Judging from the unusually tight security measures on the way into the O2 Academy, the bouncers predict a raucous night ahead; such is always the case when Scotland’s indie band of the people, The View, are in town. Before the band are even onstage, the crowd goes crazy to the Oasis classic Rock and Roll Star which blares over the PA system, as beers are thrown and the jumping commences. Even when the band do emerge, sporting cheeky grins on their faces, they choose to let the crowd finish the song before opening their set. They know they’re in for a good night.
The View’s reputation for attracting a rowdy mob often precedes them and they prove tonight that as musicians, they are actually much underrated. Kyle Falconer has a gritty soulfulness to his voice which stands out on new track Living along with the usual crowd favourites Wasted Little DJs and 5Rebeccas. However, it is on the heartfelt ballad Tacky Tattoo that he really shines, taking lead on the piano at the back of the stage and proving there’s more to his talent than thrashing out chords on guitar. It provides a contemplative moment among all the madness as he allows the crowd to belt the words back to him.
Instruments are regularly swapped around, with Falconer taking time out on bass to allow Kieran Webster a turn at being frontman on songs such as cult classic Skag Trendy, and Realisation. Cracks, from latest album Ropewalk, is a highlight of this segment of the show with its upbeat, catchy chorus.
The new album, which was produced by Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes, saw the band take on a more post-punk sound which was quite different to previous offerings. Nevertheless, the new material is accepted just as warmly as the old favourites. Under the Rug, the first track to be written by guitarist Pete Reilly, is brought to life by Webster’s bass, starting off quite dourly understated before hitting us with the kind of upbeat chorus we are used to. Meanwhile, Marriage has some funky guitar licks, quite different to the usual scuzzy rockers, with Falconer providing chilled out vocals on top.
Of course, the setlist is dominated mainly by older songs with a great deal of debut album Hats Off to the Buskers on show, which pleases the crowd greatly. The View are ten years old now, but you wouldn’t know it; they still play with the spirit of a few young guys just starting out. Webster jokingly says that ‘it’s the same folk that come every time’, but on this evidence, it’s easy to see why.
Naturally, the band’s ramshackle, chaotic style can give their gigs a sense of unpredictability. Such is the case when the band are forced to leave the stage midway through Superstar Tradesman as parts of the roof are literally falling down on them. Reilly quips, ‘Glasgow, you’ve outdone yourselves. You’ve literally brought the roof down’.