I remember standing in Bramham Park in August 2011 eagerly awaiting the next act on the Main Stage at Leeds Festival. Glancing to my left I was confronted by n less than the unmistakeable curly locks of Pigeon Detectives frontman, Matt Bowman. I’d followed the rise of the Yorkshire five piece since 2006 and to find myself within touching distance of the band’s most recognisable member left me slightly starstruck. This, however, was an opportunity too good to miss. Summoning up some of that ‘festival atmosphere’ courage, I turned towards Matt and coolly said ‘You’re Matt Bowman aren’t you? I’m a massive fan, really enjoyed the last album.’ Matt shook my hand and replied with a wry smile, ‘thanks mate, just wait till the fourth.’ Last week the Pigeon Detectives released their fourth studio album ‘We Met At Sea’ and I have to say, it was definitely worth the wait.
First single, and opening track, Animal is a perfect Indie tune. Just shy of three minutes long it comprises catchy lyrics with a raw sound that has become the band’s trademark. In this track the listener can hear that, having experimented with different sounds and styles over their second and third albums, the fourth is unashamed Britpop taking them back to their early work. A track that particularly caught my ear was fourth track Light Me Up. The punk guitar riff and causal play on words are reminiscent of Paul Weller in The Style Council. This is my favourite track on the album because it encapsulates just how far the band have come in the 7 years I’ve been following them, but also how they have managed to stay true to their own unique sound. A criticism I often have of Indie bands’ albums is that they tend to have seven great songs followed by three or four average ones, or ‘record fillers’ as I like to call them. The Pigeons have managed to avoid this; evident in final track If You Want Me which manages to hold on to the captivating tenacity that permeates this album.
Each Pigeon Detectives album has brought something new to their demeanour as a band. After an incredibly successful debut with ‘Wait For Me’, some critics had begun to question whether or not they would ever be able to replicate that sound or success. Well to all those doubters I would like to say that ‘We Met At Sea’ takes their initial exuberance and shows it a bit of class. I can’t wait to see them perform some of the new tracks live and hope this album cements them in the Indie history books!