Monday, November 24, 2008

Bristol Review

Saturday 22nd November 2008 @ Thekla, Bristol

“The View - The View - The View are on fire!” chant the crowd that have swollen Thekla’s floating belly as the Dundee foursome amble their way onstage, grinning and flicking their hair out of their eyes. A fire, on this particularly bitter night would not go amiss but The View’s catchy, summery indie anthems are warmth enough.

A very happy and varied crowd start dancing along to a set combining the best bits of 2007’s number one album Hats Off to the Buskers and previews from upcoming second album Which Bitch?. Starting off with Glass Smash, a punchy, raw number quite removed from the expectation of melodious guitar pop and quickly moving into indie floor filler Wasted Little DJs, the band work well together and play off the crowd. “Brrristol, you dirrrty bitch,” snarls curly-mopped front man Kyle Falconer, in his thick Scottish twang and the crowd lap it up.

A little growlier and rougher than expected, The View have perfected the rock’n’roll show swagger that we love to see in British bands and yet they hardly ever slip, with an energetic and tight performance and spot-on vocals from Falconer. Chart toppers might attract derision in certain circles, but it’s easy to see why The View have sold so many records – a clever combination of sing-along vocals and harmonies and just the right amount of guitar hooks and punchy drums to appeal to the masses.

With the crowd suitably limbered up, Falconer and guitarist Kieren Webster swap places, with Webster taking the vocal reins for a couple of songs; a smooth change, but hampered by technical problems mid-song. Webster humbly shrugs and just launches back into the song, shouting it out with even more energy than before. The View have to save themselves in these awkward few seconds and instead of letting it grind to a nasty halt, their passion for their music and fans is so clear that it is soon forgotten about.

After a few more tracks from the new album including single 5 Rebeccas, the band tone it down for a chilled, nearly acoustic version of hit Face for the Radio. After joking about their larger-lad indie counterparts (“Do you want to hear a joke? The Fratellis.”), The View then launch into their last song, their biggest hit to date, Same Jeans. The easy pop doesn’t fit with the edgier flavours of the new material which may have been why it is played twice as fast as the version released. Another reason might be that the band have become aware of the drawbacks of an unshakeable ‘trendy’ tag and the tricky combination of pleasing current fans and perhaps wanting to break away from the monotony of a certain music genre.

However, the large crowd were more than pleased with the hour long set, once again chanting an encore of; “The View - The View- The View are on fire!” Incredibly popular and deservedly so, The View’s strong and energetic style only looks set to grow. Which Bitch? will be released in early 2009 and The View will definitely not be going away.

Heather McKay


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