Friday, February 20, 2009

Fan review of Cambridge

The View, Junction, Cambridge, 19th February 2009

Following mandatory chants of "The View are on fire!", the band took to the stage. They openwith Glass Smash, one of the highlights of their latest album, 'Which Bitch?', and a song which has one of the middle eights I've heard in a while ("I'll try...Something SPONTANEOUS!"; you have to hear it, really). They follow this with their anthemic recent single, 5 Rebecca's. Next is the brilliant Wasted Little DJ's, the first song they play from their debut 'Hats Off to the Buskers' and definitely one of the best songs in their back catalogue. It's a strong opening to the show and one wonders how they will go about following it. Soon after this, singer Kyle Falconer and bassist Kieran Webster swap positions and Webster provides vocals on songs such as Skag Trendy and One off Pretender. They do this a surprising amount during the gig - undoubtedly such a system will encourage further comparison to Oasis and The Libertines. Following a rowdy start, the mood is calmed briefly as Falconer equips himself with an acoustic guitar and plays the amusing yet sweet Covers from their new album, with the keyboardist singing the vocal part which Paolo Nutini sings on the album. Even better is the tender Face For the Radio, though the confused crowd use this song as an opportunity to crowdsurf, rather than get their lighters out as one would expect.

The crowd were, for the most part, quite pleasant. were very energetic and into the music, without resorting to acting violently. As is usual at gigs, however, there were a couple of exceptions to this. The first was a man who was obviously under the influence of some very strong drug, and seemed to wander round the crowd making room for himself and not watching the band - essentially an animated corpse. Even more annoying was a woman who stood in the middle of the crowd with her arms folded and aggressively pushed away anybody that dared to get near her (or at least she did to me). Clearly she did not understand the concept of a gig, as it is generally considered acceptable to dance and enjoy oneself at a concert, and if you don't want to be physically involved in the gig then the obvious thing to do is stand nearer the back where people will be more laid back. Fortunately I managed to avoid these two buffoons for most of the gig and didn't let them spoil it for me.

The audience became slightly less energetic as a few less familiar songs from the new album were played. Momentum was soon restored, however, with Comin' Down, the energetic opener from 'Buskers, and then the most famous View song, Same Jeans (pleasingly not used as the set closer). By this point I have somehow managed to get very close to the stage. The next song is Give Back the Sun, the penultimate song on Which Bitch?. On the album, it is a pleasant song; live however, it becomes truly alive and could be appropriately described as epic. The real highlights of the gig are saved for the very end - a euphoric rendition of Superstar Tradesman is played, with everybody around me jumping gleefully. They close with a similarly joyful Shock Horror, perhaps the best song from their recent album and a brilliant ending to the set. If it wasn't dreadfully cliché to do so, I would conclude this blog by saying that The View are, metaphorically speaking at least, undoubtedly 'on fire'.

By Smidge, 20th February 2009


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