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Notorious Dundee rockers The View are ‘clued up’ and sensible on ‘biggest tour ever’ says Kyle Falconer

The frontman insists the band are replacing wild nights on the road with sensible bedtimes, gym sessions and a 'happy' bus.

The View.
The View are heading to Dundee's Caird Hall this weekend. Image: Supplied.

No band which partied as hard as Dundee’s favourite sons the View once did can expect the kind of longevity they’ve enjoyed – especially in the midst of a comeback which has given them more success than they’ve seen in years.

Not that they did too badly the first time round.

From 2007’s megahit Same Jeans and the album Hats Off to the Buskers, the trio released four more albums over the next eight years, despite the drink and drug stories which dogged frontman Kyle Falconer.

Now it’s been eight years since their fifth record Ropewalk, and this year’s long-awaited follow-up Exorcism of Youth has gone into the top ten, giving them their highest chart placing for an album since 2009.

The View back in their Hats Off To The Buskers days.
The View back in their Hats Off To The Buskers days.

“It probably is more mature, because we’re a bit more mature,” says Falconer now.

“I mean, we’re all pretty much the same. You could pretend to paint it like we’re all grown up and exorcising our youth and all that, but it’s not true.

“We’ve all got kids, so that’s different, but when we’re in the studio it’s still the same antics, the same patter. We’re not going, ‘we can’t do that because it’s not a mature enough sound for us’. We just do whatever comes out.”

Kyle Falconer of The View: ‘Juggling three kids, it’s crazy’

All involved have kept busy since 2015.

Bassist and songwriter Kieren Webster has his own band WEB, and guitarist Pete Reilly also plays with Echo and the Bunnymen.

Meanwhile Falconer has released two solo albums under his own name, one providing the soundtrack and inspiration for the ‘play with songs’ No Love Songs, which ran at the Edinburgh Fringe and Dundee Rep earlier this year.

“That was great,” he says now. “When we first set out the idea was to try and get it on the Fringe, so when we finally got there, we were all buzzing.

“There’s talk about taking it to America and Europe next year, it’s non-stop. It’s also someone else to think about, I’m run off my feet at all times.

Kyle Falconer and Laura Wilde with daughters Wylde and Winnie.
Kyle Falconer and Laura Wilde with daughters Wylde and Winnie. Image: Mary McGowne.

“We’re juggling three kids, it’s crazy,” he continues. “I’m on the biggest tour of my life at the minute, getting days off here and there so I can see the kids, then straight back on.

“It’s hard to balance it, going from waking up at 2pm to coming back and waking up at half six with the kids.”

No Love Songs was co-written by Falconer’s partner Laura Wilde, a fictional account of her post-natal depression, also detailing what it’s like to be married to a busy touring musician. This time, says Falconer, things might be much the same in the studio, but they’re different on the road.

Falconer insists: ‘Now we’re professional’

“The band are more clued-up and know what could go wrong, so we’re not doing that,” he says, referring to the partying.

“Everyone’s going to bed, we’ve all joined the gym, we try to occupy ourselves during the day, which has been an absolute blessing.

“It’s one of the big things when you’re away, just trying to fill the day. There’s only so many sights you can see when you’ve done these cities fifty times each. Back in the day we woke up and went straight to the pub, but now we’re professional.

“It’s the best we’ve ever played as a band, everyone’s dead happy on the bus.”

Falconer’s chatty and open – aside from in response to the inevitable question about the onstage altercation between him and Webster in Manchester back in May, which was later described as ‘brotherly’.

The View band members.
The View. Image: The View

“Ah, it was nothing,” he says now. “I don’t really want to comment, it’s in the past, man. It is what it is, just internal stuff between us.”

It’s clear the band are trying to put it all behind them, so let’s do that too.

Things really do feel refreshed and optimistic for a group which once seemed bound to live fast and… if not die young, certainly mess things up sooner rather than later.

Now, clean-living and with family responsibilities, the new View are looking to the future.

The View aren’t ‘stuck in the noughties’

They’ve got good backing too – Webster talked Scots indie impresario Alan McGhee into managing them for this record, while producer Youth (Paul McCartney, the Verve) took them to Spain for a month for a successful, stress-free recording session.

“He’s not really hands-on, he’s more like a vibes guy,” says Falconer of Youth. “He reads the room and throws really crazy ideas in, and you’ve got to go with it, that’s why you decided to work with him.

“It always works out, you’ve just got to believe. Trust the process, that’s what he says.”

The desire isn’t to recapture the good old days: “You can’t just be stuck in the noughties and try and sound like a ferocious indie punk band, you’ve got to move with the times.”

Falconer isn’t overly political, he says, but Webster’s imagination has been fired by bands like Idles, who go “down the dark path, into why the world is as s***** as it is”.

The View, who are heading to Caird Hall.
The View’s newest album Exorcism of Youth has proven they’re back and better than ever. Image: Supplied.

Yet Falconer is as happy co-writing a song with his daughter, as he has on one of the Japan-only tracks from the album.

He likes the fact the record has been successful, but is even more pleased that promoters and festivals are excited to see them back, and that bookings are coming in for next year.

Once 2023’s tour dates are done, he’ll be taking a break for the holidays – maybe even to Alicante in Spain, where he and a friend have set up a songwriting camp and recording studio named La Sierra Casa, which is now accepting applications online.

Is he planning to move there any time soon?

“I’ve already tried a couple of times, but I don’t think the missus is ready,” laughs Falconer. “I’ve found a nice house, but you know, the kids are still at school. We have to wait for the right time.”

As his band are demonstrating once again, that time comes around eventually.

The View head to to P&J Live, Aberdeen, December 16; Caird Hall, Dundee, December 17 and 18 as part of their latest tour. The album Exorcism of Youth is out now.