The View's fans have been down in London from Dundee since this morning, drinking steadily, like football fans down for the Cup. Come showtime at King's College's bar there's even hooliganism, a violent mêlée kicking off as the View play their new single, "Superstar Tradesman". Pints pour down on the band's equipment, creating a risk of electrocution. And through it all comes the supporters' steady chant: "The View, the View, the View are on fire!"
"Superstar Tradesman", the View's second single, has just followed "Wasted Little DJs" into the Top 20, confirming their rapid rise. It began when 19-year-old bassist Kieren Webster handed Pete Doherty their demo before his Dundee show last year. Doherty put them straight on the bill, then talked to James Endeacott, who signed the Libertines, and he made the View the first name on his 1965 Records roster.
Primal Scream took them on tour. Owen Morris has produced their debut album (due in the New Year), as he did for Oasis. Such faith is explained by the singles: yearning sunbursts of guitar pop, as optimistic and energetic as anything this year.
When I meet the View in their dressing room, they're midway through the sort of backbreaking 60-date tour rarely seen since the Seventies. "We're just trying to get where we're going as soon as possible," says guitarist Pete Reilly. "Last night, people were singing all the words to songs we haven't released. It's amazing how it's building."
The View (mop-haired singer Kyle Falconer and drummer Steve Morrison complete the quartet) met at school in Dryburgh, a small, isolated housing scheme on the edge of Dundee.
It says "Dryburgh Soul" on their tour T-shirts, and this close community peoples their songs. They started playing seriously at the town's Bayview Hotel, the pub that gave them their name (and banned them, when they started revving scooters through the bar). "Wasted Little DJs" is about two local female friends.
Touring so much hasn't cost them this bond. "It's weird," says Reilly, "because everybody in Dundee, from people who are 60 to people who are 10, know us now. It's like they're grabbing onto us, saying: 'Well done, boys. Keep going.'"
But their music, a joyful eruption of teenage frustration, shows why they were obliged to opt out from the regular jobs and futures on offer to them in Dryburgh. "Superstar Tradesman" is their manifesto, Falconer singing: "I don't want money, I want a thing called happiness. I don't want cash in hand, I quite like memories..." "You've only got one life, man," elaborates Webster. "What's the point in thinking: 'Oh, imagine if we did'?"
The View and their fans have a reputation for largely good-natured mayhem, with the police being called to their last single launch. The band certainly cause a stir as they stroll through King's College's sedate corridors, attracting nervous stares.
The band are banned by their management from London rock star hangout the K West Hotel, its 24-hour bar having tempted them too often. Falconer is pondering one day playing sober. "But I need that element of danger," he decides, demonstrating the Zebedee bounce to the stage's edge that drink induces.
When they retired to a farm outside Scarborough in May to record their album, Owen Morris, the veteran Welsh producer and wild man, proved a perfect foil. The record was finished in three weeks, Morris orchestrating the all-night sessions with instinct, alcohol and mind games. "He was ready to walk out the first morning," says Reilly. "Then in an hour he came back and we started recording, and it was: 'You're geniuses!' He does nae beat about the bush. There was no in between."
"Owen wouldn't work until he'd been to the pub," claims Falconer. "But at the recording desk, when he really put his foot down, he was right." They celebrated the record's completion by roaring round the fields in the producer's Jaguar, playing it full-blast to the cows.
While they wait for its release, the View keep touring. The band grab what sleep they can on the tour bus, young enough to keep going - and to show vulnerability, too. "I never realised there were places like Cambridge, with people in gowns," Webster says sweetly, of the sights he's seen. "I love Camden, too. That you can walk about and look like a freak, and people don't give you a second look. In Dundee, you'll get funny looks if you walk around dressed like this [in casual, faintly rock outfits]."
That night, the View tear through "Wasted Little DJs" while the Dryburgh girls who are the song's subject jig round them on stage, a kicking, screaming fan is rescued from a beating, and half their home town roar their name. Endeacott, sure that they are the Libertines reborn, hugs everyone in sight. Whether next year makes them stars or not, right now the View's youthful euphoria is hard to beat.
'Superstar Tradesman' is out now on 1965 Records; The View's UK tour continues to 6 December ( www.theviewareonfire.com)Reuse content