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Interview - The Pigeon Detectives

13th October 2011

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Leeds’ Pigeon Detectives were one of the most energetic and interesting indie bands in the mid-noughties. After initial success in 2006 with their debut album Wait For Me (a number 3 hit and now platinum seller), and with five number one hits in the UK indie chart under their belts (the most successful being 'I’m Not Sorry' which also reached number 12 in the UK singles chart) – the band seemingly disappeared without a trace.

The Pigeon DetectivesWhere have The Pigeon Detectives been? All this seemed irrelevant when the boys took to the Main Stage at this year’s Reading/Leeds Festival – it was like they had never been away.

‘It was an amazing atmosphere, we’d been to Leeds [festival] in the past as punters and it’s an event we view as very important so we wanted to give it everything. The owner of the festival watched us at Reading and Leeds; he said we had an incredible crowd for our time slot,’ explained guitarist Ryan Wilson.

Back with a new album Up, Guards and At ‘Em! (their third studio album) they are once again turning heads. The album was recorded in New York with producer Justin Gerrish, who has worked with the likes of Muse, Vampire Weekend, Bon Jovi and Mark Ronson.

Wilson explained, “Spending two months in New York was an amazing experience.”

 “We took a bit longer on the new album and were able to be selective with the songs we chose.”

The new record sees them departing slightly from their signature indie-guitar sound introducing keyboards and synthesisers to fill out their sound, and taking them in a new direction.

 “It was an organic process; we didn’t really take inspiration from anyone in particular and we didn’t want to go totally weird.”

It’s been three years since their last studio album, Emergency, was released.  “We’d toured Emergency for over a year and been all over the world. We played in Japan, America and all over Europe, so we decided to have a break and take a bit longer to write for the new album.”

The Pigeon Detectives embark on their next UK tour in November. 

“I’m looking forward to some of the smaller towns, particularly Dundee, the crowds their always appreciate an energetic performance,” Ryan said.

“I also love to play the bigger venues like Manchester, we always give everything we can.”

Wilson gave TNS his top tips for new bands. 

“Play as much as possible when you get a gig, remember to give 110%, don’t be pretentious or look like you’re bored, the main aim for a new band is to impress the crowd.  After all, they’re the ones who will buy your CDs and come to your gigs.”

The Pigeon Detectives will be touring the UK in November, starting with the 02 Academy in Liverpool and finishing with Fat Sams in Dundee. 

For more on the band

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