Live at Leeds 2017 Preview – In Conversation With…The Pigeon Detectives

Celebrating it’s tenth anniversary this year, the Live at Leeds lineup was launched at the end of January to an astonishing reception and it’s easy to see why. The festival is becoming renowned for spotting the future of music with previous acts including Pulled Apart By Horses, Ed Sheeran and Mumford and Sons. This year is no different with an eclectic range of genres and a fantastic balance of established and future talent. Last month at the launch we spoke to The Pigeon Detectives one of the many incredible acts announced for LAL 2017 – but first here’s our low down on the amazing launch and the artists announced.

At the top of the bill punk duo Slaves and 2017 Critic’s Choice Winner Rag ‘n’ Bone Man will be ending our evenings whilst indie rockers White Lies and Nothing But Thieves will be entertaining crowds during the day. Other established bands include Britpop inspired Aussie lads DMA’sGabrielle Aplin and psychedelic pop band Jagwar Ma. As well as these artists who are instantly recognisable there are a whole host of bands and acts that will be lighting up the City of Leeds on April 29th – we’ve picked our top three ready to take the Live at Leeds stage by storm.

Faux Pas

York based indie band are ready to take on Live at Leeds after giving a sterling performance at Kazoopa Festival in November. After a whole host of killer shows in Yorkshire in support of their recent EP release this band inspired by bands such as The Cribs and Placebo are one not to be missed.


A second Yorkshire band are our next pick following their stripped set at the launch. We were in awe of the vocals on show and if their stripped set is anything to go by, their full show is going to be electric. With a huge run of support slots on the February Kaiser Chiefs tour, this band will have plenty of big stage experience before bringing the house down in April at LAL.


Perhaps the best band to ever come out of Liverpool (yeah we went there) Judas are going from strength to strength. Following an incredible run of festivals last year with This Feeling, these lads were asked to play on the main stage at Leeds Festival following a cancellation. Not only did they keep the crowd that were there but added to it and drew a huge amount of people listening to their best tracks including Sister and Call Me. If you only do one thing this year, see Judas. You will not regret it.

At the launch we had the pleasure of chatting with Matt and Jimmi from the Pigeon Detectives and discussed everything from the new record to Leeds United.

So Live at Leeds! Are you looking forward to it?

M: Yeah we’ve played it a few times it’s a great festival it’s a great format that lends itself to people discovering new bands not just the big established artists. It’s buzzing on the day of the festival because people are forced to get up and go from one venue to another it’s not force fed music you can’t just stand on the main stage at like Leeds or Reading you’ve gotta really get out and go have a look.

Obviously it’ll be packed with local bands have you got any tips of who to go and see this year?

M: Yeah there’s the Tiny Minds who’ve just released a single on our record label Dance to the Radio. There’s the band Howl who’ve just played earlier, they’re a great band. The Opera Comic they’re a staple Leeds favourite local band.

Dance to the Radio – what made you make the decision to go back to that?

M: Well it’s our record label – we actually own it so we released our first three albums on it you know we have shares in the album so it’s always easy to go back and release music through them and it felt like a – it gives us control as artists and it’s quite liberating to make all the decisions and be involved in the entire process.

And the songs we’ve heard so far – the sound is very different. How’s the reception been?

J: Good yeah I mean we must have released/put out there about four tracks and I’d say they’re all a bit different. It’s been a good response for each of them. Definitely a positive reaction and it’s been pretty good to get it out there. Even though the albums not out it’s been nice to release soem bits and yeah, people are loving it and quite pleased that people are saying it’s quite different because we didn’t want to bring something out that sounds like say “Wait for Me” – it’s 2017 its ten years since we released that album.

Since you mentioned it – have you got any plans yet to celebrate the tenth anniversary?

J: We’re thinking about it – nothing confirmed. We’ve got a great tour coming up in March.

M: We’d be mad not to let the ten year anniversary go and not celebrate it. i mean we can’t really reveal what we’ve got planned but there’s certainly kind of, certainly plans to mark the anniversary and it’ll be something our fans can get involved in and come along to if that’s not too cryptic.

And back to the new record – how was the song writing process for that this time?

M: It was horrendous – it always is horrendous. Writing songs are hard, we locked ourselves away for two years, fought aargued kissed and made up you know we wrote some great songs, wrote some terrible songs. We got about 50 songs written to get to the ten so yeah – the harder the endeavour the better the rewards.

