Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Visa problems might boost View’s prospects

The View’s failure to gain entry to America because of visa problems could boost their chances of breaking the lucrative US market in the long term (writes Graeme Strachan).

Alec Downie, of New Music in Scotland, which nurtures Scottish bands, conceded the loss in touring, merchandise and CD sales will have a negative impact on the band for now.

However, he is hopeful the visa issue will be resolved soon and the band — which played a triumphant home-town gig at Dundee’s Caird Hall last night — could benefit from a sense of anticipation.

The View’s 10-date US tour was cancelled for a second time due to immigration problems following lead singer Kyle Falconer’s conviction for cocaine possession.

Speaking from the US, Mr Downie said, “The US is a massive market and every band needs to increase their fanbase to grow and sustain.

“The US is a lucrative and artistically challenging golden fleece for most British artists. The View are very much a live rock ‘n’ roll band and part of their excitement comes from their energetic and compelling performances. “If US audiences do not get the opportunity to experience this, the chances are it will be difficult to increase their US fanbase.”

The View already called off one US tour, including an appearance at the South by Southwest Festival in Texas where they were previewed as the next Arctic Monkeys.

“The band must be gutted as it is every kid’s dream to tour the US and I am sure the disappointment will be felt by numerous fans who anticipated their arrival,” said Mr Downie, who put The View on as part of a NEMIS showcase two years ago.

“I am sure they will resolve this problem soon and that they will rip it up in the US.

“Hopefully this negative will serve to heighten the sense of anticipation so when they do arrive, people will be even more ready for them to storm through the US.”

Kyle Falconer was fined for possessing £150 worth of cocaine after he was arrested when the group performed at Abertay University last August.

Defence agent Billy Boyle told the court Falconer had been handed the drug by music industry insiders at the gig, and had left it in his pocket.

He asked for an absolute discharge, as a conviction would make it “next to impossible” for the singer to get a US visa.

Mr Downie said, “Kyle is not being treated any differently to other people trying to enter the US.

“But making this a major issue in the UK press has put the US visa people under very public scrutiny, which has not assisted The View gaining entry.

“Common sense must apply.

“The View, like The Stones or Oasis, if allowed into the US will generate a great deal of wealth for all concerned including the US government and I am sure their lawyers will be working on agreeing an entry criteria that will see a full US tour sooner rather than later.

“Perhaps when the story runs out of legs in the press that will help American audiences experience a great young Scottish band at the peak of their game.”

Evening Telegraph, 10th April 2007


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