THE GALLERY: The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17






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


Franklin – supporting The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review

For more on Franklin, visit


Autopilot – supporting The Pigeon Detectives @ O2 Institute 08.03.17 / Michelle Martin – Birmingham Review

For more on Autopilot, visit

For more from the O2 Institute, including a full event programme and online ticket sales, visit 

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ALBUM: Broken Glances – The Pigeon Detectives

ALBUM: Broken Glances – The Pigeon Detectives

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The Pigeon Detectives will be playing at the O2 Institute on 8th March, as presented by Birmingham Promoters. For direct gig info and online ticket sales, click here.

Words by Michelle Martin

In all seriousness… where have ten years gone?Birmingham Review

It’s been a surprising decade since Wait for Me, The Pigeon Detectives platinum-selling debut album. But hitting double figures in the game clearly hasn’t stopped the indie five piece from Rothwell. After a four year break of flying around the festival circuit and UK venues, they’re back with their fifth studio album, Broken Glances, available through Dance to Radio Records from February 24th.

A slicker, much evolved combination of vocals, synths and drums, Broken Glances is different from their previous work. The Pigeon Detectives‘ new sound is welcoming. However, I’m having overall mixed feelings about Broken Glances – it seems as if two albums had been merged into one.

The smooth, mature sound from opening track ‘Wolves’ makes you immediately question whether it’s a Pigeon Detectives’ record, with a promising new sound and possible next step for the group. The effects of producer Richard Formby appeared to have rubbed off on the band, with beautiful floaty vocals from lead singer Matt Bowman on ‘Munro’.

‘Falling in Love’ andSounding the Alarm’ are also standouts from the album – I’m unashamedly admitting to overplaying these tracks – with a stronger assortment of pulsating synths, soothing piano melodies and soft echo vocals. ‘Falling in Love’ is a far cry from the album tracks on Wait for Me and Emergency.

ALBUM: Broken Glances – The Pigeon Detectives When ‘Stay with Me bombarded my headphones with strong drones of electronic and guitars, I thought a snippet from a Daft Punk demo has slipped in before it switched to an uplifting indie rock number. Although you know a song is good when it gets you up and commencing a new dance number in your bedroom.

‘Lose Control’ felt displaced, along with ‘Postcards’ and ‘Change my World’ – the final tracks on the album, which appeared to have very similar guitar intros. I admit to feeling uninterested; ‘Lose Control obliterating my ears with a bass heavy track and strong dance elements, which felt the most out of place.

Although prominently stronger elements are featured on the album, The Pigeon Detectives are arguably struggling to find their sound on Broken Glances. Moving in the right direction, just perhaps a more solid fluidity is required.

‘Enemy Lines’ – The Pigeon Detectives


The Pigeon Detectives release Broken Glances on Friday 24th February, out via Dance to the Radio. For more on The Pigeon Detectives, visit

For more on Dance to the Radio, visit

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