IT’S six years since Dundee indie scamps The View first burst into our lives with indie dancefloor-filling stormer Wasted Little DJs.
Now onto their fourth album, the quartet, who have courted controversy with their latest promo video, want to be taken seriously, as bassist and cosongwriter Kieren Webster told Mail reporter TIM FLETCHER.
WHEN The View first shot to prominence, their youthful exuberance and killer indie tunes made them an instant hit.
Infectious debut single Wasted Little DJs and follow-up Superstar Tradesman both hit number 15 in the UK charts in 2006, their next single Same Jeans reached number three and the album on which they featured, Hats Off To The Buskers, shot straight to number one.
It was a rollercoaster ride for the Scottish teenagers who first strutted their stuff as a band of schoolmates.
“Our first gig was a school talent show,” Kieren Webster, bassist and songwriter, along with frontman Kyle Falconer, of the band’s enviable back catalogue of songs, tells the Mail in a thick, almost impenetrable Dundonian burr.
“From then on we went off gigging sporadically — we started playing pubs aged 16 or 17 and did a residency at a caravan park in Arbroath.
“We were a covers band to start with, doing The Beatles, Stone Roses, Oasis, T Rex — stuff like that — and people would shout out requests.
“We were always ambitious but really we were just happy playing in a band, then suddenly from just hanging around Dundee we were being invited everywhere. It was just mad.”
So did the unexpected success of the band’s debut album create pressure on the four members’ youthful shoulders when it came to recording their sophomore effort, Which Bitch? “At the time it never felt like there was any pressure but when you think back to it, it must change your attitude towards things, the fact you’re writing songs knowing lots of people are going to hear them,” says Webster.
That album reached number four in the charts, its successor, Bread And Circuses, peaked at number 14, and their fourth album, Cheeky For A Reason, drops on July 19, the same day as the single spawned from it, How Long.
“It’s just a good tune for the summer and I always thought it would be a single from the moment we recorded it as a demo,” says Webster.
“We recorded the album a couple of months back in Liverpool and it sounds great — a bit more rootsy than the last one.” The hard-hitting video for the single has been the cause of some controversy.
Starring Martin Compston, Falconer’s London flatmate, best known for his role in 2002 Ken Loach film Sweet Sixteen, it depicts scenes in which women appear to be raped and abused.
The band’s frontman has compared it to The Prodigy’s notorious Smack My Bitch Up promo, while Webster feels the criticism it has received is misplaced.
“It’s quite seedy in places but it doesn’t go over the top,” he says.
“You really need to see it to appreciate it and it’s really creative.
“We just wanted something different, rather than the usual video of a band walking down the street and playing a gig with a load of girls in the background.”
Now in their mid-20s, many people still view the band as the cheeky teenagers who first erupted onto the mid-noughties music scene.
“People still think of us as these young scallywags,” says Webster. “We still get tarred with that brush but we have grown up and we want to show everyone that and to just be the biggest and best band we can be.”
The View appear at Nottingham Rescue Rooms on Monday, June 18 and Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on Friday, June 29.
Tickets, priced £14, are available by visiting the band’s website at www.theviewareonfire.com