The Pigeon Detectives at Southampton University

Matt Bowman of Pigeon Detectives.  Picture: Martin Cox
Matt Bowman of Pigeon Detectives. Picture: Martin Cox
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Riding the crest of the indie wave, The Pigeon Detectives played one of my favourite gigs of 2008 when they caused near-hysteria at Portsmouth Guildhall in May of that year.

They’ve subsequently made us wait almost three years for their third album, Up, Guards And At ‘Em!, perhaps learning from the mixed reviews for Emergency, which followed only nine months after their platinum-selling debut, Wait For Me, in 2007.

In the intervening period, their contemporaries have either drifted along, split or simply vanished beneath a deluge of GaGa-esque dance music.

On Sunday, the Southampton University venue could have been fuller, but the temperature and enthusiasm were as high as they were in 2008.

Matt Bowman’s energy was infectious and at times the crowd threatened to boil over, welcoming the new material and reaching a crescendo with the familiar and excellent Take Her Back, which closed the show.

Maybe indie will go the same way as punk and be New Romanticized in a haze of fashion, make-up and danceable pop. Or maybe bands like The Pigeon Detectives will persuade enough people that music is not about image and gimmicks but about sound and energy. I certainly hope so, because this was an enthralling way to spend an evening.