How long have  you been waiting to get it out then?

M: Well because it’s our own label and we can work to our own timetables, not that long really. We wrote the album, recorded the album, decided we wanted to release the album it’s as easy as that.

And the tour then – anything you’re really looking forward to?

J: Yeah – Scotland is always lairy, fans always kick off there. Very much looking forward to playing London I walways like London gigs. A lot of people have scare storties about playing in London and people in the crowd being really quiet but evety time we seem to play it goes well. We’re looking forward to getting out to Eurpoe. It’s been a while since we’ve properly toured so we always have a relly good laugh in Europe and it’s somewhere you’re not there very often so yea.

And now – ten year anniversary of record one, have you any real highlights or lowlights over the last ten years?

M: Worst gig we ever played was probably in an elevator in Amsterdam it was quite poorly attended i think it was us and two other people. The best gig we’ve ever played I mean Glastonbury is always a pinch yourself moment erm, if you’re over in Japan and getting paid for it that’s alwyas special and Spain, New York all stick in my mind.

J: There’s been a lot of positive moments to be fair we can talk about the bad all day.

In your opinion is the new record the best you’ve put out?

M: Yeah we’ve tried to do something different so we feel our songwriting is the best it’s ever been. I feel we’re delivering a piece of work that’s more concise than previous albums. I think the sound of the guitars and the way the songs develop and have a a bit of breathing space i think is more on point with current music trends. Is it the best? I think it’d be arrogant of me to kind of say so or say not so – it’s up to the fans to decide what their individual favourite album is but it’s a piece of work we’re proud of like I say I think it#s probably one of the best bits of songwriting we’ve ever done.

Quick fire – favourite song to play live.

M: I’ve always said I’m Not Sorry. Historically it’s been the last song of the set which means I can go backstage open a beer and have a cigarette.

J: I’d say What Can I say from our third album – we’ve been playing that quite early doors and it’s something that starts very quiet then gets big so it’s quite good to do early in the set and get people to kick off.

What can we expect to see  on the tour set wise?

M: We’re not so self-indulgent that we’re gonna play the entire new album from start to finish but at the same time true music fans want to see the new material and they want to see how we translate what’s on the new record live. We’ll probably play four or five new songs and they can just be segways in the set between the classics. People have a couple of days to get revising.

Being fans – it’d be hard to sit here and not discuss Leeds United – how we feeling about the season?

M: Yeah – I mean the position in the league transcends into the positivity around the stadium and people have a spring in their step so long may it continue. We’ve made a good signing today in the young Spanish kid with a bit of pace down the wng. I’ve had a look and he likes to run at defenders so with him and Sacko either side should terrify teams.

Awesome – back to music quickly before I let you get off, any festival plans this year?

M: Yeah we’ve got about eight or nine festivals confirmed so far but all these festivals have their own little embargos so when they announce it we can and that’s unfortunately the way it is. It makes for a pretty boring interview that we can’t tell you but you kow.

Last little bit – all these new bands coming through in Leeds, any tips that you can give them to be as successful as yourselves?

M: I think for me, social media and the kind of revolution of the internet in terms of delivering music is a good thing but shouldn’t be over heavily used in your early days. I think it’s great that you can upload tracks but it’s no substitute for getting out there playing live, learning what it’s like to be a band, honing your craft becoming expert in what you do so yeah play gigs. When you think you’ve played enough gigs play some more gigs.

J: I always say the live performing is what made us big really so the odd band who get signed on the odd demo most of them got signed because they’ve performed a lot and written good music.

And to finish, if you could have performed with anyone ever, who would it have been and why?

M: There were rumours James Brown would pull a gun on you if you made a mistake so that’d make for an interesting live performance. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to stand on stage with Freddie Mercury, the best front man of all time.

J: Daft Punk I’d like to play with. I like a lot of news stuff so probably Daft Punk or The Strokes.

See you guys on the 29th. 

Thanks to Live at Leeds and The Pigeon Detectives for a wonderful interview! Check out their record out on the 24th available to buy here:

Catch them and a whole host of incredible bands at Live at Leeds on the 29th April. Tickets and lineup available here:


One reply on “Live at Leeds 2017 Preview – In Conversation With…The Pigeon Detectives”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s