their earlier albums but that worry was remedied fairly early. Songs from their first album as common as songs from their more recent and all celebrated equally, based on the amount of beer flying around.

The Pigeon Detectives in concert - Birmingham

As the gig progressed, the atmosphere climaxed. Microphone acrobatics from Matt, the lead singer, were impressive. Witty chat with the audience in between songs, spraying those bottles of water everywhere, jumping around and generally not staying in the same place for a second make him a front man to be reckoned with. His energy seems to influence the crowd. The strangest thing about the gig was the variety of people, not just clothes and haircuts, ages ranging from 16 to 50, and everybody fixated on him as much as the next. He really is hard not to watch. You feel sometimes with The Pigeon Detectives that they’ve written the same song twice, but nobody minds that. The audience came for a Pigeon Detectives gig and what a good one they got.

Leave a Reply