Bleeding Heart Pigeons at Servant Jazz QuartersCultureMusicLive music
Bleeding Heart Pigeons are proof that in a world of postmodern band names it’s still all about the sound. Having dropped their EP, A Hallucination, last year and with their debut album, Is, arriving on Friday, they are no strangers to the scene. The startling change in the basement of Servant Jazz Quarters as the band takes the stage is a testament to their success, as a sparse collection of onlookers transforms to an almost completely full room.
Starting with A Hallucination, the eponymous track from their EP, they initially lull the listener into a false sense of security and into thinking that Bleeding Heart Pigeons might simply be The Maccabees 2.0. However, jangly indie pop soon gives way to full, haunting keyboards, intermixed with Brian May-esque guitar lines.
It is apparent that atmosphere is crucial, and lead singer and guitarist Mícheál Keating plays his samples for all they’re worth. He sings that “my emotions are equations/ They come out like rabid dogs” and the lyrics are obviously as important as the melody. Bleeding Heart Pigeons wants to take you on a journey, a tour de force of sound that draws in equal measure from Think Tank-era Blur, Radiohead and earthy British folk music.
The band exudes a brooding cockiness onstage, of which Keating is the self-confessed vanguard, and their sound is almost cinematic; it implores you to enter into its world. Bands of lesser talent would play a similar set without making any song seem different from the one before, but not these lot. However, as the night goes on there is no hit-in-waiting that makes you sit up and take notice, despite song memorable contributions.
Although the band draws on the past, it looks to the vast array of modern dance music and sampling to truly chart their sound. For the casual listener, they may appear too exclusive and no song leaps out as a single, but that could be part of the plan. It’s clear that Bleeding Heart Pigeons are a strong unit with a strong fan base. As they pack away their instruments, two female fans tentatively approach, eager for a chat. At one point Keating crows that he can “sing whatever [he] like[s]”. This much is true, and the fans will still love him for it.
Photo: Mark Ealey
For further information about Bleeding Heart Pigeons and future events, visit here.
Watch the video for A Hallucination here: