After being blessed/doomed with a flawless number 1 album back at the beginning of 2007, The View became the hottest band in the UK by channeling the excitement that The Libertines triggered, and turning it into rebellious sweaty performances with an unique anything-can-happen feel.
For their next effort many expected The View to deliver another Hats Off To The Buskers" full of 'Same Jeans', so when the emblematic Which Bitch? came out, there was an underlined level of disappointment in the air even thought it contained a collection of perfect pop songs loaded with picturesque tales of Scottish adventures and their signature celtic-ska-punk flavor.
This record reached number 4 on the charts (same as The Vaccines debut album or The Stone Roses Second Coming) but there were rumors flying around about the label being unhappy with the results. The pressure was on, and the type of advice they were getting for the 3rd album put them in a creation process equivalent of a 9-to-5 office schedule. By the time the first single came out it wasn't hard to realize that the creative decisions were being biased by what was "commercially profitable", and you could read a sense of struggle during the molding of the album.
Bread & Circuses came out, charted at 14 (just one below Rum Sodomy & the Lash by The Pogues) but apparently it was not good enough for Columbia to bother renewing their 3-albums contract. Frustration quickly turned into determination and after sorting out a new management The View regained complete control of their own levels of irreverence.
The production of their 4th album started immediately and after a few creative sessions at a recording studio in Scotland, Kieren & Kyle flew to the US to shape the new tracks with former Kings Of Leon producer Angelo Petraglia. The ready-to-go songs were put into tape at the Motor Museum Studios in Liverpool during a few weeks in March and the collection was baptized: Cheeky For A Reason.
Cheeky For A Reason also came with its own promotional tour and right before the release date they got to face the most judgmental crowd of them all: London.
But why would The View be bothered about that? Before anyone was able to come back from the bar with their freshly served pints the band had already rubbed one of their most raw and electrifying tracks 'Comin' Down' against the red and gold walls of KOKO. Camden replied with a massive nod composed of an unstoppable stream of crowd-surfers that devoured the next few songs like butter on a dog's nose.
AB (We Need Treatment) was the first new track to be test-driven but somehow everyone already knew all the lyrics and exactly where to start jumping or clapping.
At the middle of the set bassist Kieren turned to lead guitar and vocals for a 3-songs combo starting with the mighty 'Skag Trendy'. If they had closed the curtain after that, I bet most of the audience would have thought it was the best gig of their lives (and also half of them would have been shoe-less, shirt-less, drink-less or all-of-the-above-less).
Another newbie 'Hole In The Bed' received a warm welcome and here you could see Webster reaching to his most engaging side, singing as if the world was about end coming across like a take from the first two Mando Diao albums. Yes, exciting.
Everyone climbed down from the columns, balconies, seats, stairs and shoulders-of-friends for 'Face For The Radio' and while Kyle handled the middle of the stage with his guitar, Kieren sat on one of the speakers and pointed the microphone to the crowd that was now singing and hugging each other while swinging from side-to-side with disorganized clothes and drops of sweat still coming from their foreheads.
The band was in complete harmony, Kyle smiled a lot and chatted in his charming indecipherable dialect and the effortless flow of the night even allowed Pete to improvise a couple of guitar solos.
The pace was then slowed down for the future classic 'The Clock', an usual rock ballad with never-ending riffs, swirls and build-ups, unexpected choruses, an enviable swing topped by Falconer's outstanding voice-tone, and of course, more guitar solos in the hands of Mr. Reilly.
It was then the turn of Crazy Mo to raise the heartbeats with a stampede of drums for the intro of 'How Long' probably the catchiest song you'll hear this summer tied to'Sour Little Sweetie' a track that has been with The View for a while as 'Eternal Torture' but was now re-done for Cheeky For A Reason.
After Pete mentioned that the next track was going to be "Five Grebecassss" all I remember is a big blur. One of my friends dragged me to the mosh pit and even though I feared for my physical integrity, the smile of my face remained immovable. I also remember people jumping out of the mass of bouncing fans, laughing at each other while counting if they had all they teeth still on, and jumping back in. I saw security speaking via walkie-talkie trying to call in for reinforcements as they were too many crowd-surfers at the same time (counted 6 at one point) while they kept gracefully dodging flying glasses. I also remember singing, singing really loud and clapping with all my possible strength when the band left the stage.
Rumor has it that The View have done it again. Well done boys.
- Comin' Down
- Wasted Little DJs
- AB (We Need Treatment)
- Typical Time
- Bunker (Solid Ground)
- Underneath The Lights
- Skag Trendy
- Hole In The Bed
- Face For The Radio
- The Clock
- How Long
- Sour Little Sweetie
- Same Jeans
- Superstar Tradesman
- Shock Horror