Matthew Britton is the man behind the fantastic blog, The Pigeon Post. As someone who has received a great number of readers over the past year, we thought we should find out a little more about the person behind increasingly influential Blog.
Please visit: http://thepigeonpost.wordpress.com/ to see our answers to questions from Matthew.
For those who are not familiar with The Pigeon Post, could you introduce yourself, and tell us what you do?
The Pigeon Post is a blog that centres on new and exciting music, mainly from Manchester but from pretty much anywhere in the whole world. Anything interesting about the blog is probably the work of Miriam Baynes – she did the illustration that sits atop, thought up the name and makes sure that it doesn’t ever sell out. Apart from that, it’s all the work of me, Matthew Britton, a 22 year old English and Creative Writing graduate who works in telesales. It is fair to say that this is not how I imagined that my life would pan out, but it is something I am coming to terms with.
Were there any bands or albums that made you want to start blogging?
There are probably a few. The two biggest bands in my life have probably been The Libertines and Forward, Russia. I’ve not been too fond of the former for a couple of years, but there was a real sense of movement when they were about, even it was all a bit false and NME, but they were probably the first band to open my eyes to the fact that music is something worth looking into. Forward, Russia are a band who are on hiatus at the moment, and it looks like it might be that way forever, but there was something brilliantly insular about the band when they were around – every time they played Manchester, there would be a group of us who would always attend and it became something like a scene, even if it didn’t ever really go anywhere.
Apart from that, the reason I started blogging was the fact that I wasn’t really getting into any new music after I started university, and that I seemed to have stagnated rather than moved on. So the aim was to give myself an outlet to write on a daily basis and to find new bands that I hadn’t heard of before, as it had started getting to the point where bands could be playing the Apollo and I wouldn’t even know their name. I went to 42nd Street for someone’s birthday and heard a track I’d never heard before, and everyone was singing along and clapping. Turned out it was Vampire Weekend. I didn’t ever want to be that embarrassed again. Unfortunately, admitting that I used to obsess over The Libertines and go to 42nd has ensured I am that embarrassed right now.
If you weren’t blogging, how would you occupy your music mind
Nothing, probably. I honestly feel like if I wasn’t invested in some kind of way, I wouldn’t know who No Age are. I tend to get overly excited about certain things for really short periods of time, and then not really bother about them again, so before I was writing about new music, there would be certain bands I would go mad over and then never really follow up. My guess is that I’d just discovering who The Drums are around about now.
Are there any blogs/sites that you regularly visit and admire? Any hidden gems that people might not be familiar with?
There is one that probably inspired me to start writing more than any other. It was run by this guy called Christian and it was called no-name leeds. The stuff he used to post was out of this world – I’ve no idea how I stumbled across it, but it was a one-stop shop for pretty much anything that was worthwhile to download on the internet. a lot of it was illegal, too, which meant that it was worth checking a few times a day before the labels got the takedown requests sent through. It’s no surprise that the blog has since been taken down, but Lewis, who used to do it all by himself, has since started (and stopped, a couple of times) a blog called be-bop kids, and I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to contribute to it myself, which is a huge honour.
That aside, there’s only one or two ‘true’ blogs that I check more than a couple of times a month. Jamila of Fucking Dance is always pretty much spot on, Hendrick of Poule d’Or manages to unearth the odd hidden gem, and Joe of A New Band a Day is always witty. Aside from nicking everything Pinglewood posts, there’s only really one more that I take notice of, which is Basement Fever. Jake May is a criminally underrated writer and has a ridiculously high hit-rate of must listen bands. If you want to know what is going to be on Pigeon Post next week, it’s worth having a look on there for a good indicator.
Take us through your ideal gig night out in Manchester i.e. three gigs, three venues, one pint, one dinner? (whats your fav place to eat, drink and see music. and fav bands)
My ideal night is probably the laziest one that you could imagine. North Tea Power is my new favourite café, but in terms of eating I am a big fan of Dough. I’m a vegetarian, whilst limits how exciting food can be at times, but you can’t go far wrong with a pizza – and it helps that they do gluten free for Miriam. There would be a drink at Common, but I would be lying if I said I’d like gigs to be anywhere but Deaf Institute – Islington Mill can be pretty special, as can the various churches that have started putting on shows, but there is nowhere most consistent. it’s probably helped that Now Wave seem to use it as a base, but as long as it’s there, it seems to be brilliant, especially if there’s room to sit down.
It’s getting to End of Year List time, could you give us your top 5? weather it be bands, albums, books, films etc?
Top 5 Manchester Scenewipe videos:
5: Lissie: www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/05/10/lissie/
4: Brown Brogues: www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/09/09/brown-brogues/
3: Jo Rose: www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/03/10/jo-rose/
2: Villagers: www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/06/14/villagers/
1: Why?: www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/03/29/why/
Any Manchester artists come to mind for ‘Ones to watch’ next year?
Don’t know if they class as Manchester anymore, but Mazes have been bubbling away under the surface for an absolute age and (singer) Jack’s move to the capital seems to have done them some good in getting played to the right audiences rather than just strumming to the same few people who check the Suffering Jukebox blog every day. Young British Artists seem to have not done too much throughout the core of 2010, but they’re ending it with a fair few rave reviews and that is something that should spill into the next year, whilst at the other end of the spectrum there is Star Slinger who has ridiculously been overlooked by this city, despite the fact he’s playing shows around Europe and travelling Europe in the new year. There’s always the crash-rattle, second hand smoke pop of Brown Brogues to stir the senses, too. Oh, and The Louche F.C.. One of the worst band names in the city, but they’re ridiculously good.
What do you have planned for Pigeon Post in 2011?
If the blog manages to somehow last through 2011, I’d consider that an achievement. Other than that, try and make Duck Tapes a bit better rather than just having one release on the label, and hopefully get a job that relates somewhere close to this rather than trying to sell home cover to pensioners who don’t really care.
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