Welcome back the brogue traders

THE VIEW ... playing an intimate gig at the O2 Academy 2 in Newcastle.
THE VIEW ... playing an intimate gig at the O2 Academy 2 in Newcastle.
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DON’T be fooled by the title of their new album – The View are starting to grow up.

Take, for instance, the dressing room rider on the tour that returns the Scots to The Leadmill on Saturday.

“It now has red wine and stuff on it…we never used to have wine,” says singer and one-time wild man Kyle Falconer, swiftly adding: “The rider’s not really calmed down, though.”

And there are other clues as to why new album title Cheeky For A Reason might be slightly misleading. One quote Kyle already gave about the July 9-released record saw it described as ‘Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours done by The Clash’.

“They’re like favourites of the band. If you asked anyone in the band they would be in our top five,” he says.

“It suggests versatility because there’s a big contrast between the two. So it’s got that edginess to it but we actually based a couple of the tracks on Fleetwood Mac, not copying but intending to sound like that. It’s also quite raw as well. We’ve done them quite live with a lot of harmonies.

“The Clash in the early stages were stripped back and we’ve kind of done that, kept it simple, bass parts and drum parts – I’m not playing guitar on some – so you get back to the real nature of the song.

“We tried to find the right mix of sounds, sex it up and see what worked best.”

Who would be the Stevie Nicks in this band remains to be debated, but the singer and co-writer has a point. Album four is certainly a wholesome leap on from the boisterous, joie de vivre rock’n’roll of 2006 debut Hats Off To The Buskers and opener How Long is one of few tracks that comes close to the stomp of early singles Wasted Little DJs and Superstar Tradesmen.

“There’s a couple of songs on there that are a bit quieter, but it depends on what angle you look at it from,” says Kyle, who says the album title merely hints at the character of the band.

“We cannot get past people’s perception of us and we’re now 24 or 25-years-old. We always wear our hearts on our sleeve. We’re cheeky but we’re older. Even when we’re 60 people are still gonna be going ‘They’re cheeky’.”

One person who did instil a little more maturity into their sound, however, was Kings Of Leon unofficial fifth member Angelo Petraglia, with whom Kyle and Kieren Webster wrote three of the album’s tracks.

“He’s got a studio on the end of his house in Nashville. We spent a few days there and came up with five tracks in all.

“We’ve got new managers and they asked us if we’d go across. We’d just got our visas back as well. We’d not been allowed into America for ages so it was a good time to go back there.”

Some may remember Kyle was banned from entering the USA after he was convicted for cocaine possession aged 19. It’s something he regrets, not least because of the effect it had on The View’s overseas operations.

“We had a massive tour booked when I got the conviction. It threw a spanner right in the works because we’d built up quite a hype. Our first record won awards for songwriting and everybody was rallying round. We’ve since had two records that haven’t been released across there. It’s gonna be hard work but it will be good to get back into it again.”

Not that, for all their bravado, the quartet shy from hard work. They tour relentlessly and Cheeky lands just a year after the Youth-aided Bread & Circuses, which suggests something of a purple patch for the boys.

“We had some tunes left. Although they’ve not made it to this album and are still kicking about, we went back in the studio and our new management said ‘We think you’re ready to go’.”

Newly signed to Cooking Vinyl, the lads also worked with Mike Crossey who cites Foals, Razorlight and some band called Arctic Monkeys on his production CV.

The View were due to do the third album with him but their old label didn’t agree. They became friends anyway while doing demos so when the regime changed Mike was re-approached.

“He was into the change. You put feelers out to producers and he was the first one to get back.”

And like any band they’ve sought to pursue more as they’ve gained experience of music making.

“I don’t think it’s good for a band to reinvent themselves, to completely, dramatically change and start dressing completely differently. You get bands that do that.

“It’s good to show a bit of development every record, sure, and I think we’ve done that; we’ve done the string thing and tried to clean up our act on the last album, having been wreckheads. On this one we’ve kind of made a point.

“But you write whatever you write about when you’ve a guitar in your hand. We try to keep it pure. The Arctic Monkeys have always been good at that. I respect them and I also liked The Libertines for that.”

Either way, making it to four albums is no mean feat in these musically tough times, not least for an act that emerged while so young and impressionable.

Plenty of bands hyped about the same time as The View made it big are now repairing cars and cleaning Asda’s fridges for a living.

But The View are very much still with us and so is that broad Dundee brogue. “How am I gonna lose it hanging about with the boys all the time,” laughs Kyle, admitting there are some nationalities that still struggle to understand him.

“Ah, definitely. Some people look at you as if you must be Gaelic or something. Americans will just go ‘Are you Irish?’ It’s mental.”

Sometimes you’ve just got to let the music do the talking.