Monday, March 30, 2009

Dublin Gig Review

Review from The View's gig at Dublin Academy, 24th March 2009

‘The View, The View, The View are on Fire! This is the chant you’ll hear from the fans of one of the best and most notorious Punk/Indie bands of this century!


With Kyle Falconer at the helm as lead vocalist/ rhythm guitar, Pete Reilly – Lead guitarist extraordinaire, Kieran Webster – Bass/guitars/ backing vocals and Steven Morrison – Drums/Percussion, this band are exceptionally creative, with a knack for delightful riffs and catchy melodies. They posess wit which they use to the limit and also an accent that is hard to understand, but adds charm to their music. Young, energetic and loveable, they get under your skin and once there, will have you whistling or humming those sweet and cheerful melodies and Tayside shanties non-stop!.

 Beginning as a bunch of friends who played at school concerts and talent competitions, The View developed their sound and became a huge success in a short time. Having toured extensively, appeared in numerous Festivals, claimed quite a few awards and released their eponymous E.P., they went on to do an album Hats off to the Buskers in 2007.

This band has matured and honed their style, without losing the originality which gave them that edge. This year has seen the release of ‘Which Bitch’, a new collection of music that is even more entertaining and slightly more serious instrumentally than the previous album.

They may be a bunch of Clowns, but beneath that 'couldn’t care less’ surface, lies a remarkable raw genius that remains unscathed by commercialism. Their ability to come up with fun, enjoyable material is uncanny and continues to go from strength to strength.

Discovering on My Space that ‘The View’ were coming to ....Dublin...., I decided that wild horses couldn’t keep me away. So I headed into Abbey Street to see Kyle & Co., have a pint or three and a good night out. My only complaint was that it was too short. I could have listened to this band all night and considered going back for the second gig the next night!.

A good few people were already there when we arrived and I was pleasantly surprised at the age group of the audience. There were plenty in my own age group (not teenagers) and enough young guys and gals up the front, to add to the party atmosphere!.

Opening up the show were an Irish Rock/Indie band; The Brothers Movement, previously Mainline.

Members are Neill Plaxton-Guitar vocals, Danda-Guitar/vox/ Harmonica, Scott Glennon- Electric Guitar, Conor Plaxton-Bass and Andy Parks-Drums

They have a soothing sound and are currently promoting their album Blind. Neill has a pleasant voice which is well suited to the type of anthemic rock numbers they do. They did March of the Brothers, Is God Dead, Open Arms, Sister, War &Peace, Blind and Stand Still.

Harmony is really subtle in the slower songs such as ‘Blind’, which is an anthem with a U2 quality in it. Guitar riffs are great in the faster numbers and lots of distortion is used too. Danda does nice harmonica in spates here and there!....

This set made a good appetiser for the night ahead, but for me it was hard to concentrate on anything else but the fact that I was finally going to see the fab four from ..Dundee.. next!....

Glass Smash with its haunting intro almost sung in a choral ‘oh’ then bursting into a galloping beat opened up the main show.

A bashing beat, exciting melody and a fabulous seductive ‘Hey’ sung by Kyle in the chorus makes this a lovely number. Pete Reilly is a class act with his characteristic riffs and sliding smartass lead throughout and of course the throbbing bass bits and backing vocals provided by Kieran and Pete give this song a great sense of movement and anticipation!

5 Rebeccas followed and received a warm welcome from the crowd! amazing chord combinations, a delightful key change in the middle eight and although there is a poignant message in the verse ‘Solvent abuse can kill’ it also has a punch line that’s really funny in the chorus;5 Rebeccas all of them are close to me/ One of them’s a cook, the other one does history/ One of them’s my niece and one lives close to me/ The one I love the most has turned into a Junky!.

The wonderful unique View-esque riffs from beginning to end of this number, along with gorgeous close harmony injected in just the right places, made it an unforgettable experience. They do these fab harmonic ‘Ohs’ as it’s coming to the last chorus that are just the biz!.

Steven Morrison(The Drummer) stripped to the waist which didn’t upset me at all! I admired the way that they just jammed away, enjoying the gig themselves without any airs and graces. It was as if they were making themselves at home right there with the crowd at the Academy and it was a joy to encounter!.

Wasted li’l Djs which was first released as a single, also included in Hats off to the Buskers was third. With a fast rock beat, bashing intro and a delightful guitar riff it’s one of the nicest View numbers. It has a lovely melody and a distinctive key change midway through plus a sweet lead solo. Backing vocals add to the sound as in all songs and the arrangement is such that there seems to be loads going on throughout.

Kyle switched places with bassist Kieran Webster for one or two songs. Webster has a thick accent but a really nice voice!.

Realisation was one of these with gorgeous riffs, a choppy beat and delightful harmony. In certain numbers keyboards were played by Owen Morris. This guy is kinda like a fifth member of the band and has been producer and co-ordinater for all of The View’s recordings. When Kyle returned to the lead mike he played his beautiful blonde semi-solid guitar held in what I term ‘McCartney’ fashion. He does it justice too and despite his characteristic cool attitude, he seemed to enjoy this gig!

They did Wasteland, which the crowd went mad for and then the new version of Typical Time; ‘Typical time 2’ a sweet ditty with a cute piano riff intro and nice harmonica too. Short and candy sweet, this melody is really lovely no matter what the words are!

In my excitement I got the set list all confused, plus it was supposed to be a fun night out and I’d had a couple of drinks. Quite a few of the newer songs were played including Double Yellow lines which is a fabulous sing-along number. Also the quirky Temptation Dice which is a really memorable song was performed. The One off Pretender which is a rap with amazing lead riffs brought British band ‘Oasis’ to mind for me. This one has a great line in the chorus; ‘Shout it from the rooftops!’ Shock Horror which has great punch was done too!.

I think Distant Doubloon was in there too, one of my personal favourites from ‘Which Bitch’ it’s a magical song with flourishing piano riffs, a concerto-style tempo and a melody a little like a song from a musical comedy!

Like all of the songs on the new c.d. it is surprisingly mature and involves some fabulous changes of tempo and key to delight the senses. However it has cryptic lyrics and that arrogant cheek that a band like this not only gets away with, but make into a kind of signature in their song writing!

Favourites such as Superstar Tradesman, The Don, Skag Trendy and Same Jeans were performed on the night. The audience seemed a tad tame in comparison to what I have seen at The View’s gigs in videos. This gal certainly wasn’t tame seeing these numbers performed live!

On hearing the intros and wonderful riffs a la Pete Reilly, magical beats drummed out by Steve (Mo) Morrison and distinctive baselines played on that gorgeous blue guitar by Kieran Webster, I found myself singing out the songs from the old album word for word and punching the air with delight. Manchester United were playing their first leg of the Champions league on the same night and although I’m quite partial to the Red Devils, I wouldn’t have swapped this fabulous gig for a front row at the match.

On the way out, I bought myself a huge souvenir T-Shirt and had no voice the next day; the sign of a very satisfied customer!

By Angela Macari O’Looney


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