Dunfermline is a solid iceberg with bits of railings and concrete sticking out at random intervals and hopeful bodies piling out of chippies. Velocity is a purple oblong defiantly braving the sub-zero night along with 800 odd souls dressed in anything from spaghetti straps and tutus to hooded parkas and wellies. What madness is dragging them out on one of the coldest nights in the coldest December for a century?

Inside, in the meat chiller of a dressing room, lies the reason: the micro inferno from Dundee who have more than lived up to five years of : ‘The View, the View, The View are on fire!’ Kyle is doing some terrifying rave dance moves on a dining table, Mo is changing into his tracky bottoms and Kieren, Reni and Pete are catching up with girlfriends. There is a blow-heater the size of a plane engine but it’s not giving out any more heat than an enthusiastic hairdryer. People moan and shiver so Kyle goes behind it and does some rather sexual thrusting moves with a gas canister resulting in a twelve inch flame leaping out, scattering the saner mortals into far corners. Kyle applies his musical laws to the rest of the universe.

Meanwhile, the crowd has grown from being full for the hyperactive Mass Consensus with their crazy ballads to rammed for Glaswegian band The Controls (infectious dance rock) to jowl-to-elbow, semi-naked bodies on heads and shoulders, wall-to-wall packed jostling to MC 5’s ‘Kick out The Jams’ and other amped-up intro music. The anticipation is palpable, like the salt off your sweat and sporadic chants of ‘The View, The View, The View are on fire!’ go up every five minutes. Finally, the five Dundonians are leaping and slapping each other behind the fire curtain, the tour manager’s fist rises up to salute the sound guy over the crowd and the band burst on stage, erupting into ‘Wasteland’, the primal punk paean to the Dryburgh that birthed their romantic gothic vision of Dundee. This is swiftly followed by the next single off new album: ‘Grace’ – an ecstatic delirious melody, upping the ante several bars from ‘5 Rebeccas’ and ‘Superstar Tradesman’. The crowd has been swept up into a tsunami of a View passion: beer, lager, legs and arms in the air.  ‘This is the last night of our tour!’ is barely heard and they hurl themselves next into ‘Wasted Little Deejays’ – the feral anthem which took them to the top five years ago. The audience sing along to ‘5 Rebeccas’, screaming out the vocals before Kyle announces: ‘This is a new tune…for all the drug dealers.’  It’s ‘Tragic Magic’.  The chorus is pure pop but the riffs are as dominant and contagious as ever, the lyrics as caustically correct.

‘Realisation’ is ‘For all the Scottish people in the crowd. Feels like we’ve been away for twenty weeks.’  The crowd yell out the lines: ‘Why should we throw away a sunny day? We should not!’ Kyle has taken a backseat while Kieren takes the lead and goes onto ‘Skag Trendy’ which has the hall pogoing. Kyle takes back his guitar from Kieren and ‘Dance into The Night’ bursts out – the guitars frenetically sped up from first album.

The next two songs are from the new album: ‘Girl’ – Reni’s delicate piano intro with the whimsical shanty of ‘Typical Time’ and ‘Gem of a Bird’. The harmonies  mark out  several changes in tempo as the whole band display the same cracked innocence which makes their tunes simultaneously dark and joyous.

Kyle is uncharacteristically loquacious tonight, bursting into full on Dundonian speeches. Even the Scottish audience just smile and nod, oblivious to the words but understanding the meaning.  Maybe it’s the secret formula to The View’s songs, maybe it’s the contents of his suitcase…they are ‘Happy’ enough and so the same song starts with bare harmonies, crashing drums and guitars: ‘Still the bitch that makes me mad.’

‘Double Yellow Lines’ and ‘Superstar Tradesman’ restore the floor to the usual View mayhem. They move in a seamless stream into ‘Underneath the Lights’. The band’s furious energy pulls the audience further and further beyond themselves into ‘Sunday’, their soaring free download from the third album with every hand in the air.

Returning to their roots of cover-playing, takes them ‘Up The Junction’ with Squeeze but there’s a poignancy to this ska-revisited track before the finale: ‘Shock Horror’ rips up the remains of the audience. Band and crowd merge into one sole emotion: ecstacy and the place where you’re allowed to imagine. A madder and brighter vision.

(The three bands join together for a rendition of Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas’ to send the  well-deserving crowd their seasonal wishes).

To the critics who thought they couldn’t keep it up – the View are a lot higher, tighter and stronger than the pundits’ sloppy expectations,  Bets are on this is the album Beady Eye’s debut wishes it was.









The View Report. From a photographer’s viewpoint (Steve Gunn)

While standing watching The Controls from the side stage, I notice a distinctive statue in the shadows - the curls which top off Kyle from The View. He had taken some time out to watch the support act that has been with them on this latest tour.

I stepped into the pit area to get ready for the main act, The View, to take to the stage. The pit area, which on this occasion wasn’t wide to stand in, never mind take 2 photographers and 3 beefy security guards, was going to be a bit of a squeeze. As I stood waiting I noticed a few young girls looking excited but worried. It was their first time down the barriers and they didn’t realise that once the View got started the pushing would only get worse.

Time was getting on and the crowd started the chanting: “The View, The View are on fire”, when suddenly the nod to the sound guys was given - here they are. The guys hardly had time to strap the instruments on when there was rain of beer, sprayed onto the stage and luckily, as I dried off the camera and lens, the crew had to do the same to the electrics on stage. This now seems to be the norm at gigs and I should be better prepared for the soaking that I now seem to get.

The band started by thanking the crowd for coming out on such a winter’s night before getting straight into Wastland, followed by Grace, Wasted little DJs, then 5 Rebeccas. The crowd also wasted no time and the Velocity building was being shaken to its foundations. As I dodged the further items of clothing, ranging from tops to scarves, it was the lonely trainer that got me laughing as on this night of 6 inches of snow someone was going home with one very cold foot.

The View played on and covered 12 more songs before bringing the other 2 bands on stage to finish the tour and the night with there own rendition of MERRY CHRISTMAS. On a night where it was -9 outside, the crowd got this one right: The View were definitely on FIRE, and, from the performance I witnessed, it will be a while before anyone can put them out.