It’s been four long years since Matt, Oliver, Ryan, Dave and Jimmi put out their last album so it’s great to see the Rothwell quintet finally releasing some new material and donning their gigging boots once more...
Sunday’s Headrow show doubled as the official launch party for their aforementioned new record ‘Broken Glances’, and precedes a month-long European Tour finishing right back in their home town on Live@Leeds weekend. This evening’s gig comes complete with a novel admission charge; everyone is required to purchase the band’s new CD to gain entry; meaning your tenner gets you the new album plus a hometown hoedown by one of Leeds’ favourite bands, in one of the city’s intimate new venues…..a veritable bargain in these austere times.
When you think about it though, it’s nothing unusual from The Pigeons, a band who bleed Loiner from every pore, having supported the West Yorkshire music scene throughout their career, and still managing to generate unwavering support from the city that will always adore them as one of their own.
Notwithstanding, as the Pigeons take to the stage I am a little apprehensive, though it’s not because the band aren’t up for it or the place is empty, far from it. It’s just the Headrow’s relatively low ceiling, complete with exposed metal beam right above the stage front, may come into conflict with Matt’s high energy stage performance. Indeed I’m positively wincing as the Pigeon’s frontman runs a constant concussion gauntlet when whipping up the crowd whilst perched on a monitor during the band’s terrific set; tonight combining firm favourites like ‘Emergency’, ‘Everybody Wants Me’ and ‘I Found Out’ with new album tracks such as ‘Wolves’, ‘Lose Control’ and ‘Enemy Lines’ as the audience voice their appreciation, to the point when security are called to survey the mosh-pit, always a sign the band are doing the business on the stage.
I’m pleased to confirm Matt emerged unscathed, ready for their remaining live dates and with regard to the band’s fifth release itself, ‘Broken Glances’, released once more on Leeds based label Dance To The Radio, proves something of a revelation. The ten tracks here display a greater maturity and wisdom than perhaps previous PD long players are remembered for. The band have also upped the ante on the sound boasting more complex arrangements, more silence, plus welcome sprinkles of electronica, really transforming songs such as the gloriously expansive denouement to ‘Munro’, and the stylish yet unassuming lo-fi of ‘Sounding The Alarm’.
We also get moments of introspection ‘Falling In Love’ and bleakness ‘A Little Bit Alone’ both a far cry from the band’s hook-laden anthems although they are still in evidence, for example on pulsating lead single ‘Lose Control’. It will be interesting to see what the fans think of the new record. Even the falling bombs cover artwork makes you stop and wonder how that came about.
Words - Mike Price
2 Mar: Whelan’s, Dublin
3 Mar: Limelight 2, Belfast
4 Mar: Electric Circus, Edinburgh
5 Mar: Stereo, Glasgow
7 Mar: The Leadmill, Sheffield
8 Mar: O2 Institute 2, Birmingham
9 Mar: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
10 Mar: Sugarmill, Stoke
11 Mar: Gorilla, Manchester
13 Mar: Thekla, Bristol
14 Mar: Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
15 Mar: Electric Ballroom, London
29 April: Live at Leeds