The View

Funny how sometimes you plan to do something, have some moderate expectations, and in the end these are totally surpassed – but in an entirely different and unexpected direction.

Before last year’s Hogmanay somebody posted in FnaG a link to a page where the BBC Alba programme should be watchable in real time all over the world. (Normally you don’t get BBC’s TV broadcasts outside the UK.) As I intended to spend, after years, the Hogmanay night at home anyway, I bookmarked the page and when the time was ripe went to it. Once there I discovered I could get to BBC Scotland’s programme as well, so for a while I was switching between the two before deciding I liked the latter more and spending the midnight with them.

No, I’m not talking here the view of Mons Meg being fired. It was a pleasanly spent time, although, to be quite frank, it was the feeling that I was at least virtually in the country I love the best at that particular time rather than the programme being anything to write home about. Anyhow, at one moment they kind of listed Scots they considered the most successful in 2009 – in sport, music &c, with Susan Boyle of course a category of her own. The next day one could still replay the programme, so I watched this part (and yes, Mons Meg) again. I knew most of the names, but wanted to look up those I didn’t. And here we go.

They also mentioned The View. Never heard of them, so I went to their page at the ‘pedia to see which songs to look for on YouTube, and began with Wasted Little DJs [all three YT videos meanwhile removed]. Hey, not bad at all. What about this, Same Jeans? Wow, even better. And this one, The Don? Well…

Well two days later I was ordering Hats Off to the Buskers at the Amazon, and when it arrived found out with a considerable amount of surprise and relief that I hadn’t picked up the only three songs from the album worth listening to. It’s all good. Now, I’m no music theoretician and I can’t say why I like it so, except that, as far as I’m concerned, it feels so sixties… Full of energy, with its own style but without determinedly sticking to any pigeonhole, and most of all – it’s got new melodies. Really new. I mean, you still hear this nowadays in a song or two by this or that band or singer-songwriter, but a whole fucking album? Incredible. And the singer’s voice’s so groovy as well…

In short, I usually waited for a few months even before ordering another Paul Simon or Pogues disc, but The View’s second album is on its road to me already. It may turn out to be one of those cases when after an amazing debut a band, a writer, whoever, never achieves the same level again. But even if it is, their first album already ranks for me with Revolver or Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. Perhaps, once I grow so familiar with the lyrics that, as is my wont, I impose on them my own interpretations, it may even rank with Waiting for Herb or the Traveling Wilburys’ albums…



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