Interview: The Pigeon Detectives

Leeds rock band The Pigeon Detectives will be playing The Limelight, Belfast on 3rd March following the release of their latest album, Broken Glances on 24th February.

The guys have been playing together since 2002.  They have transitioned from school friends to selling over a million records and headline the likes of London’s Alexandra Palace and Leeds’ Millennium Square.

The latest album Broken Glances follows the platinum selling debut record “Wait for Me” and is accompanied by a European tour and an appearance at Leeds Festival.

Gigging NI caught up with Bassist Dave Best to find out what has changed with the band and what tips they have for other bands trying to crack it in the industry.

 

GNI: Your last album was in 2013.  It’s mad how much the music industry and the way we listen to music has changed in the past few years.  Have you found yourselves having to adapt to the way you approached your new album than you would have previously because of this?

Dave: It seems that the industry has been rapidly changing ever since we started with our first album in 2007. Back then people bought CDs! You have to move with the times and cater for things such as Spotify etc when releasing and album, but the writing process hasn’t changed. We just write what we want to and hope it hits a nerve with people.

GNI: Have you faced any challenges working on the new album; whether they be major or minor?

Dave: The challenge with this album was in stepping outside our comfort zone. With this being our fifth album, we really wanted to fight against our instincts and produce something that stands apart from the rest our our back catalogue. This process was really long and at times arduous, but the results, in our opinion, are awesome.

GNI: How do you feel your music has evolved since the days of Wait For Me?

Dave: Our music has evolved as we have evolved. We’re ten years older than we were when ‘Wait For Me’ came our, so obviously we have a decades worth of experiences to draw from. Also, as the years go on we find ourselves more inclined to explore new musical avenues. It would be a bore for us if we constantly tried to remake he first album, with no forwards trajectory. You have to keep yourselves interested. 

GNI: You guys have been going for years now.  What do you do outside of the band to chill out and make sure the stress doesn’t build up?

Dave: We generally hang out with each other in the band’s down time, as boring as it sounds. We go to the pub together, maybe have a round of golf – a bit of five a side with mates. Normal stuff. 

GNI: Do you have a standout album and live gig from 2016 and why?

Dave: Biffy Clyro’s last album was a real statement of intent.  It was as if they were saying “Right, were a full-on arena band now, so we’re gonna write huge arena filling, crowd pleasing songs.” Fair play to ’em. 

In terms of gigs, me and Ry went to watch The Stone Roses in Manchester is year, which stands out – if only for the reason that I never thought I’d see them play live. It was great to hear that first album live. 

 

GNI: Do you have a particular moment as a band that sticks out in your head from the past few years?  This could be a particular gig you played or someone in particular you’ve always wanted to meet.

Dave: I shared a meal at a Man City game with Jonny Marr from the Smiths last year in his box, which was pretty cool. He was a really nice guy. I loved The Smiths in my teens.

In terms of gigs, we played a really special Christmas show the year before last, with a full brass and string section. We played slowed down versions of our songs and finished with a cover of “Fairy Tale In New York” with the whole crowd singing along. It was a great night.

GNI: There is a big local music scene in Northern Ireland, especially in Belfast.  What advice could you offer to newer bands that are trying to break into the industry? 

Dave: Always trust your own instincts and gig gig gig. When we were a young band we said “yes” any time we were asked to play a show, whether it by London, or Grimsby. Every time up you play, you get better, so the more experience the better. 

 

The Pigeon Detectives play at Limelight 2, Belfast on 3rd March 2017 – buy tickets here priced £17.00.