Words & pics by Michelle Martin
It’s cold. It must be dropping near to 6 degrees and there’s a group sitting outside the O2 Institute at 5.30pm, wearing The Pigeon Detectives t-shirts and playing The Name Game on their mobiles. Too cold for my liking, I dive into The Kerryman next door and stumble upon more Pigeon fans with the same idea as myself.
Making it back to the O2 Institute for the first support band, Autopilot, the room slowly fills almost to capacity. Initial screams die down after a few minutes of clumsy shuffling about on stage trying to fix the sound; one man impatiently shouts from the back after an awkward start to the evening.
Once Autopilot start playing, the first half of their short set is forgettable and lacklustre but picks up with more lively music for the final two songs. Lead singer, Jack Schofield, keeps the enthusiasm alive though with his energetic stage presence, bouncing around without a care in the world.
To my right, The Pigeon Detective’s Matt Bowman is watching Autopilot alongside members of Franklin – tonight’s second support act. To my left, fans are busy seeking his attention, whilst other members of The Pigeon Detectives are dotted around the sound desk sipping on beers.
Franklin come onstage with a straight in your face attitude, lighting up the room with a colourful and passionate thirty minute set (my first dance of the evening commences three tracks in). Alex Frankl and Barney Trent absolutely go for it, bringing the sets slow departure with ‘Care for You’.
When The Pigeon Detectives land on stage, they open with ‘Enemy Lines’ from their latest album Broken Glances. They follow this up with the popular ‘Emergency’, and so begins an onslaught of bottles, cups and alcohol flying six feet in the air. Up next is ‘What Can I Say’ but thankfully there’s a photo pit I can dive into and out of the way. Up goes another bottle, and another (I think Matt Bowman has an entire case hiding behind Jimmi Naylor’s drum kit).
The Pigeon Detectives continue with a slew of hits from Broken Glances, alongside selected tracks from their earlier records. Notable standouts from the show are ‘Lose Control’, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and ‘Better Not Look My Way’. I admit, in my previous review of Broken Glances I didn’t enjoy ‘Lose Control’, however in a live setting it complements the other tracks nicely.
Although some songs still feel out of place in tonight’s set, especially ‘Wolves’ – which is a mature new sound, however clearly stands out. But that doesn’t appear to deter the audience from enjoying themselves, giving them time to recover from their opening 20 minutes of madness before Franklin got on stage.
I seek shelter to the stage of the side, away from the rainfall of water and alcohol; both my camera and I are soaked with a new fragrance combination of cider and lager.
I soon retreat to the balcony of the now sweat filled room, as those bottles are still flying all over the place. As The Pigeon Detectives finish off their evening with ‘I’m Not Sorry’, all that’s left is to buy a few drinks and join in with the chaos on the main floor.
The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review
For more on The Pigeon Detectives, visit www.thepigeondetectives.com
Franklin – supporting The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review
For more on Franklin, visit www.franklinofficial.com
Autopilot – supporting The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review
For more on Autopilot, visit www.facebook.com/autopilotmusicuk
For more from the O2 Institute, including a full event programme and online ticket sales, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham
For more from Birmingham Promoters, visit www.birminghampromoters.com