Due to a cock-up in the box office I only arrive at the Wulfrun Hall in time to see the last few songs of four-piece Last Gang’s set. What I do see is enough to assure me that this is a band that, while being very tight and not doing anything wrong, seems to be lacking that special something required to make them stand out in the music business.
Last Gang could be described as a clean-cut, classic British punk band, although they have clearly been influenced by the ska scene somewhere along the way. Their fight to get the crowd on their side tonight isn’t helped by the poor sound quality the Wakefield band have to deal with, and as such the audience seem to appreciate the music without being too enthusiastic.
Song to hear: Youth Run the City.
Next up are The Law, an alternative indie band which fellow Dundonians and tonight’s headliners The View have called “the best band in Dundee”. The World-War-two-style air-raid sirens that signify their entry onto the stage would suggest that this is a band which really believes what The View have said about them.
Lead singer Stuart Purvey certainly has a confident air about him, with a style and presence not too dissimilar to one Liam Gallagher. His call “Oi oi!” gets the crowd going, although they soon tire as the 5-piece fail to live up to expectations.
The Law may well have been having an off-night tonight but that can be no excuse and their set, despite being a solid one, was nothing to write home about. The band has a good presence but seem to think that is enough as they hardly move for the whole 30 minutes. This statue-like performance is matched by the mostly static crowd, with the exception of a few fans at the front.
Song to hear: Man in the Moon
With the support acts out of the way, the electric atmosphere associated with any gig involving indie rock band The View starts to build. Chants of ‘The View are on fire!’ begin almost immediately after The Law’s set finishes and barely stop for the excruciatingly long 40 minute break.
The sight of The View finally gracing the stage is greeted by a deafening roar of anticipation, only heightened as bassist Keiren Webster shouts down the mic: “how the fuck are you?!” After an intro track which would not be out of place in a monastery, they move straight into first song ‘Glass Smash’ and the crowd get their first dose of front-man Kyle Falconer’s unique and unabashedly Scottish voice.
Something that strikes me straight away is how mature their sound is for a band who look like they should probably still be in school. Baby faces, curly hair and skinny jeans fail to hide an established talent for song writing and a magnificent stage presence.
The crowd are bouncing from the first chord. Webster again has an influence, getting them clapping along as the atmosphere really hits a peak for the first time tonight. It is immediately clear that, in the eyes of the audience, The View are most definitely the best band in Dundee at the moment.
By the time they hit crowd favourite ‘Wasted Little DJs’, it is clear that Falconer and Webster have a very close friendship, with drummer Steve Morrison and guitarist Pete Reilly ignored for most of the set. The importance of Falconer and Webster is only highlighted as they keep swapping instruments and vocal duties. ‘One Off Pretender’ sees Webster switching to guitar and lead vocals, with Falconer taking the bass and backing. It is also evident that most of the band are steaming drunk tonight, with Webster claiming “I’m really pissed” and then instinctively taking over vocal duties halfway through the band’s most successful single ‘Same Jeans’, as Falconer throws up on stage. While for most this would be a disadvantage, it seems to do The View no harm at all and they continue to deliver a brilliantly energetic set, despite Falconer in particular looking slightly the worse for wear at times.
They end with hit ‘Superstar Tradesman’ and new single ‘Shock Horror’ to get the crowd involved one last time, and after a set list somehow spanning 18 songs they know not to expect an encore. The View have put on one hell of a show tonight and have expended almost every last ounce of energy in their bodies. One of the best things about the gig is that you really feel a part of things. This is not ‘The View in concert’. This is The View and their fans as one, creating a fantastic atmosphere and a show to remember for everybody in the building.
Wasted Little DJs
One Off Pretender
Typical Time 2
Face For The Radio
Jimmy’s Crazy Conspiracy
Give Back The Sun
Review – Jack McCormick
Photos – Shaz R