West Yorkshire indie rockers The Pigeon Detectives return to 53 Degrees tomorrow night for a sold out show – in the place where they played their first “proper” gig.
The five-piece have always had a special affection for the Brook Street venue since they played their first professional touring support show there in 2006, with We Are Scientists.
Frontman Matt Bowman told the Evening Post: “It’s a good place for us, 53 Degrees. We always have fond memories of that venue.
“It was the first time we ever played with what we consider to be a proper band, it was the first time we ever supported a band that we were fans of or that we’d gone out and bought music by.
“It was such a pivotal moment for the Pigeon Detectives. It was the first time we ever had our name on a door, the first time we ever got paid for being a support band, the first time we ever had beers and sandwiches in our dressing room.”
It started the band on a path to Top 10 albums, playing major festivals, including Leeds Festival which they had all been to as fans, and more.
But they may never have made it to that first show. Matt recalled: “We were all holding down nine to five jobs and we all got phone calls. And it was like, ‘You need to be at soundcheck at 4pm’. And it was like, ‘Well....this is difficult – I don’t finish work until 6pm!’
“It was one of those, ‘Do you go left or do you go right?’ moments and one path was to say, ‘Look, we can’t make it,’ and the other was for us all to go: ‘Ugh, I’m not very well, I’ve got to go home’, and finally put being in a band before earning a living.
“I think there were a couple of lads who cared so little about their jobs that they didn’t even go through the pantomime of pulling a sickie, they were just like, ‘Look, this is the craic...’.
“I had a fairly decent job so mine was a bit more, ‘Ohhh, I don’t feel too well’. But some of the lads just walked out.”
After comparatively poor sales of third album, Up Guards and At ‘Em, the Pigeon Detectives have just released their fourth album, We Met At Sea, and say they are putting everything into their new shows.
Their affection is clearly returned by Preston fans – all tickets for this intimate gig in the upstairs club sold out weeks ago.