The Pigeon Detectives Return To The Sugarmill


Leah Hamer || March 9th

The Pigeon Detectives have been blasting our ears with untameable, catchy, indie-pop tunes since 2004. If you don’t hear I Found Out or Take Her Back on a night on the town, have you even been out? But after thirteen years of upbeat, boy meets girl lyrics and bouncy rhythms, the five lads from Leeds have unleashed, Broken Glances- a fresh, mature and experimental album that has sparked the attention of their fans- old and new.

Ahead of their performance at The Sugarmill, Stoke, on Friday 10th March, REBEL spoke to their drummer, Jimmi Naylor, about their growth as a band and how Broken Glances has become his favourite work to date.

On the 24th February, The Pigeon Detectives released their fifth studio album, Broken Glances, a thoughtful collection of harmonious tracks- somewhat different from their usual charming, laddish singles. ‘The album is more concise than albums of previous. Stylistically it's my favourite and has more of a classic album vibe as oppose to an album of songs which all feel like singles. It's sonically more experimental.’ Jimmi states, reflecting on their new approach to music.

After a decade of releasing material, since their first smash hit, Wait For Me, and a four-year gap since their last album, We Met At Sea, it must be difficult to forge new sounds and styles, whilst maintaining true to your original ethos. ‘Some of it came easy and some of it was more difficult.’ Jimmi confesses, ‘I think it was a challenge writing melodies in a more subtle way than we may are used to, but the sound aspect was easy. We were all pretty set on the direction we were going to take so it was just a case of testing lots of guitar FX pedals, amps and outboard effect units to set out what we wanted to achieve. That was a lot of fun.’

Despite the new approach, the reaction has still been overwhelming, as usual. ‘It's been awesome. People have been championing different tracks for different reasons. I think it's enjoyable for lots of different kinds of people: musos who are into really alternative stuff and people who dip in and out of more accessible music.’

To celebrate the albums launch, the five-piece have loaded up the tour bus for another string of UK and international dates, including Stoke-On-Trent’s Sugarmill, this Friday, each stop Jimmi eagerly anticipates, ‘Scotland crowds are always well up for getting lairy and jumping around. Plus we enjoy the big London shows. But we always look forward to playing abroad, Amsterdam and Berlin in particular.’

The band have always prided themselves on their vivacious live performances, and nothing has changed since the first time they stepped onto a stage, ‘We maybe take the live performance a little more seriously than before, but we still play hard after the show and try to take the whole experience in. So we soak up the mad crowds, and the culture of all the different cities we travel to. We know we're not going to be doing this forever!’

Jimmi cannot stress the importance of performing live hard enough, ‘DO NOT neglect your live show!’ Is his strict order to up and coming bands, ‘Play as much as physically possible and continue improving your performance. We made our career out of live shows, it's very rare a band makes a wave off the back of a demo.’ 

As a band that have toured all over the globe endlessly, Jimmi’s favourite memories of life in The Pigeon Detectives remain close to home, ‘My favourite memory has to be the first we played Reading and Leeds Festival. Reading came first; we walked out onto the Carling Stage and the tent was bursting at the seams with people outside trying to get in.’

That was before they even released their first album, so you can imagine what kind of reaction they conjure these days, but for the lucky few that have obtained a ticket to their sold out show at The Sugarmill on Friday 10th March, you’ll see it for yourself.