The Pigeon Detectives head to the North East for two dates this month, so Thomas Anderson caught up with the indie rock band from Leeds to find out more about what gig-goers can expect from their latest tour.
You played KU Bar in Stockton this time last year. What is it about the Stockton/North East crowd that brings you back here for shows?
Two things: Firstly, a loyal mad crowd which seems to turn up every time we play a gig there. And secondly: Our friend ‘Jimmy Jukebox’ (NE promoter and owner of KU Bar) who keeps asking us to play and we never have the heart to turn him down! He’s been behind the band since the very early days.
What have you guys been up to during the four years since your previous release, ‘We Met at Sea’ and the new album, ‘Broken Glances’?
We toured the UK and Europe for the release of ‘We Met At Sea’, as well as playing various festivals each year. We’ve each done other things – gone on holidays, set up or looked after other businesses, watched Leeds United play a mixture of styles of football (some bad, some good) and Dave’s gotten married! We obviously wrote and recorded ‘Broken Glances’ which took a bit of time too.
What made you decide to go with the style you did on the latest album? And how do you feel it differs from your earlier stuff?
Well it had been on some of our minds to write and record something like that for a while. Between us there was an agreement pretty much saying let’s record exactly what we want this time and if people don’t like its subtle vibe then so what, or if doesn’t hit the radio, so what?! I think we were a little guilty of going for something which may get radio playlisted on ‘We Met at Sea’, which wasn’t me personally but it certainly was in the groups head and the direction. You can’t blame us for swaying that way when music is our bread and butter – unfortunately we need money to pay our bills like everybody else. ‘Broken Glances’ differs in a lot of ways. Sonically, it’s more atmospheric. It’s put together carefully in the sense that we’re not all trying to thrash through our instruments from start to finish. And melodically it’s more subtle – there are hooks vocally and instrumentally, but they’re not in your face and trying to grab at you. I think we hit our stride with the sound on this album.
What do you guys look forward to the most when going on tour?
I guess we all like getting together and having a laugh as well as getting away from everyday reality. That’s part of it for me, but it’s playing the show and whatever we get up to after. The daytime hanging around part can get boring mind.
What has been your favourite release/tour so far, as a band? And how do you feel you’ve progressed as artists with each release/tour?
I think my favourite release & tour has to be our debut, ‘Wait For Me’. We were wide-eyed puppies doing everything for the first time! Our first proper tour for if was 8 weeks solid playing practically every night. I was only 22 so can you imagine how insane that was? I hardly slept.
But we’ve definitely matured a lot more since then: we’ve become better on our instruments as a group so the shows are better, and also our music has become more 3 dimensional. We’re definitely a little less shambolic but hopefully still an exciting band to watch and listen to.
The Pigeon Detectives play The Middlesbrough Empire on Saturday 21st October before heading to Newcastle University Students’ Union on Sunday 22nd October. For ticket information head to seetickets.com.