Friday, September 22, 2006

View from the top

BASSIST Pete Reilly has done the chance thing and drawn the short straw - he's doing the interview as The View look forward to their Friday night in Manchester.

The scariest place in the world?

Pete giggles: "After Dundee, though!"

This summer's T Break tent performance saw The View bringing a scarily-large number of Dundonians to near-riot levels.

"It was like a controlled riot, " said Pete. "When we play Dundee it's a lot worse than that, In Dundee it's absolutely crazy. Last night in Leeds Cockpit it was like that, it was fantastic. But it's kind of weird, every gig we've been doing has been sold out."

Pete has his own theory as to what the fuss is all about.

"You get good people to listen to you. And we've kind of got a good reputation for being energetic. How do I keep it up? Red Bull. Every day you go to sleep feeling knackered, you wake up and it's getting to the venue, doing the sound check, then the gig? it's just a natural high and it puts you in party mode."

A year and a half ago, another band that Pete and drummer Steve Morrison was in, broke up.

"We decided to try our own stuff and we really dedicated ourselves to it, quit our jobs and stuff and got free rehearsal space in Kyle's uncle's pub - the Bayview - we got chucked out of there, so we had to find another place. We would rehearse from the time the pub opened till it closed and we really, really went for it and that's how we got songs together and got really tight."

Being chucked out of the Bayview - The View of the band's title - wasn't just the incident of riding a scooter along the bar, Pete insists.

"It was more like the final nail in the coffin."

Pete's family weren't too chuffed about him giving up his day job. : "Me and my dad fell out, but I think he's eating his hat. Before he was? What are you playing at? You should finish your trade before you do anything! 'We all had trades."

But none of them are the Superstar Tradesman on what will be their next single, out on October 23.

"That song's written about Dundee. If you're not academic, you go and get an apprenticeship.

It's just about ?Do your trade and you'll go far' and all that. You work all week, Monday to Friday, knock your pan in. You work to stand in the pub at the weekend, wasting your life. You should live your dream - and we try to."

The dream really began for The View when they helped along their talent by getting their music to Libertine and Babyshambles frontman Pete Doherty.

Pete Reilly recalled: "We went to the tour-bus and gave him a CD and he played it and said? I really like that'. Keiren asked him? Any chance we could play tonight?'. We played for 10 minutes and it was great. It comes down to being in the right place at the right time. You need to be good, but you need to have luck as well."

Luck and coincidence sometimes come hand in hand. It did when it came to the band signing with their label, 1965, run by former Rough Trade A&R man James Endeacott.

"It was weird, we'd just been reading a book about The Libertines and James is in it and then, an hour later, he's on the phone to our manager saying? Could your boys come down and play Brixton at one of my nights?'. It was really freaky, everything clicking into place."

The album, when it comes next spring, has been produced by Owen Morris - producer of View heroes Oasis and The Verve.

Owen approached the band about producing them. But the sessions in an old cowshed near Scarborough, three weeks done and dusted, were crazy, because Owen - according to Pete - is "mental" in a good way.

"It was in the middle of nowhere, but Owen kept taking us to this strip club. Once Keiren was saying he'd never had champagne and Owen dragged us out to a Chinese restaurant and told the waiter? Bring champagne!'."

No wonder Pete struggles to name his best moment of the year so far, there've been loads.

"Radio One's the Big Weekend in Dundee was very special because it was in Dundee. But T in the Park was amazing. Reading/Leeds was actually amazing as well.

"But we were scared because we were only announced three days before the festival.

"It was pretty strange to hear everybody doing the chant? The View, The View, The View are on fire!'.

"Normally in Scotland is sounds like fiy-er'.

Pete mimics a Cockney:

"But they were singing foyer' with an English accent."

Highlights to come include supporting Primal Scream, a band Pete calls The View's mentors. He thinks they'll survive the experience with the hard-partying Scream, just: I think it might be a bit messy, though!"

What if it all goes pear-shaped? Pete believes he might go back to joinering: "It's really hard and sometimes, mind-numbing. I couldn't see me sticking at it. Well, you never know?" But things look bright for the View and Pete is no pessimist.

"My glass is half full."

* The View play Loopallu on Saturday, the Raigmore, Inverness, on Tuesday and the BA Club, Fort William, next Wednesday.

By Margaret Chrystall, The Highland News, 21 September, 2006


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