Friday, December 08, 2006

These teens are on fire

It's no wonder some bands can be lukewarm about playing to a London crowd, when often their tour has visited Scotland just a few days beforehand.

Scottish fans are renowned for their passion, their chanting, their affectionate throwing of projectiles - I once exited a gig in Glasgow drenched in more alcohol than a Grand Prix winner.

They worship their own, too. The wave of adoration surrounding Dundee's The View has propelled the teenage quartet to the top of next year's Most Likely list. Last night the constant chants of "The View, The View, The View are on fire!" quickly became infectious.

It was obvious why the lads had been driven to form a band, from the background projections of landmarks in the Dryburgh suburb they call home: a house and a shop. So often the most uninspiring locales inspire the most exciting rock and roll, and this was thrilling stuff.

From the ramshackle punk of violent opener Comin' Down to anthemic closer Superstar Tradesman, they rarely relented unless it was to confuse the crowd with a fake song ending, before bursting back into it with even greater intensity. Their unpolished, high-speed jangle had clear echoes of The Libertines, who were signed by the same record company man, but this band seemed to be having too much fun to throw all this away.

Singer Kyle Falconer's voice was less thin, more raspy than it is on record. Watching him shake his substantial curls was almost as entertaining as the buoyant Kieren Webster, who showed no interest in playing the bassist's usual stage role of third sheep in the Nativity.

Scruffily melodic new songs such as Streetlights and Same Jeans sounded like more hits to join the two they already possess. Playing as well as this, with a fantastic debut album on the way, The View are indeed on fire.

By David Smyth, Evening Standard 05.12.06


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