Friday, October 06, 2006

Now there’s no looking back

The debut album from Dundee band The View is one of the most hotly anticipated records due to come out of the Scottish music industry next year, but it very nearly didn't happen, thanks to a bug and a stressed producer.

After a few takes on the first day of recording in a studio in rural Yorkshire, vocalist Kyle Falconer went to his bed early, complaining that he felt sick.

His viral-induced slumber angered producer Owen Morris, famed for producing the Verve's Northern Soul and Oasis's Definitely Maybe, so much that he phoned the band's label in an attempt to cancel the recording.

"I had the 'flu and went to my bed early," says Falconer. "Owen was raging and threatened to call the whole thing off."
The band said that they found Morris's work ethic tiring but rewarding, and that they soon realised the value of working with such a taskmaster.

"We had to do it in three weeks, so he pushed us really hard," says Falconer.
"He liked to work right through the night, and even when we went to our beds he would stay up and keep working on the album.

"He would crash out for a short time, get up, go get a pint at the pub and then come back and start all over again. I wasn't into it the first night but after that we started getting on and we're the best of buddies now."

"He made me a better guitarist," says Peter Reilly – the most senior member of the band at the ripe old age of 20.

"He made me sit down and think about things rather than just bashing out anything. He can't play guitar but he spent a lot of time sitting with me and telling me what was working and what wasn't."

The Dundee four-piece are currently riding a crest of success after their first single, Wasted Little DJs, went into the UK charts at 15 on its release in August.

Currently touring the length and breadth of Britain, their next single, Superstar Tradesman, will be released later this month accompanied by their first video, which was filmed in the estate where the lads grew up.

"We were going to make the video at the Dryburgh shops across from my house, but we didn't really have the budget at the time," says Falconer. "In the end, we decided just to film it in some ground at the back of my house. It was really weird because we had a really long drive before we got there and, when we turned up at my house, there were all these security guards and waiters in bow-ties from a catering company asking 'would you like more tea, sir?'

"We didn't tell anyone that it was happening but they found out anyway and loads of people stayed off school so they could come and watch it being filmed. It was surreal. I wasn't even allowed to go to the toilet in my own house because a security guard stopped me."

The band were given their first big break by troubled rocker Pete Doherty, who offered them a support slot with his band Babyshambles after Kieran Webster, vocalist and bassist with The View, handed him one of the band's first demos.

Doherty later passed the CD on to James Endeacott, who subsequently signed the band to his label 1965 Records after a fierce bidding war.

This encouragement from the former Libertines frontman started a lasting friendship between the Dundonians and Doherty, which the band are grateful for despite any problems that might occur from the singer's private life.

This friendship has already resulted in unwanted media coverage after police detained The View's drummer, Steven Morrison, with Doherty, who was arrested on suspicion of stealing a car and possession of class A drugs in March of this year.

The band say that more recently, two friends of The View, whom they employ as roadies, were arrested by police for fighting on a train while on the way to see Doherty appear on the Jonathan Ross show.

"We've not seen Pete in ages", says Kieran. "It's great to be categorised with Babyshambles musically, but maybe not for some of the other stuff. I couldn't see any of us going down the path of really hard drugs. We're more an uppers bunch and don't really like sitting about."

However, Doherty is not the only famous fan of The View, whose sound has caught the attention of members from The Zutons, Dirty Pretty Things and The Coral, to name a few.

In addition, The View supported Scots rock band Primal Scream after Bobby Gillespie saw a DVD of the band playing the Doghouse in Dundee, and are due to open for them during a UK tour next month.

"We've played with a lot of bands that don't really speak to you because they don't have time to get to know their support acts," says Webster.

"Primal Scream have always been really cool, though, and even got us backstage at their gig at the Garage in London."

For the time being, the band are optimistic about where their career is headed and are just glad to be gigging each night.
In typical schoolboy fashion, they pull up Falconer's shirt to show a chest covered in obscenities, which the rest of the band scrawled on him as he slept off a night of partying.

"People were abusing me when I was on the bus," he says, laughing as he tugs his shirt back down.
However, no matter how much fun they may have on the road, the band are already thinking ahead to the time when they will have to record that "difficult" second album.

"We're going to make sure we get time off the road to write songs, because touring benefits the promotion, but it doesn't really benefit any new songs," says Webster.

The View release their second single for 1965 Records, Superstar Tradesman, on October 23.

Glasgow Herald 6th October 2006


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