Colorado songwriter mixes obscenity and emotional heft with huge pop melodies
The Pigeon Detectives: Town Hall, Leeds, Saturday May 26
Homing pigeons come back to roost
“This is the one where people chuck their underwear onstage: I want to see thongs from the girls and boxers from the boys,” Pigeons singer Matt Bowman barks by way of introduction to ‘Caught In Your Trap’. Needless to say, countless undergarments find their way on to the stage. It’s a more accommodating response than support act Air Traffic received – they came offstage more depressed than Editors without Xanax after repetitive chants of “you’re shit” from the crowd (in fact, the crowd actually politely and disappointingly refrained from lynching them and were instead chanting “Yorkshire”, but we’re not going to tell them that).
If there was ever any doubt that The Pigeon Detectives could make the step up from the toilets of Wakefield to Kaiser-sized domes like this, it’s cast aside by the end of opener ‘Romantic Type’. In fact, every single one of these tunes is a direct mainline fix, like the taste in the back of your throat after necking a straight double. Take ‘I Found Out’, a Ramones-esque riot that practically renders the PA useless such is the crowd response, or ‘Better Not Look My Way’, which breaks the golden three-minute punk rule but gets away with it by making a simple, four-note riff sound like the most vital thing you’ve heard all year.
Graduation ceremonies? As Bowman climbs his treacherous speaker stack to deliver verses from a death-defying perch he might as well be collecting first class honours.
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