Saturday, February 14, 2009

Koko review

So, everyone's favourite young scallys choose the awesome Koko in Camden as a venue to highlight a blistering two-years-and-a-bit career thats taken them from the backstreets of Dundee to potential Indie mega stardom. Celebrating the early success of second album 'Which Bitch?', there was no doubt that the mixed crowd were in for a gig as close to the 'Rock and Roll Star' so eloquently described by hero Noel Gallagher.

I arrived a tad later than I wished, having had no notice of the support, catching only the last couple of songs from Twisted Wheel , but even those were enough to make me want to hear more. The headline band were certainly enthusiastic about their support, and rightly so. Keep an ear out for them, they are loud, raucous and very good.

At 9.30pm, and a bit overdue, the four lads came into view glowing in blue LED, and crashed straight into 'Glass Smash' - exactly what I want to hear. Let's face it, I want to see them smash the place up, make the guitars sing, and scream the chorus of every note, with amps turned to maximum. Having been a fan since the early release of 'Wasted Little DJ's', it was an absolute delight to hear their first single lined up after the storming '5 Rebeccas', and all was going very well indeed, thank you very much.

And then, it sort of, well, went a tad flat. I'm all for Kyle and Kieren swapping guitars and lead vocals, but the fact is Kyle is different gear. His voice has something so distinct that it's hard to think it's anyone else; equally, it's hard to imagine anyone else singing their songs. As for stage presence, he is a tad unique, his legs either doing a bit of Jack Penante, or John Wayne, and sometimes both at the same time - he is a superb front man, and holds the audience spellbound. Sure, he is probably drunk, but it works, rather like a Scottish Libertines (I know, Im sorry), and you do feel a love for them.

My problem lies when they move on to the, erm, more 'mature' second album songs. There are some clever one-liners (introducing the violins and pals as 'Dirty Pretty Strings'), but I felt that they lost me half-way through the act. 'Distant Doubloon' and 'One Off Pretender' were lost live, whilst the beautiful album version of 'Unexpected' was again disguised by the occasion. I dunno, although obvious, I just felt that the gig cried out simply for the Skag Trendy's of the world, and could have been an hour long of almost perfect party-time rather than a mish-mash of emotions.

To end the gig proper with 'Give Back The Sun', the brilliant 'Superstar Tradesman' and current single, which I love, 'Shock Horror' ('we wouldna be here if youd ha nae bought it') is almost perfection, and showed that, when right, The View really are on fire. I'd have had WL DJ's as the last song, but hey, I'm old enough to have been their Dad.

This is the first time I have seen the band live, and I would do again. I just reckon that the two albums played consecutively in your student bedroom, with Amp turned to 11, lends more belief to the effort behind the writing. The View aren't just a band with R&R ambition, but they are perched on a fine set of scales. If they go one way, they will be absolutely massive, headlining festivals for the next five years (come on, how different class are they to the likes of Franz and the like?); however, I feel there's also a danger that there could be a backlash. With the likes of Owen Morris behind them, it's unlikely, but theres nowt as fickle as folk.

By Cameron Oliver, Music News, 14 February 2009


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