Like a Greggs sausage roll hitting the nation’s musical consciousness in the face, The Pigeon Detectives have come from deepest Leeds to land at number three in the UK album charts. Although their look is very much the London indie-boy uniform of scruffy shoes and scruffier hair, their sound is undeniably that of Yorkshire. “When we first started out the Kaisers were starting to get played on the radio,” says drummer Dave Best, “so there was kind of an eye on Leeds.”
Success found the Detectives fast — they went from dingy support slots to the NME stage at the Carling Festival in just a year. “We knew if we played the songs right that they were good enough,” says Best, “That we were good enough to be big.” This self-assured swagger brings to mind the brothers Gallagher, whom the band count amongst their (predictable but impeccable) influences — along with the Clash, the Beatles and the Smiths.
The Pigeons have flown far from the nest in recent months, completing a European tour before doing a victory lap of the UK. Fortunately the band lack any shred of diva behaviour, resulting in a harmonious on-tour atmosphere. “Lucky for us we all grew up in each other’s pockets, so we have a kind of brotherly relationship,” says Best, “You have times where something goes wrong and you get pissed off, but you just have to think about what you do for a living and you really can’t complain.”
This down-to-earth attitude and strict policy of calling a spade a spade seems to be replacing the whinging Southern art-school softies (don‘t write in — I am one myself) that dominated the nation’s indie discos not so long ago.
True to form, the PDs are totally unimpressed by the glut of media attention they’ve received — when asked about a Tom Jones-esque moment of projectile lingerie at this year’s Glastonbury, Best turns frosty. “That was just one silly thing that happened and the media cottoned on to it as something to write about,” he says with venom, “We never really condoned it, or even thought about it.”
That’s me told. But not to worry Pigeon fanciers, with post-tour plans to release their second album in the spring of 2008, the jaunty student-rock scamps can probably expect a lot more attention (and knickers) to be thrown their way in the future.