It's just not fair. Guitar music is just too good nowadays. Ever since the Arctic Monkeys arrived and blew away any hope for skinny-jeaned indie kids to avoid the workplace for a few years, the bar has been raised to an unreasonable height. Five years ago support act The Last Gang, who looked like Franz Ferdinand on smack and sounded like Scouting For Girls on speed, would have received a modest record deal and would be headlining the Manchester Academy, instead of filling the support slot and hawking their own EPs after the gig. "3 songs, 3 quid..."
One band that did make the cut in that 2005/6 wave of 'landfill indie' were Dundee youngsters The View, with their cheery, Libertines-lite debut, 'Hats off to the Buskers'; now they're back with a follow-up album, 'Which Bitch', and a tireless touring schedule has kept the indie-rockers very busy indeed. The band that built their reputation on riotous yet joyous performances seem to have lost none of the enthusiasm that got them noticed in the first place; even before they appeared, their vociferous fan base were chanting, "The View, The View, The View are on fire!" and were having so much fun exchanging beer mid-air that the band's presence seemed almost superfluous. When they did arrive it was to the strains of tuneful feedback, greeting the crowd with a few, "och ayes?", before tearing into their high-octane indie numbers, with the same confidence, energy and haircuts that they possessed last time around.
Crowd favourites were cherry-picked from their back catalogue, with the pop-tastic 'Wasted Little DJs' being dropped in early on to great applause; dwarfed behind a trademark electric-acoustic guitar and sporting a shock of curls that would put Frank Zappa to shame, frontman Kyle Falconer led his band of (very) merry men through a loose but practiced set, punctuating the tunes with a kind of melodic rambling, all coated in a thick Dundee accent. Perhaps in the spirit of the ramshackle jam session that was the latter half of their set, Falconer swapped both instruments and roles with bassist Kieran Webster and let him shout his way through a few punked up tunes; while both charming and entertaining, it was also slightly misjudged, as Falconer's heavy-handed strumming of the bass transformed the venue into what felt like a Pendulum house party. This laissez-faire attitude is one of the most attractive features of The View and is possibly one of the reasons that they were signed so early on in their career. However, the devil-may-care attitude that brought them this far may prove to be an ironic stumbling block that prevents them from being main players in the UK rock scene.
What prevented the show from being great as opposed to just pretty good was that a few too many of the songs sounded too similar as sections of the set seemed to merge into one another. The fact that Falconer's idiosyncratic vocal technique rendered the lyrics indecipherable to anyone other than the band's, (albeit fairly prevalent), fan base did not help matters. Recent single 'Shock Horror' was saved for the finale, complete with a mass sing-along, crowd surfing and some 12A-rated disrobing from the otherwise anonymous drummer. The View may not have the mass appeal of the Arctic Monkeys or indeed their prodigious talent, but their infectiously insouciant anthems coupled with the sheer youthful exuberance of their delivery will surely keep them on the main stage for some time to come...and it's not like they really care anyway.