Tue 19 June
words: LYNDA NASH
Having just reviewed The View’s fab new album Cheeky For A Reason, I entered the student union keenly anticipating seeing them. Now I’ve been to enough gigs to know that live music tends to differ from the studio version, but when The View began their set I questioned whether I was at the right venue. “They look like One Direction,” my plus one said. And they sounded like Sham 69 possessed by the spirit of AC/DC. There’s no denying these Scottish lads can play – but the melodious riffs I’d heard on the CD were replaced by thrashing guitars and the smooth vocals replaced with shrieking, under which were buried the poppy lyrics that give the band their originality.
After each song Harry Styles (Kyle Falconer) and Liam Payne (Pete Reilly) swapped places, changed their guitars and seemed intent on trying to outdo each other by how fast they could hammer the strings. Between all this too-ing and fro-ing I caught snippets of How Long, Hole In The Bed and other tracks from the new album, but this was no longer the self proclaimed “Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours done by The Clash’. I was disappointed. I was also going deaf because as the pace increased so did the volume, adding distortion and feedback. This didn’t seem to bother the students waving their arms at the front but they’d had more beer than me.
Supporting The View were Liverpool rockers Sound Of Guns – a tight, professional outfit formed from the remnants of Freemaker, The Vagabonds and The Veras. Andy Metcalfe’s vocals are like an instrument in their own right, powerful, clear and mesmerising. A stadium band in the making.
But the award for most entertaining band of the evening goes to The Boy Royals who opened the show. The Newport based four-piece played an interesting mix of indie-mod-Britpop with undertones of The Who and The Jam – and even a cheeky nod to Billy Bragg. They put on an understated performance and deserved a larger audience than they had at 7.30pm; they should have played last because The View wasn’t all that good from where I was standing.