FIVE years on and three albums in, you couldn’t claim that The View have set the world alight. Scurrying on to the scene in 2006 amid chants of “The View, The View, The View are on fire,” the Scottish four-piece have tended to implode rather than sparkle as tales of drug abuse and an underwhelming second album filtered from their Dryburgh base.
Their stock in Ireland — an ancestral home for three of the four Scots — has also dipped. In 2007 they packed The Ambassador on the back of their number one debut, Hats Off To The Buskers. This time around — such was the extent that its follow-up Which Bitch sent fans running — things are markedly different. Tonight’s show was originally booked for the tiny confides of The Academy 2.
Nonetheless, bumped up to a little under three-quarters full Academy main stage, the Dryburgh lads are slowly eking back some of the goodwill that met their debut. New album Bread and Circuses may have an awful title, but it marks a return in parts to the infectious pop-punk-fuelled anthems of their debut and tonight, initially, it shows.
Opener ‘Grace’, the lead single on the new LP, is The View at their best. Moody guitarist Pete Reilly hurls out a chugging guitar line met by frontman Kyle Falconer’s stoned vocal melody and the result is an infectious pop-rock anthem that sets the mood up nicely for the night. ‘Wasted Little DJs’ follows as the mosh pit of Britpop males swells to its swirling opening guitar riff as Kyle and Kieren converge on the centre mic for the song’s chorus. The intoxicating tales of Dundee’s party underbelly continues with ‘5 Rebeccas’, its mesh of punk and ska wearing its Libertines and Babyshambles’ influences firmly on its sleeve.
It’s then the set begins to lull with newbies ‘Blondie’ and ‘Girl’. It’s not until bassist Kieren Webster takes lead vocals for ‘Skag Trendy’, ‘Friend’ and ‘Wasteland’ that the set begins to spike back into life. With Webster at the helm, The View become a different entity entirely, his fierce and urgent punk wail a marked contrast to the more chilled pop chimes of the ‘couldn’t care less’ Falconer.
It’s this ability to switch between mute and attack that sets them apart, though normal service is swiftly resumed as Falconer is put back in charge for the rest of the proceedings.
Another lull of filler songs culled from their last two records follows until the four-piece scamper too the business end of the set. ‘Same Jeans’, predictably, proves the mass sing-a-long though its charm has waned with the passing years.
The group’s real anthem is saved for their encore with ‘Superstar Tradesman’ reminiscent of an early Oasis. Forgettable second album single ‘Shock Horror’ closes a patchy set as a beer-soaked audience scream out the band’s trademark chant. There may be love left in the air for the four-piece but, on tonight’s evidence, The View possess more filler than killer.