Club NME @ KOKO, London Friday, March 12
Checklist: first album that sums up your general shouty, shambolic, Scottish shtick: check. Second ‘darker’, ‘more experimental’ album that takes the bits that people liked from the first but, like, pushes the boundaries with them, maaan: check. Third album that shows genuine progress and proves that the slightly forced maturity of the second effort was leading to something rather wonderful – er, well, if tonight is anything to go by, then not quite.
Piling up for their secret 1am headline slot at the Camden branch of Club NME, the Dryburgh four-piece are here to show what a year out of the limelight has resulted in. The answer, it seems, is not much. Kicking off with a double-whammy of riotous oldies – [b]‘Glass Smash’[/b] and [b]‘Wasted Little DJs’[/b] – there’s a certain nostalgia to the familiar legion of sweaty polo shirts bouncing around the pit and Kyle Falconer’s curly mop following suit on stage but, as the strains of “[i]Astedwae Ittlae Ejaysdae[/i]” give way to the obvious bounce’n’thrash romp of newie [b]‘Grace’[/b], it’s fairly clear that time may pass but [a]The View[/a] pretty much remain the same. Other cuts taken from their forthcoming third effort – [b]‘Tragic Magic’[/b] and [b]‘Happy’[/b] – are also notably unremarkable; they swagger and scream in all the right places and everyone jumps around regardless, but there comes a point when the trick starts to wear thin.
It’s a shame, since [b]‘Which Bitch?’[/b], though hardly keeping the likes of [a]These New Puritans[/a] awake at night, was a relatively imaginative affair – melding their ballsy Scot-rock with an attempt to break out of their comfort zones. If there’s one thing tonight shows, it’s that a hell of a lot has changed since The View first rocked up with their scally tales of dirty jeans and lost weekends – it seems the four-piece are starting to become irrelevant.
Half a decade on, the post-Libertines resurgence of guitar bands has all but given way to everything from lo-fi surf-pop to rabble-rousing folk to synth-pounding electro, leaving the products of 2006 to either pave their way to the MOR major leagues or fall by the wayside. If The View don’t want to end up in the latter category, they’re gonna have to come out with something a damn sight fresher than what we’ve seen tonight.