The View @ Tunbridge Wells Forum 24.11.10

In the before time, in the long long ago, before the gates of hell opened and all this cold and hazardous white stuff was unleashed from the skies, Bearded made it to Tunbridge Well’s The Forum for a room with The View.

Nov 24th, 2010 at Tunbridge Wells Forum / By Ben Hollingsworth
The View The phrase “Can of sardines that have long since expired their sell-by date” sprung to mind as Bearded arrived in a very cosy venue that smelled potently of just about every bodily fluid it’s possible to secrete. Nevertheless, there was a warm atmosphere among the crowd and it provided a welcome distraction.

Unshaven and wooly-hat clad roadies twiddle and fiddle for an irritatingly long time as a gaggle of ‘lads’ begin the pre-gig war chant The View have imposed on themselves, bellowing “The View are on fire!”…correct pronunciation ‘f-a-y-a’ apparently.

We are presented finally with the guys everybody has been waiting for. They come out to a huge cheer, widely smiling and with expressions that suggest a real appreciation of the crowd’s excited and welcoming shouts. The gig begins to take on a bit of a ‘homecoming’ tone, figuratively speaking.

After the commercially poor reception of their second album Which Bitch (the third single failed to enter the top #100) they appear to have a sense of refreshed determination about them as they blast into the first song of the set ‘Wasteland’. The teenagers in the crowd waste no time in getting a good ol’ fashioned ‘mosh-pit’ going at the front. Takes me back…

However, this positive energy took a knock when the band began to experience serious feedback issues that the sound engineer managed to keep persistent throughout the gig. Guitarist Pete Reilly nearly had his balls blown off by a monitor that could have been half the volume and still brought down a small house… made of wattle and daub. If you wafted your ears through the turgid noise given out by the in house PA, you could make out that the band were, actually, all giving great performances. Kyle Falconer delivered a strong vocal in the crowd favorite ‘Superstar Tradesman’, joining up with Reilly for a tongue-in-cheek (hopefully), back-to-back duel guitar solo. When it came to Kieren Webster taking his share of the lead vocal, we were greeted with an “Alright, I’m Kieren” before they played through Which Bitch’s ‘One Off Pretender’. This song came across well live, with Webster showcasing the rhythmic tones of the Scottish dialect.

New songs ‘Tragic Magic’ and ‘Sunday’ give us a hint toward the sound of The View’s third album - rumored to be released next Spring. It’s an altogether softer sound, and if these two songs are anything to go by for the rest of the album, it’ll be a lot more ‘commercially viable’. Perhaps they want some profit this time round.

All in all, it was a good show made bad by a vicious circle of poor sound balance, and band morale. By the end of the gig the poor chaps looked bored and pissed off, having negotiated with feedback for the past hour or so. A shame when contrasted with the great energy they came on with.