The Leadmill in Sheffield was host to another fantastic musical mid-week gift by Yorkshire’s own The Pigeon Detectives, who were supported by Franklin and The Tiny Minds. Performing nearly 10 years since the release of their platinum-selling debut album Wait for Me, the Pigeons hadn’t lost any of their unabated energy and wonderful musical prowess.
Before the Pigeons could take to the stage, Hebden Bridge-based The Tiny Minds took to the stage, to what was by far the biggest crowd they had played to. The 8pm start ensured that The Leadmill was packed for the support act, and those who turned up early soon realised the wisdom of their decision. As soon as The Tiny Minds started playing, it became clear that they were loving the occasion, which clearly translated into their distinctive brit-rock sound.
Their zestful and well-rehearsed songs quickly got the first people dancing and a very appreciative crowd soon took them into their hearts. Ending on a psychedelic disco funk tune sung in high falsetto, The Tiny Minds clearly embodied their passion for excellent music and were a perfect choice to set the positive mood in The Leadmill.
Touring with The Pigeon Detectives, the indie quartet Franklin took to the stage next and raised the energy by another couple of levels. Getting the place pumping from the very first song, Franklin’s energetic performance and engaging set, was met with a warm reception by the young and old Sheffield crowd. Entertainers through and through, Franklin backed up their on stage presence with polished songs and heartfelt vocals.
The changes in pace within and between songs took the audience on a rollercoaster ride of some of the finest indie rock. Franklin’s produced a very engaging set, underscored with rhythms impossible not to dance to, and highlighted why they have a continually growing fanbase. Watch out for these guys!
Kicking off with Enemy Lines from their latest album Broken Glances, released under Dance to the Radio, The Pigeons had clearly landed. Presenting songs from all five of their studio albums, the indie rock quintet from Leeds mixed up well known favourites with new songs that are quickly on their way to join the long list of the Pigeon’s indie anthems.
A good rock concert is not just about the music, but also about the show and synergy between audience and artists. This is something that The Pigeon Detectives have mastered. Launching straight into This is an Emergency and What can I Say? singer Matt Bowman’s unbound and relentlessly energetic passion for their music became clear.
Jumping around on stage, leaping off stage monitors and anything he could perch on, without breaking any bones this time, Bowman laid down the template for the crowd to follow – and follow they did. With every thump of Jimi Naylor’s base drum, the dance floor at The Leadmill was palpitating under the bouncing crowd, mirroring the high-intensity of the music on stage.
Nurturing the close connection to their fans, Bowman kept climbing the barrier throughout the evening high five’ing and bro-fisting the front rows, before handing out cups of water the those dedicated fans who didn’t budge from the front row since they arrived.
Not content with getting up close to the front rows, Bowman leapt off stage into the crowd for a few rounds of crowd-surfing before realising that he wasn’t twenty anymore and apologising to the ’16-year old girls’ for flinging his ‘sweaty 30-year old body all over them’. The Pigeon Detectives ended their 20-song set on Take her Back before the encores I’m not gonna take this and I’m not sorry.
But the evening wasn’t all show and crazy on-stage escapades. The Pigeon Detectives have a vast arsenal of punchy songs filled with great riffs and sincere and meaningful lyrics that draw any audience into their world. Looking around The Leadmill at the end of a spectacular evening, I can honestly say that everybody had a fantastic time, with three excellent bands.
The Pigeon Detectives are planning a further tour later this year to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Wait for Me. If you like indie music and love jumping around to fast and fun tunes – go see the Pigeons when they come your way!