Sunday, November 05, 2023

Enjoying The View in Nottingham

The View released their new album, ‘Exorcism Of Youth’, back in June this year. Coincidentally, just a month before, a “brotherly bust-up that went too far” put the band in the national headlines. To paraphrase P. T. Barnum, “No publicity is bad publicity”. 

Following all of that excitement, the band are back on the road to promote the album and to remind their fans of their five preceding albums, stretching all the way back to 2007 and including the single 'Same Jeans' which reached number 3 in the UK singles chart.

Comprising Kyle FalconerKieren Webster and Pete Reilly, The View put on a show which estate agents might describe as, “compact yet surprisingly spacious” in that Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms isn’t huge, accommodating around 500 people, yet the set was varied and energetic, despite being three songs shorter than the printed set lists taped to the stage floor.

Channelling a little of Angus Young’s energy (AC/DC),The View shared fifteen songs in little over an hour with front man Falconer screaming, strutting and balancing his way through a broad set of uniquely Scottish-tinged indie/punk/pop/rock tunes. At one point, bassist Webster took the lead as Falconer moved to bass, switching back again seamlessly afterwards with not even a cross word but with a great deal of appreciation from the audience who chanted “The View… The View… The View is on fire!” whenever there was a break in the music.

Opening with the fast-paced folk-prog-rock fusion ‘Glass Smash’, Falconer told the story of a very rock’n’roll dysfunctional relationship; “I never claimed to be no angel though/I tell you in the songs I wrote/The glass went smash that was in the past but hey/You know you mean the world to me”, setting the scene perfectly for songs of anguish and personal growth, echoing the move to the more mature sound of the new album. ‘Grace’ is a melodic indie rock tune, ‘Underneath the Lights’ a story of a raucous night out, ‘Neon Lights’ a hard-edged pop song, ‘The Wonder of it All’ a mid-atlantic rock-pop song that could easily have come from Smash Mouth or Wheatus. The whole set was a weaving roller-coaster of musical styles, all threaded together with The View’s cultural heritage and stripped back, forthright sound which presents itself most clearly in the anti-colonial anthem ‘Shovel in His Hands’.

One song that really got the audience moving was ‘Allergic to Mornings’, taken from the new album. The lyrics “If you’re allergic to mornings/Wake up in the afternoon/With a brand new point of view/” seemed to resonate very clearly with the people of Nottingham who leapt at the chance to sing and clap along. The crowd-pleasing anthem is a genre that The View seem to have mastered amongst the superficially raw Celtic guitar and percussion sound.

The chart hit ‘Same Jeans’ brought the same buzz of recognition, both of the song itself and of the story that it tells, of an endless cycle of partying and self-reflection; “I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now/I'm gonna go to a disco in the middle of the town”.

The audience waited eagerly for an encore but as is increasingly the fashion at gigs these days, the trope of pretending to end and then being teased back out again was avoided and the band played a typically honest straight-through set, said their goodbyes and left, definitely leaving the audience wanting more.

The ‘Exorcism of Youth’ tour started in Nottingham and runs over 24 dates across the UK, ending on 18th December in Dundee so there’s plenty of time to get your tickets and take in The View.

Peter Freeth



Images: Peter Freeth

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