This is a review of "Romantic Type" recorded by The Pigeon Detectives. The review was written by Nick Rowan in 2007.
My first The Pigeon Detectives show moved me to crank out an (unsubmitted) article for local leg-pullers No Quarter entitled, “The Pigeon Detectives Disband After Chance Encounter With Mojo: 1976 Roots Of Punk Edition”. They had not yet released their first single.
A few months later I tuned in to a live performance on national radio. The band chatted away aimlessly much like thousands of other lads would be doing that night in bars and clubs around the region. Apparently their line-up was completed when drummer Jimmi met guitarist Ryan whilst they were working an afternoon shift at Staples, the office equipment retailers. There followed a brief discussion as to whether this should have been mentioned, you know, image-wise. I thought to myself these guys are totally green and/or just plain dumb. Then they played and I began to understand: this band are stupider like a fox.
Their live-set now has the reputation of being a riotous and anarchic experience whilst their excellent first two singles have received heavy play by influential taste-makers (i.e. I listen to them) Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe. Yet for me it’ll be a little out of step if not undeserved if this track is indeed the one that “does it for the Leeds band” (The Sunday Times). You see Romantic Type just ain’t that great.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still a rush. The drums kick up in a hurry and the guitarists lash out some decent licks. It’s all a bit first album Strokes (or one part Television, Buzzcocks and Johnny Thunders in old money). If punk is dead in terms of form, no longer shocking enough to be the blunt instrument of the disaffected youth, then its DIY functionality still provides an outlet for voices and opinions disenfranchised by the corporate media. But there’s no such voice here. Matt sings in hum-drum fashion about his girl problems, “It’s not that I’m not the romantic type…” and then there’s the inevitable but, as he thinks to himself, “Would paying once or maybe twice be really such a crime?” Love’s young dream eh?
There’s no emotion here, just balled up energy with no particular direction. I wonder if it’s too harsh to have such high expectations for a band’s fourth single. It is becoming clear that their audience is rapidly expanding and they’re becoming a name band nationwide. When that happens critical scrutiny becomes more intensive. Just don’t call it a backlash.