Friday, January 26, 2007


Dundee rockers' album is set to hit No.1 as they prepare to kick off NME tour

HATS off to Dundee rockers The View, who are set to top the UK album charts on Sunday.

They have sold 58,000 copies of Hats Off The Buskers in just three days and are miles ahead of their nearest rivals.

But they have confessed their first big test on the road to fame came when they faced tough competition at their local secondary school talent contest - from Irish country dancers.

The lads - frontman Kyle Falconer, 19, guitarist Pete Reilly, 20, bassist Kieran Webster, 20, and drummer Steve Morrison, 19 - are expected to sell 100,000 albums by the time the chart position is calculated on Sunday.

It marks an amazing rise to fame for the band, who are currently No.3 in the singles chart with Same Jeans and are Scotland's hottest new band. But the early years paint a different picture for the lads, who grew up in the tough Dryburgh scheme in Dundee.

While pupils at St John's secondary school, they picked up instruments for the first time and struggled to play in tune.

But they quickly gathered an army of fans - and won the school talent show two years on the trot. Kieran said: "We were 14 or 15 when we started playing. We did the school talent shows and won £30 each time.

"It was for charity and the Irish dancers used to win it every year.

"The teachers would hand over the cheque to the winners and the dancers always handed it back for the charity. When we won it, we were like, 'thanks' and walked off with it in our back pocket."

Pete added: "These pretty wee Irish dancers would be in formation and the fourth, fifth and sixth years would be shouting 'scum'. It was harsh.

"The judges were pupils at the school and we had them all in the bag. A lot of them were our mates."

The band went on to play a local wedding at Dundee's Invercarse hotel and even performed at Kyle's cousin's christening - and there is video footage to prove it.

Pete recalled: "We were a cover band and played a wedding at the Invercarse Hotel in Dundee. "In the early days, we mainly played gigs at Arbroath Red Lion caravan park.

"We were 15 and doing gigs in pubs and getting paid was great."

He added: "My ex-girlfriend has us winning the school talent show on video. I couldn't even play bar chords then. I can be seen scratching my head. It's funny. We thought we were great."

Kyle added: "We used to be in a band called Lost Weekend, doing covers of the Stone Roses, Oasis, T Rex and Squeeze songs.

"There is a bootleg of us playing when we were 15 at my little cousin's christening.

"I already had a few songs of my own but didn't have the confidence to play them in the band."

Kieran added: "In the early days, we used to play local pubs in the schemes. One pub, an infamous place in Dundee called The Rock, got annihilated.

"There were windows smashed and one lass saw someone pull a cable out of a wall and try to electrocute somebody.

"For the last night this pub was going to be open, we were invited back because they didn't care what happened to it inside.

"Every window got smashed and the pub owner got bottled.

"When we go back to Dundee it's still chaos but at least we have teams of bouncers these days."

I caught up with the band at the Holiday Inn hotel in London's Camden district, where they are camped out on the orders of their record label.

The boys were banned from the swanky K-West because they enjoyed the all-night open bar a little too much.

Kyle said: "The record company didn't like us staying up all night. "It was an open bar. Steve broke his foot because he jumped out a window. He was p***ed.

"He jumped from one roof to the next roof. It was last summer. We have been back since, but now we stay in this hotel, which doesn't have an open bar all night."

Fans of The View can catch them on the Shockwaves NME Awards indie rock tour at Glasgow's Carling Academy on February 1 and 2.

They share billing with The Automatic, The Horrors and Mumm-Ra.Singer Kyle said: "We're really looking forward to the tour. It's a pretty versatile bill.

"I've been told The Horrors gigs are mad. It'll be great seeing the reactions they get from the crowd.

"We played with The Automatic before in Ibiza but they didn't let us come back to the after-party. They were a bit withdrawn."

Pete added: "The only concern is that people have said this is a bit like the NME tour which had the Arctic Monkeys and Maximo Park.

They might get a bit fed up after three bands."

Meanwhile, the band have denied they are wasted little rockers. Pete insisted: "We're not like Pete Doherty. We like a drink and a party but we're not animals.

"What is good about bands like the Beatles is they went through every style of music and their drugs stage but all cared about each other and that's what we're like. We love each other too much to let the car crash happen."

Kyle added: "You don't get to the stage of doing a debut album if you are wrecked out your nut all the time. It just doesn't happen."

by John Dingwall, Daily Record 26/1/07


Post a Comment

<< Home