The Pigeon Detectives tear up the rule book for album number five at The Wedgewood Rooms

The Pigeon Detectives. Picture by Tom Martin
The Pigeon Detectives. Picture by Tom Martin
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You think you know The Pigeon Detectives? They’re those in-your-face indie-rockers, right?

New album Broken Glances is out to shatter a few preconceptions about the Leeds five-piece.

Released at the end of last month, it’s the band’s first album in four years, and it finds them in reflective and experimental mood.

Frontman Matt Bowman tells The Guide: ‘I think it’s the biggest leap into the unknown we’ve taken, in so far as we’ve really tried to make a record to surprise people.

‘It’s not to shock, that’s the wrong word, but we definitely want people to notice that there’s a concerted effort to step away from the shadows of our first two records which were multi-platinum selling and possibly kind of defined us, or at least defined what people expected of us.’

Lead single Lose Control is the closest on the album to their classic sound of hits like I Found Out and I’m Not Sorry.

We definitely want people to notice that there’s a concerted effort to step away from the shadows of our first two records

Matt Bowman

‘We did deliberately pick Lose Control because, well, it’s still got a bit of a psychedelic edge, and the songwriting, it’s a bit less orthodox than our previous albums, but it’s obviously the most similar – it was a conscious effort to ease people in.

‘We did recently put out (new track) Sounding The Alarm as well, which has a 100 per cent electronic drum beat and synthesised sounds, a bit more of the relaxed vocals rather than the usual punk delivery and the response to that has been overwhelming.

‘People have really got on board with what we’re trying to do. They’re quite accepting of the fact that it’s 10 years since we released that first album, and I think the thing that’s going in our favour is that our musical tastes have changed and developed but people are 10 years older than when they bought Wait For Me, and their tastes have changed and developed too. The feedback we’re getting is that people are into it and are pleasantly surprised.’

Perhaps acknowledging that the act have not always been critics’ darlings, Matt says he wants the new material to ‘get a fair crack of the whip.’

So were they worried about the reception it would get?

‘No, not at all. We’re five albums in now, the shackles are off, We wanted to make a record that really stood for where we are right now. We’ve always had a loyal fanbase, and I think we always trusted that and knew that they would accept us expressing ourselves in a different way.

‘Yeah, you’re anxious, but not worried. You’re always slightly anxious when you put new music out – you’ve cooked these songs for two years in a rehearsal room and the studio, and then when you serve them up people can be brutal. But people are saying nice things at the minute, so it’s good.’

The album was recorded with producer Richard Formby at the helm, more known for his work with leftfield acts like Ghostpoet and Spacemen3.

‘We wanted to work with someone who wasn’t trying to recreate the first album and get a platinum disc on the wall. We wanted someone who’d take a risk and really tamper with the traditional sound of the band and create something new and exciting.

‘We sat down with Richard and the first thing he said was: “Well, this was a phonecall I never expected to receive!” We immediately realised he understood we weren’t trying to revisit former territory.’

Aside from touring the new album, Matt alludes to big plans for later in the year.

‘Without giving too much away it’s a huge year. As well as our fifth album coming out, anyone who looks back in our history will realise it’s the 10th anniversary of Wait For Me, our debut – there are lots of things in the pipeline, lots of things to announce.

‘It wouldn’t be fair for me to say any more.’

The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Tuesday, March 14