A review of The Pigeon Detectives and supports at The Ironworks , Inverness on the 18th of May 2012, Photos by Chris Milne.

It was a welcome return to the Ironworks to Winnie, erstwhile singer and guitarist of The Side. Winnie sounded in as good form as ever and with his new solo venture brought acoustic reworkings of some Side favourites.

“Nowhere left to run” sounded particularly strong. Granted, without a band there is not the same power that graced many festival slots – Hands up if you were at Belladrum Seedlings tent in 2009 – a top, top gig! Anyway, take away the charismatic band and what’s left is the soul of the Side – great songs, great singing and still a more than respectable proposition. What next, Winnie?

On another great value night at the Ironworks, we were treated to the sullen and throbbing sound of Ian McLaughlin and The Outsiders. Starting with ‘Rapid Eye Movement’, they played songs from their newly released CD “We are all Outsiders”. The guys kept up a relentlessly menacing sound over their short set. Whilst the tunes retain a familiarity, they certainly should be considered more huge cacophonous soundscapes  rather than just songs.

Tonight’s headliners were The Pigeon Detectives. It’s been a few years since West Yorkshire’s finest heyday on the big festival stages. But, they are back promoting a new album “Up Guards and At ‘Em” and touring throughout May before returning to the festivals starting at out very own Rockness.

Matt Bowman and his band have a deserved reputation for putting in big performances and being a terrific live show. From the moment he came onto the stage Matt was a great focal point and front man for the band – jumping on and off drum kits, balancing on monitors, swinging his microphone, covering every inch of the stage – just a good old fashioned rock star!

The band got their biggest single “This Is An Emergency” out early doors which left plenty of scope to play a good selection of songs from their first two CDs (2007’s Wait for Me, and 2008’s Emergency). They still have an eye on fame and recorded their last album in New York with renowned producer, Justin Gerrish, where there was a deliberate focus on working hard on their song writing with purposely less obvious arrangements. The three songs from tonight’s show from the album – “What Can I Say”, “Go At It Completely” and new single “Done In Secret” all show the same quirky indie vibe of their earlier work but with added layers of maturity.

The band were a tight and utterly well rehearsed backdrop for Matt’s maniacal manoeuvres around the stage as befits a band approaching its 9th year. Its maybe not such a great surprise to see so many people arms raised and mouthing the words when the band are this good live. Matt thrived off the interaction and clearly wants to have the crowd sing with him, so much that he all too seriously suggested downloading the CDs so that we all know the words next time! The band can only do themselves good by such a popular and energetic live band. They really can’t go wrong.

For details of The Pigeon Detectives next trip up to Inverness you can look here. Please also check out further cracking photos from the gig here.

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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs