The View; Wasted Little DundeeJ’s

Hit single, ‘Same Jeans’ gave Dundonian upstarts the momentum to take into their ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ album that occupied Number 1 spot in the album charts, after the first week of its release. This prompted them to be moved up the bill, above The Automatic, for the Scottish leg of the NME Tour. As a result, such an elevation renders comparisons to the Arctic Monkeys even lazier, the Sheffield boys also occupied number 1 in the album charts at the time of last year’s tour and, were number three on the bill. Parallels with a ‘Supersonic’ era Oasis, are more apt in sound, impact, carefree nature and emergence from a tight local scene. Especially, in the potent and earthy vocals of Kyle Falconer that are backed with hearty grit by bassist Kieron Webster.

Drummer, Steve Morrison sits back in their striking yellow tour bus outside the Academy in Manchester, ahead of their NME Tour slot, as though it is the first time he has been able to take in and fully appreciate their recent rise and infamy. He starts by revealing the roots (this has nothing at all to do with Toni & Guy), of the local Dundee scene that they rose out of into the glaring lights of recognition;

“There were a lot of older bands there, doing their Rock N’ Roll thing, but venues never really used to fill up that much. There was no real attention for local bands, so we’d get a load of friends to come to our gigs and jump about, going mental. Then we got friends with other bands in the area who’d do the same thing and venues started selling out.”

What about the internet? Will modern playthings like myspace, cyber gigs and the corollary that this creates a global music scene, destroy local scenes? Such as the one that was instrumental in their being where they are today?

“No, I don’t think so, it had better not. If a big band’s playing, then people are always gonna go and see them. I reckon that people would rather jump about in a sweaty crowd than stay in on their computer.”

A coy, satisfied look precedes the reply to an inquiry about the choice of ‘Same Jeans’, as a single and the timing of it?

“It is just about a four day bender that Kieron went on and he decided to write a song about it. It’s happy-go-lucky and it just seemed the right choice.”

The NME Tour set up, is different to their usual gig, given the range of bands and fans in attendance. Does preparation for such a set require anything different, is the set list the same? The nonchalant gaze that has lingered around the non-spoken parts of this conflab, seems even more fixed and this time it is punctuated by an effortless shrug;

“We’ve started not using a set list. We’ve got enough of a vibe going to just go out there and mix it up. This tour’s no different really, as long as the crowd is appreciative, we don’t mind who we play to. I’m sure people just don’t turn up for one band, anyway.”

Given the mass exodus from venues after the Arctic Monkeys’ set on this tour last year, I’m not convinced that the romance of The Views’ steep elevation has not blinkered the otherwise down to earth musos’ perspective, on this issue? There comes a time in an interview of this ilk, when you simply have to shake the pot of controversy and stir up a little emotion. Their sound is varied and freewheeling, but are they willing to be bolder and experiment with it? Perhaps they could write an advertising jingle for the Travelodge? (The guys are currently banned from every single Travelodge in Britain, owing to a flooding incident and their general rowdiness.);

“I like the versatility to our album and our sound in general. We have a ska song, an upbeat, fast song and a punk song. We like it that way.”

Gordon Brown would even be forced into a rare, appreciative smile at this show of controversy dodging craft and focus. So, how does this versatility emanate, then?

“Usually, Kieron and Kyle write songs on the acoustic and Pete throws down the guitars. Then I come in and provide the beats, I’d discuss it with Kyle and he’d say he wants a break here, so I would put that in. It works quite smoothly.”

Given the above mentioned range to the album and the varying moods, it would be nice to know what song Steve thinks sums up his and the guys’ current mood?

“That’s simple; The Don – it’s habit, isn’t it?”

And at gigs? What’s the habit at those, it seems unlikely that he is a studious note taker, who scrutinises other bands’ performances and compares it to their style and manner on stage?

“I just get off my tits at gigs.”

Whenever a band receives as much attention as these guys, there is always a fierce forum, bar and chat-room debate into the destructive nature of the vice of hype. Are
The View really being hyped up, or do they just have the knack of being able to get people interested in them and spark a debate? Whether you think they are captains of the good ship “Modern Indie” or The Libertines and Oasis coat-tail clingers, passing the time until Pete and Carl kiss and make up? They get a range of interested parties thinking and talking. Is this hype? There is no concerted effort to force them down your throats. They made sure of that in their association and respect for James Endeacott (Rough Trade Records), who they are building a healthy alliance with;

“”We never really got interested until after James signed us up. Yeah, we create interest, not hype. That is what this is.”

It is apt to end this revealing inquisition by getting Steve to ponder upon the meaning of the term “Indie”, these days? Seeing as many scribes feel that they currently define it;

“It’s about musical creativity and also it’s about if you grow your hair and wear your own style of clothes, it’s your decision. You could wear bondage gear at a gig and still play a great show.”

There is a sense that performer is opening up, as he chuckles with a little amazement at the latter comment;

“Don’t quote me on that, it is a shocking quote.”

Oopps, sorry!

It’s 9pm and the intensity is building within the crowd, to feverish chanting point:

“The View, The View, The View are on fire.”

Kyle takes on a relieved manner as though he is being reminded what they do it all for and exactly what The View is about. ‘Comin’ Down’, the opening track from the debut album, also opens the show tonight, in a funky, punk fuelled fashion with Pete’s spiky guitars lifting the tempo. Wiry, high pitched vocals cause inhibitions to be released and water, beer and other unidentifiable liquids flies through air. That’s something your cyber-gigs will never be able to capture, will they?

The strolling mod strut of ‘Wasted Little DJs’, is like the introduction of an old friend to those looking on and they respond with warmth and appreciation to the accessible tale of debauched living. ‘The Don’ and ‘Gran’s For Tea’ build in bemusement with high energy riffing that slightly over takes the vocals, but it is not long before Kyle takes back control. The lack of a set list certainly seems to be helping the guys build up a dynamic vibe. A crowd screamed ‘Same Jeans’, highlights the “band of the moment” label that is being worn with pride tonight and it helps build up enough gusto to give a kick to the post-mod, vocally relaxed ‘Superstar Tradesman’. Rapturous appreciation is given to a set full of momentum building drive that doesn’t appear to be slowing down just yet. It seems that the interest and debate surrounding The View will continue to rage for sometime yet.

The View headline shows;

11 Apr 2007
Music Hall Aberdeen

12 Apr 2007
Barrowlands Glasgow

13 Apr 2007
Academy Newcastle

14 Apr 2007
Leeds University Leeds

15 Apr 2007
Carling Academy Liverpool

17 Apr 2007
Academy Birmingham

18 Apr 2007
Academy Bristol

19 Apr 2007
Guild Hall Southampton

20 Apr 2007
UEA Norwich

21 Apr 2007
Forum London

23 Apr 2007
Shepherds Bush Empire London

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