The Pigeon Detectives Interview

Leeds indie band The Pigeon Detectives are back with a fifth album, Broken Glances, and a UK tour that comes to the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. Katie Beard spoke to singer Matt Bowman about drinking out-of-date lager in Nottingham and being sick for a week.

Your new album Broken Glances comes out on February 24, four years since the last album. How has the writing process been different from past albums?

The writing process always takes on the same form. Locking ourselves away for a couple of years, fighting and arguing terribly and then walking out with ten songs that we’re happy to go and record. But actually we turned away from our instincts on this one and tried to write something that was a bit more understated and felt a little bit more grown up. We weren’t trying to be in your face from the first couple of chords – we’ve left somewhere for the songs to grow and develop. They get there eventually but we hope to take people on a journey in the first couple of verses and you end up where we need you to go.

From the songs we’ve heard so far, the album is very different to your usual sound, was that intentional?

I think it was intentional but I think it’s important. We’ve got a fiercely loyal fanbase that we’re forever going to be grateful for but these fans have been with us for the last ten years, they’re in a different place in their lives – they’re ten years older. Music tastes change and your outlook on the world changes. I think if we were still trying to write an album that harks back to 2007 we’d have found our fanbase growing tired of that kind of sound, so hopefully we’ve given them something interesting that they can listen to and enjoy in a different part of their lives.

You played a Facebook Live gig a couple of weeks ago. What else have you got lined up for the fans before the album release?

We’re gonna do another Facebook Live show to transmit from my living room but this time it’s a sort of a behind-the-scenes thing. We’ll be doing in store signings all around the country the week of release so people can come and say hello and we can thank them for their support. It’s been the key to our success over the past ten years. We’ve always gone to the merch store after a show, we’ve always gone and had a drink close to where the gig has been so we can hang out with fans. It’s always stood us in good stead, really. Long may it continue.

Where did the idea for your album artwork come from?

I rent out a couple of houses and someone I rent to actually did the album artwork. I wasn’t really aware of him until he moved in but he hit me up to play Xbox. He had all these cool paintings and pictures on the wall, which were all his originals. I started getting into it and followed him for a couple of years even after he moved out of the house. Eventually we gave him a rough brief for the artwork and pretty much gave him free reign. He came up with five or six ideas and made them into one. It conveyed the kind of message we wanted to get across. He’s a great local graffiti artist. You can wander around Leeds city centre and see his stuff splattered all over walls and shopfronts. His name is TONE – yes, his real name is Tony.

You’re coming to Nottingham on March 9 to play a sold out Rescue Rooms – how are you feeling about that?

We’ve had loads of experiences playing Nottingham before, some good and some bad. In terms of the crowd and the gigs it’s always been second to none. But I’ll never forget the first time we played Rescue Rooms, we were unsigned, only about 21/22 and we got given a big massive rider of Tennents lager. It the first rider we’d ever been given so we were over the moon. We’re not big drinkers particularly but I bet we put five or six cans away each and just as we were leaving somebody noticed it was all out of date by at least two years. We were all insanely ill for the next week, we had to cancel shows and some of us had to call in sick for work because we all had full time jobs. So we have fond memories of Rescue Rooms in terms of amazing gigs but it also poisoned the entire band for a full week.

The Pigeon Detectives play Rescue Rooms, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham on March 9, with Franklin and Auto Pilot. Sold out. For the waiting list go to


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