Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Live @ The Doghouse (Red Stripe Gig)

The View, The View… The View are on fire… there couldn’t have been more of a commotion at the indie upstarts homecoming gig if the band had actually walked onstage ablaze, literally anyway…

When The View left their hometown of Dundee at the start of 2006 they were unknown teenagers with futile wet dreams of Libertine-esque stardom, but on their return, - having conquered the world with their awesome debut album ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ - they arrive as rock ‘n’ roll superheroes. They exploded through the doorways of dancehalls last spring with a sonic outburst of valiant mini epics, including the modern standard ‘Wasted Little DJs’, and gained instant support from a post-Libs country yearning for a freewheeling grindie band to fill that Pete/Carl hole left empty for too long. The boys captured perfectly the spirit of last summer and delivered some of the most legendary modern performances, including a volatile set at Leeds Festival and a hell raising intimate show at the infamous Sugarmill in Stoke. Even at the notorious Midland venue, with a swathing and explosive crowd, the atmosphere was lacking something, something only a home crowd can bring.

Their entrance to the room was reminiscent of returning astronauts or respected figure heads being paraded, the roar of the audience drowned out the sounds of reality and made this the most important place on the planet to be. On their last proper tour of the UK the band had to upgrade their venues to fit the continuously increasing fanbase inside, but the homecoming gig was special. It was small, awkwardly swelling and intensely impulsive. Cramming just a diminutive roomful of people into the forceful venue made the walls buckle with anticipation and like a stretched catapult, let rip once the Scottish idols adorned the boards. Their eyes lit up like rabbits caught in headlights, they burst straight into a set list riddled with number 1’s, classic urban poetry and the odd everlasting anthem. ‘Same Jeans’ and ‘Superstar Tradesman’ glued onlookers to the stage while ‘Skag Trendy’ and an untimely appearing ‘Wasted Little DJs’ drew them further and deeper in, captivating and almost kidnapping their attention. If the world had ended after this gig, the crowd wouldn’t have given a shit. The band played one of the best shows of their life, fuelled by appreciative and profoundly devoted spectators that waved their whole bodies like the apocalypse had struck and this was the final waltz. Each track banged into the next ruggedly and drove the whole show forward with the pace of a Hamster driven rocket car, out of control and massively exhilarating.

Anybody that can call The View a bandwagon group would have eaten their words if they’d managed to fit themselves into the exclusive show, as the Dundonian folklores played as good as any other band on the planet. The power of Arcade Fire but with the melodies of The Proclaimers, the barrage of tracks that embedded themselves in the minds of these lucky few bastards will remain there forever. Few concerts remain with you for the rest of your life, but this was certainly one of them. Roll on the next Red Stripe gig, eh.

by Alex Lee Thomson, Redstripe.net10th April 2007


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