The Pigeon Detectives dropped by little old Hanley town on Wednesday 23rd November, to play a comeback gig after nearly 7 years since their last show at the Sugarmill in Stoke. They were eagerly welcomed to the sold out venue, full of ‘lairy’ teenagers who were amped up for a show that would hopefully brighten up a dreary mid-week night, and they were definitely in the right place – it was certainly a sweaty and mental affair.
After an excellent warm-up from The Chevin, who have been supporting the Pigeon Detectives on their UK tour, the crowd were wild with anticipation in waiting for the Leeds lads to take to the stage. When the moment arrived, they were met with glorious cheers before a chord had even been struck.
The band kicked off with an old crowd favourite Romantic Type and of course had to include their big hits such as This is an Emergency and I Found Out, which were all complemented by front man, Matt Bowman’s, mental stage persona. He truly is a showman; from nearly falling flat over again and again, drenching the crowd with water (from his own mouth!) to diving right into the depths of the crowd. This manic behaviour was met with a symmetry in the crowd, as Matt’s wild antics seemed to influence the crowd to ‘go for it’, resulting in the breaking of barriers (much to securities discontent) because of the fanatical moshing and pushing.
Vocals on Bowman’s part seemed unaffected by his wild showmanship as he maintained a constantly great vocal for each song, even despite a couple of microphone malfunctions. The other band members remained very tame in comparison to Bowman, but it was clear that they were having just as good a time. Towards the end of the main set Bowman said that the Stoke show was definitely “one of the tour highlights”, which only stirred the crowd further, just in time for an impressive encore.
This encore included Take Her Back and sent the audience into a frenzy, as the first of 3 songs in this mini-set. This song was followed on by the slower and more chilled, but relatively unknown, What You Gonna Do?, which gave some welcome relief for those at the front that were being crushed as the crowd mellowed for the first time throughout the 18 song set list. However, this relief could never last long, as The Pigeon Detectives triumphantly finished with another one of their biggest hits I’m Not Sorry, which seemed to make the crowd wilder than ever before, as it was the penultimate track of such a fantastic show, even despite the obvious fatigue in the crowd.
It’s fair to say that The Pigeon Detectives know how to put on a good show, due to a frantic and slightly mad front man who gives 110% in getting the crowd involved and ensuring everybody is having a good time, as well as delivering a great vocal performance. It’s also down to the other band members (Oliver Main, Ryan Wilson, Dave Best, Jimmi Naylor and Albert Ross) for delivering sterling musical performances on guitars, drums, bass and keyboard, as without those elements the crowd and Bowman would have nothing to go mad to!
If you get the opportunity to see The Pigeon Detectives live then you should definitely grab it and run, because you’d be silly to miss out on such an underrated band performing so excellently live.