Saying it in the States will get you banned from the cool kids’ table, but fuck it, We love The View. If you think we mean the old chickens on the boob tube, check out the above video for “The Don” and after the jump for our Gen F on the The (good) View from Issue 44.
Photo by Shawn Henderson
Romancing the Stoned
The joyous excesses of the View
By Sam Richards
As a UK band, you know you’ve made it when you have your own football terrace-style chant. “The View, the View, the View are on fire!” is the chorus that has pursued these Scottish scallywags for the last year as their following has snowballed—it started with a hardcore of hometown evangelists, but now practically all-comers are seduced by their ragged, uplifting anthems. Like last year’s UK success story Arctic Monkeys, the View are scarily fresh-faced—average age 19—and like the Monkeys, they have effectively demolished the barrier between band and audience. The kids in the front row are the same kids who “treasure beer cans” and “talk of dreams, romance and excess” throughout the View’s breathless urban hymns.
“Pretty much every one of our songs is about our friends,” reckons deceptively cherubic singer Kyle Falconer. “We’ve got loads of interesting mates. There’s no point in racking your brains trying to come up with a lyric that’ll change the world—if you write about what you know best, people will be able to relate to it.” The View learned to play along to Oasis, Fleetwood Mac and The White Album but, as for so many bands of their generation, the Libertines were the catalyst. “Other bands taught us how to play music, but they had the attitude,” Falconer says. The totemic Libertines frontman Pete Doherty also influenced the View’s career rather more directly. When he visited their hometown of Dundee, Scotland with his post-Libs outfit Babyshambles, the View ambushed his tourbus; the evening ended with Doherty playing harmonica along to their demo and inviting them to open for him the following night. A few weeks later, former Libertines A&R man James Endeacott made them the flagship band of his new 1965 Records imprint.
With mentors like Doherty and legendary drug repositories Primal Scream, it’s no surprise that the View have attracted a reputation for hijinks. They are named after a local inn in which they used to rehearse, but were banned from for racing microscooters through the function suite and stealing beer from the bar. Falconer also recounts tales of the group branding each other with rosemary beads, driving cars in reverse down one-way streets and running through winter streets wearing nothing but a Scotland-flag thong. He is unsure as to whether the View’s hedonistic outlook constitutes a philosophy, but concedes, “We like to have a drink in our hand, aye.”
Everything has happened rapidly for the View, with the self-confessed “noise and thrashiness” of their invigorating debut album Hats Off To The Buskers a direct result of the band transporting its live show into the studio and getting out again quickly in order to enjoy life some more. “We’ll give it a bash,” Falconer says, when pressed on his ambitions for breaking America. “But we don’t think much about the future.”