Kyle Falconer’s final act of 2015, after plonking himself down at the keyboard and knocking out a heartrending rendition of ‘Tacky Tattoo’, is to blow a big, fat raspberry in its face. Considering how much of a mixed bag the last twelve months have been for The View, you could hardly begrudge their frontman that small show of petulance. On the one hand, the Dundee quartet marked their ten-year anniversary by releasing a return-to-form fifth LP, the Albert Hammond Jr-produced ‘Ropewalk’, in September; on the other, by the time said album appeared, it had been beset by months of delays, and ultimately contrived to slip through the cracks.
For the most part, however, tonight’s Jack Rocks & This Feeling’s New Year’s eve show finds indie’s scrappiest survivors seeing in 2016 on buoyant, boisterous form. The sloppiness that’s been an occasional hallmark of theirs is absent this evening; instead, they barrel through ‘Wasted Little DJs’ and ‘Living’ with verve and confidence, if not always absolute coherence (“I don’t even have to look at the rest of the band to know they’re just waiting for me to shut my puss,” grins Falconer after going off on another gibbering between-songs tangent).
It’s rousing stuff, and though the band’s 90-minute set draws heavily from debut album ‘Hats off to the Buskers’, later tracks like ‘Grace’ and the skittering power-pop of ‘How Long’ serve as a reminder that, dodgy second album aside, The View have amassed an impressive oeuvre of sparky indie-pop gems over the years. Watching their first moments of 2016 unfold, however, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d fallen through a wormhole to 2006, as Falconer is dragged headlong into a clamorous King Tut’s crowd who can only be sated with ‘Superstar Tradesman’ and the evergreen chaos of ‘Same Jeans’. The View might have grown older, and maybe even a little wiser, but they still haven’t quite grown up; tonight, of all nights, you couldn’t hope to be in better company.
Like the sound of Jack Rocks? Want to get a feel for our nights? Go here to see photos and videos from some of the best Jack Rocks gigs this year.