The Pigeon Detectives
Five pals from Leeds, England, who play scruffy but energetic rock & roll with no shortage of swagger, the Pigeon Detectives formed in 2002, but the group's members -- Matt Bowman on lead vocals, Oliver Main and Ryan Wilson on guitars, Dave Best on bass, and Jimmi Naylor on drums -- were mates from school and had known one another since they were 12. The Pigeon Detectives started earning press attention for their gigs in 2004, and in 2006 they made their recorded debut with the limited-edition vinyl 7", "I'm Not Sorry." On the strength of the single, the Pigeon Detectives scored an opening slot on a British tour with Dirty Pretty Things, and a second limited-edition single, "You Know I Love You," hit stores in July (though this time 1,000 copies were pressed, as opposed to 500 for the debut). The Kaiser Chiefs invited the Pigeon Detectives to tour the U.K. and Europe with them in the fall of 2006, and the group's third single (and first for the noted indie label Dance to the Radio), "I Found Out," was released in November, eventually reaching number one on the U.K. indie charts. Nick Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs began name-checking the Pigeon Detectives as his favorite new band, and noted British disc jockeys Steve Lamacq, Jo Whiley, and Zane Lowe championed the group as single number four, "Romantic Type," became a Top 20 pop hit. Wait for Me, the band's first full-length album, was released on Dance to the Radio in mid-2007. It was followed a year later by Emergency, which was produced by Stephen Street. Following the nationwide tour of their second album, the five-piece took some time out and returned on tour with Manchester outfit James in 2010. They began work on their third effort Up, Guards and at 'Em! that year with producer Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) in his Brooklyn, New York studio. The record arrived in 2011 and scored the band their third consecutive U.K. Top 40 release and a European tour. In 2013, their fourth album, We Met at Sea, was released to mixed reviews by the music press. The Pigeon Detectives returned in 2017 with their fifth album, Broken Glances, which they framed as a thank you letter to their fans.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 26, 2008 | Dance To The Radio
The debut album by the Pigeon Detectives, 2007's Wait for Me, was a fairly scrappy, almost punky take on the great Brit-pop revival of the late 2000s, full of refreshingly concise two-minute rockers owing much to the Buzzcocks/Undertones tradition. Unfortunately, the rush-released follow-up, barely a year later, loses most of what was appealing and fun about the debut. The album was produced by Stephen Street, whose work for the Smiths, Blur, and more recently the Kaiser Chiefs has made him a major figure in the style, but unfortunately, his production seems uncharacteristically weak, or perhaps it's merely that his briskly efficient sound shows up the inherent weaknesses of the Pigeon Detectives' sound. Indeed, the latter interpretation unfortunately seems more likely, because the handful of manic sub-180-second rockers -- "Say It Like You Mean It," "You Don't Need It," "I'm Not Gonna Take This," etc. -- sound more or less like retreads of the band's earlier singles. Sadly, those songs that try to expand the group's musical focus, like the Oasis-style rocker "Everybody Wants Me" and the dreary Kaiser Chiefs knockoff "Keep on Your Dress," fare even worse, coming off as both derivative and not particularly interesting, the worst possible combination. Oh well -- the original spate of Brit-pop bands had trouble coming up with decent second albums too. © Stewart Mason /TiVo