Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rockness Monsters

ENTERING the UK charts at No.1 a few weeks ago was just the beginning for rag-tag Scottish rockers The View.

Or so guitarist Pete Reilly says.
"I'm ambitious. I want the band to be the biggest we can, the biggest band in the world. If you don't want that, you're never gonna get that."

And by "big" Reilly means . . .?

"Oasis, but even further than that. Do it right.

"We can see the steps, we know how to get there, it'll just be hard work. Even doing it in America, it's pretty intense, but we could do it if we wanted to."

The View's debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers, is No.11 on the UK charts this week, but is yet to dint the Australian charts.

The band -- all still under 21 years -- have had a string of Top 20 hits in the UK: Wasted Little DJs, Same Jeans and Superstar Tradesman. Reilly says the latter -- with lyrics about getting stuck in a small town, learning a trade, buying a guitar, but dreaming of more -- sums up the Dundee band's reason for being.

"That's what we're all about."

The View extend this blue-collar approach to everything they do, often calling themselves a "working-class" or "people's band".

"I hope people find it inspiring, just four normal lads," Reilly says. "People can look at that and say, 'If they can do it, I can do it'. I've had people say 'I'm gonna start a band 'cos of you'."

The View's rapid rise began when they loitered outside a Babyshambles gig and slipped tabloid-magnet frontman Pete Doherty a demo CD.

"Pete's beautiful, a beautiful guy. It's a shame that people write all this stuff," Reilly says of their troubled friend and mentor.

The View's drummer, Steve Morrison, was drawn into a Doherty scandal when he was caught in a car going the wrong way down a one-way street with the former Libertine at the wheel.

"Tabloids," says Reilly. "Tabloids could destroy you. You've got to be careful who you speak to. This paper misquoted me about Pete, got me saying we don't like Pete Doherty, we've not heard of him. If he read that, he'd think we were selfish, but I never said that."

Reilly won't, however, be mirroring Doherty's reaction to such stories.

"We've seen how Pete approaches it -- he just goes off, goes mental, shouting and stuff," he laughs.

Doherty isn't The View's only high-profile fan. Noel Gallagher loves the band ("It's absolutely ridiculous," says Reilly, who claims he picked up a guitar because of Gallagher), and Primal Scream are tight mates after a debauched tour with their fellow Scots.

Indeed, Reilly will play for the Scream when they team with Mick Jones to play a Clash song at the NME Awards in London on March 1.

Listening to Hats Off to the Buskers it's easy to see why The View are winning friends and influencing people. Their contagiously upbeat tunes just click.

"That's what's weird about us, everybody seemed to just get on it and like it. Not a lot of people have said they don't like it," Reilly says.

What's the secret?

"I wish I knew, I'd bottle it and make millions," he laughs.

But don't think The View haven't worked for their rapid rise.

"A couple of months ago, we'd done like 80 gigs in a month," Reilly says. "We're working hard as. All up and down the country."

Looking forward to a break, Reilly dreams of going somewhere hot. Australia is on that dream list. Unprompted, he declares the band's desire to play at the Big Day Out.

But for now, he'll take a couple of weeks off at home next month.

Will he put down his guitar?

"No, I'd pick up a guitar in my sleep," he laughs. "I'm addicted. If there's one there, it needs to be played, you know what I mean?"

Neala Johnson, Herald Sun, Australia 22/2/07


Post a Comment

<< Home