The View chat to Ben McGladdery F ew bands these days embody both folksy sing-along tracks with classic rock and roll attitudes. The View manage to pull this off with charm and ease, balancing their party lifestyle with a certain, ‘come on down, join in’ accessibility in both their music and their personalities. I had the pleasure of chatting with Kieran, the band's bassist, about their upcoming tour, their humble beginnings and thoughts on music piracy. Hailing from Dundee in Scotland, the band certainly shot up from their inauspicious beginnings to achieve great heights in the music industry. A sense of their working class grit and hard graft is prominent throughout each album, from the early tunes up to today’s more confident and immodest offerings, suggesting that they have discovered what works and are sticking to it successfully. Their catchy, upbeat sound stems from a range of different musical directions, which Kieran muses on, saying, “We like all sorts. Oasis, Beatles, Stone Roses, Sex Pistols – shit like that”. Perhaps this is to be expected from a indie band like these boys, but spread around the band each have their own individual tastes, from folk exponents Fleetwood Mac to rapmetal heroes Rage Against The Machine! Most will no doubt recall The View from their blistering debut back in 2007, with their debut album Hats off to the Buskers shooting to number 1 spot in it's first week. Their debut single 'Same Jeans' reached the UK top 20: “I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now” remembered fondly as a hallmark of every dance at school discos back in the day, not to mention the fact that they sung about a topic close the heart of many students (Is it just me, or is 4 days perfectly acceptable?). Kieran quips “It was just the way we were living at the time, just hanging about, you know? It was a long time ago mind!” But unfortunately, for whatever reason that was the bands high point, leaving them struggling to match their previous success since that time. With critics slating both their second and third album, Which Bitch and Bread and Circuses, everyone hopes that their fourth offering Cheeky for a Reason delivers the as much success as their debut. “It's a little bit more rootsy, but it’s still pretty energetic. People have been saying it’s a little more grown up”. Quite fair! A quick YouTube of “the view cheeky for a reason” provides you with three live performances; ‘Hold on Now’, ‘Bunker’ and ‘How Long’. 'How Long' kicks off with the catchy chorus line – “How long has it been since you fell in love with a boy like me?” With lines such as these the track screams instant anthem, strongly suggested by the fact I was already singing along six seconds in! Peter Reilly suffuses the track with his Fleetwood-esque licks on lead guitar, propelling it to an undoubt-
edly legendary status. Perhaps this single, released at the same time as the album, really does put the cheeky in ‘Cheeky for a reason’. C o n t r a s t i n g l y, ‘Bunker’ showcases a much more mature element from the Dundee band. Throughout a mellowed sing-along sense is combined with a rhythmic chorus that keeps you singing along, and entertained. When considering their latest music video, for single ‘How Long’, the track has amassed considerable scrutiny for its depiction of serious matters such as rape and domestic abuse. In an interview with a Scottish paper, front man Kyle compared it to The Prodigy's highly controversial video 'Smack my Bitch up'. Such a
"We're kinda lucky in a way; we always seem to be playing."
video is bound to attract a lot of attention, whether this is smart move for the band or a dangerous mistake that may alienate some fans remains to be seen. Yet I still yearn for the formerly floppy-haired Scots jumping around the stage in a youthful, euphoric stupor once again. From there we arrive at what can arguably be considered The View’s trump card: their live shows. The energy they put into them legendary amongst their fans. Since headlining large festivals like T in the Park back in 2007, they have entertained a varied mix of huge crowds and more intimate venues. “We’re kinda lucky in a way; we always seem to be playing. Sometimes small venues, sometimes big venues, we’re quite easy going that way and I kinda like that because they’ve both got their charms, the smaller gigs are great because they’re more intimate and you can really see everyone having a good time.” That sums the band up in my eyes; they really are there for the fans. They get
their buzz from performing their music and giving the audience a show, bouncing around the stage screaming til their throats give out and producing a spectacle to remember regardless of the size of the audience or venue. Popular shows are on the horizon this summer, including festivals like Rockness, where the Scots will be playing the Clash arena on the Saturday date. Known as regulars on the festival scene, The View will be looking forward to kicking off their tour at this huge venue. However they have definitely taken time to remind us that they haven’t forgotten their loyal student fans! Kieran explained: “Nah, I like student gigs man! They’re well good! Always look forward to York!” Come the 14th, Kieran, Kyle, Peter and Steve will be commandeering the dark depths of The Duchess' dungeon stage. As any regular (or anyone who’s visited The Duchess before for that matter) will know, that bodes for a lively evening to say the least! Expect friendly mosh pits, crazy dancing and copious amount of long hair being whipped back and forth, to coin a phrase. Finally, when questioned about musical piracy, Kieran seemed not too fussed about the whole matter. Asked whether they’ve found it difficult he tells me “You can barely notice the difference really, but
it’s a double edged sword, you've got poor people who don’t have any money but still wanna buy music. If people can get it for free they’re gonna take it, it’s like a drug ain’t it, people start off, then they stick with it.” Not quite a call to go out and pirate their music, but an interesting take from someone deeply entrenched in the industry. It certainly seems they don’t receive much from Spotify or similar sites, as upon enquiry Kieran had no idea what income they received from these companies, nor did he seem to care! By going to see them live on June 14th, your money will be much better spent, and you will have a better time than surfing Spotify to listen to their music! With support from the Manchester 6-piece Folks and tickets costing just £14, I will definitely be putting in an appearance and suggest you grab your ticket too. Regardless of whether this album turns out to be the bands saving grace or their swan song, what is consistently apparent with The View is their commitment to the quality of their live performance and their willingness to work hard and embrace all the experiences that comes with working in the music industry. With the promise indicated by their past success, the anticipation of their new album and the excitement of their York show, I hope they can live up to their true potential and we can see the best of these hardworking, fan-devoted individuals, such a group deserve every bit of success they get.
Published on Jun 10, 2012