Live at Cockpit on Sunday, 10th April 2011
This Sunday saw The View descend into Leeds at the Cockpit, topping of a day in the sunshine with some great music. Their new tour has arrived to promote their new album Bread and Circuses, which was projected onto a screen behind the band when they finally arrived on stage.
Before The View the Cockpit was filled with music from the Sound Of Guns who got the crowd going with their heavy guitars and drums. The lead singer oozed energy and entertained the crowd with his balancing act on the speakers whilst singing. The band could have headlined in their own right as they held their own, with devoted followers singing along and keeping the energy levels high. They started of the evening with a real rock vibe, with drums and guitars working to create songs like 'Architects'. This rock vibe was to be continued by The View, moving away from their traditional pop sound.
Sound Of Guns didn't play a very long set and so the audience were left waiting quite a long time for The View to make their entrance. As soon as they stepped onto the stage it was as though the audience had been unleashed and filled the first half of the cockpit's big room with a jumping, dancing mosh pit. The View matched the energy in the room with a mixture of songs from their old and new albums.
The evening consisted of upbeat rock tunes, with amazing guitar riffs accompanied by pulsing drums and symbols in the background. During some of the more pop orientated songs the bass guitar really came through, which was much more akin to some of their earlier singles. At some points there was also a reggae feel to what they were playing, especially for the slower one.
As well as playing songs from their new album, they played some of the old ones like 'Same Jeans' which really got the crowd going midway through the gig. Their new sound appears to have moved away from the more pop orientated songs to a much rockier vibe, but still manage to keep the catchy choruses that have people singing along to. There was a real mixture of pure rock and those that mix it up a bit with indie pop. 'Happy' has some very sad tones on the album, but was upbeat at the gig with the guitar solo shining through and then joined with the slower lyrics of the song which was one of those that had a soulful feel to it. This was then contrasted with the more tongue in cheek cowboy feel to 'Witches' which could have been accompanied with a bit of line dancing! Even though they have matured with their music, they have still maintained the 'uh ohs' and wails on many of the songs, which allowed the crowd to sing along to some of the more unfamiliar tunes.
At a couple of points during the gig the lead singer, Kyle Falconer, swapped places with bass guitarist Kieren Webster who sang with his whole body. He was amazing to watch and although not quite as vocally talented as Kyle the pair of them made for great watching. On some of the songs they were supported by visuals projected on squares behind them, which varied from warm lights, to the name of the album 'Bread and Circuses' and then silhouettes of people dancing. It is always great when a band can add something to the performance, adding a little bit extra to the performance.
Even though the guitars and drums were creating a real buzz, it was some of the lyrics from the songs that made the evening for me. 'Don't let the girl come in, she'll put you in a spin, just don't let her in' from 'Girl' was one that kept the crowd jumping up and down. My favourite set of lyrics came from 'Realisation' taken from the album 'Which Bitch?' and had me swaying and tapping my feet as they sang 'It's a realisation that you're not ten feet tall, realisation you don't know it all, world domination made you feel so small, realisation of it all.' If you normally listen to indie pop and haven't heard this before you should definitely give it a listen.
The band managed to keep the tempo up for the whole hour and 20 minutes, which was impressive given that they are obviously touring at the moment. I wasn't expecting the gig to be quiet so rock orientated, as much of the music that I have heard sounds a lot more chilled out on the albums. However they kept the crowd going and if you are want to hear more from an indie band maturing into different areas now is the time to catch them.