Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rock ’n’ roll View

Dundee band The View are set to conquer the world this year. But despite gathering celebrity fans by the coachload, they have not forgotten their promises, writes Susan Welsh

BEING in a rock band, one might assume life revolves around sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

So it comes as something of a surprise when bassist Kieren Webster of Dundee rockers, The View, revealed that he and the lads had been spending their free time doing something a million miles away from that image . . . watching old musicals.

Kieren, speaking between soundchecks on the latest tour which takes in Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen this week before heading to England and the continent, said: “As a band we are doing fine, but always looking to new things.

“Lately we have been watching lots of musicals, The Rocky Horror Show, and stuff like that because we are thinking about doing a musical at some point.”

But before then, there is a long series of gigs to get through.

“At the moment we have a string section playing with us called Dirty Pretty Strings who are pretty good,” said Kieren.

“We played with them before at the Hard Rock Cafe in London and it was pretty cool, so it’s good to be joining up with them again.”

Fans lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket for the Scottish gigs can expect to hear a selection of tracks from their excellent second album, Which Bitch? which is being tipped as a classic album of the future.

Part-written on the road, and part-realised in inspired bursts of creativity in the studio, it’s an eclectic and surprising affair that the Dundee foursome, Kyle Falconer (vocals/guitars), Pete Reilly (lead guitar), Steve Morrison (drums) and Kieren, have put together.

“Everyone asks us why we chose that name for the album but it’s quite simple – Kyle came up with the name, we thought it was an interesting name, a good name for an album, so went along with it,” explained Kieren.

One track which will go down especially well with the Aberdeen audience is One Off Pretender, which is about being locked up in an Aberdeen jail cell for spurious reasons.

Among those singing its praises is Mark Ronson, who says on the band’s website: “I got The View album sometime last week and I haven’t stopped listening to it.

“I can’t remember a recent album that can boast two great tracks as musically diverse as 5 Rebeccas and Distant Doubloon.

“Kyle has one of my favourite young voices in rock ’n’ roll and is turning into a monster talent as a producer, musician, writer and arranger.”

Pop songbird Lily Allen is also a fan of the Dundee group and has gone as far as posting a photograph of herself clutching three copies of Which Bitch? on record producer James Endeacott’s Facebook.

“Lily is a good girl,” said Kieren.

“We got to know her quite well as we have played at the same festivals and gigs. I like her, she’s a good girl to have on your side.”

Meanwhile, Kieren says one of the highlights of the band’s tour will be their visit to Inverness.

“The last time we were up there we played the Raigmore Motel and Rock Ness. Both were great gigs but we wanted to come back and play at the Ironworks.

“We rehearsed there before Rock Ness and thought it was a great venue, so we promised we would come back and play there again.

“Rock Ness was excellent, a really good festival, so we wouldn’t mind playing there again either.”

With shows lined up across Europe, the one place the band would like to tackle next is America. A previous bid by them to enter the US was thwarted when frontman, Kyle, was found guilty of cocaine possession.

Kieren said: “The last time we went to the US Embassy in London, we were told we weren’t getting in.

“Since then we have all been very good and it’s looking more promising.

“We have not had definite word yet, but it is looking promising and I reckon we will be in America this year.

“Fingers crossed, we just have to wait and see.”

The View play the Caird Hall, Dundee on Friday night, The Ironworks, Inverness on Sunday and Aberdeen Music Hall on Monday, February 16. All the shows are sold out but it’s worth checking the classified section of the Press and Journal for returns.

By Susan Welsh, Press and Journal, 12th February 2009


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