Pop scamps and their barmy army bring on the mayhem
“The View, The View, The View are on fire!” Down the curry house’n’chain pub high street and into the Bates Motel-style venue on the outskirts of town, the chant heralds the arrival of the new New Scottish Gentry. Deep in the fathoms of Loch Ness, a couple of miles away, The Creature dives for cover as a far mightier monster comes over the hill: Dundee’s sizzling rock scamps The View and the travelling army of air-punching, gang-chanting, knocker-flashing über-fans. Tonight they take Inverness, tomorrow Falkirk, pretty soon the world. For 10 minutes before Kyle Falconer and his estate-faced muckers take a “stage” that’s essentially just a pleasantly-lit carpet, the Raigmore Motel is on its mates’ shoulders, roaring ownership and devotion in scenes not seen since Arctic Monkeys’ Ever Expanding Venue Tour of 2005. And that’s no accident; yes, the joy of a psychopathic new wave guitar wrestled into tuneful submission by some intrepid indie Steve Irwin has proved universal, but the post-Libs guitar scene has been defined by a sense of proud regional muck-raking. The Whitechapel urch rockers did The Clash, Chas & Dave and the squalor of East End crack squatdom; the Monkeys did the spiky sourness of the bouncer-beaten northern club rat, lost in dreams of naughtiness; and now, The View do The Only Ones, early Teenage Fanclub and songs with titles to bring a satisfied throb to Irvine Welsh’s veins. At last Scotland finds its own grotty underbelly being given a rabid, celebratory pop summation.
Word from the festivals reported The View to be “two hits and a load of shonky old toss”, but the sheer ferocity with which they rip through the set tonight masks any deficiencies in decent material. A Formula One whiz-blur of new wave riffage, Violent Femmes larynx warbles, Stooges guitar stonk and Dexy’s brrrrrrrr! tongue-rolls, if there’s any mid-set lull – the ’50s swing of ‘Grams For Tea’ that makes them sound like Carl Barât’s wedding band, or the wobbly ska nutty-danceathon of ‘Wasteland’ – it’s the equivalent of Michael Schumacher lulling around a hairpin bend. Elsewhere they’re ranting like a bipolar Adam Ant over ‘Skag Trendy’, sounding like Strictly Come Dancing being forced at gunpoint to waltz at triple speed on ‘Dance Into The Night’ and, on ‘Coming Down’ and ‘Screamin’n’Shoutin’, exhibiting mastery of the Libs’ way of thrashing out souped-up amphetamine punk-pop while seemingly as drunk as a freshly-divorced docker. “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go fucking mental!” says Kyle, and here’s ‘Wasted Little DJs’, the glorious sound of ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ and ‘Outdoor Miner’ making beautiful bairns. ‘Posh Boys’ rocks Inverness halfway into the Loch and ‘Superstar Tradesman’ rollocks things to a close, sending a steaming ‘Begby Central’ bosom-flashing and gang-chanting into the night. The Macedonian Monkeys they are, then, in spirit not in sound. They don’t need no water, watch these motherfuckers burn.