Friday, January 26, 2007

The View / Ripchord Birmingham Barfly Wednesday 24th January 2007

Managed to get ourselves in to this Kerrang-tastic gig for a night of Glasgow and Wolverhampton's finest (sounds like a brewer's dream). Openers Ripchord (again part of the so-called Best Midlands posse) came as a real surprise. I was kind of expecting another Arctic Monkey's style tribute act but they've got a real classic, almost early 60's 'Garagey / Liverpooly' sort of sound in places, spiked with (and they did admit to it on one track) a bit of The Coral. It all seemed a bit surprising at first (there's a few two part male harmonies going on too) but it grew on me and, by the end of the set, I had made a mental note to pick up their album when it comes out. As you know, The Baron does not like to part with his 'hard earned', so that's a good sign.

Headliners, The View, have really been bigged up by the likes of NME, which always makes me a trifle wary (not a you're just being silly). But they've started to invade my brain with their new single, Same Jeans, so I was up for 'havin' it' as they say. What's really good about The View is that they have their own voice, accent wise I'm talking here, particularly during the in-between song banter. The fact that I didn't understand much of it is probably down to my proximity to the speaker and my advancing years... So there's none of the mid Atlantic cobblers that so many vocalists adopt. It sounds 'real', which matches the realness of the lyrics (spot the subtle use of the word 'real' there folks...that's 'real').

They're certainly a feisty live act and inspired a fair bit of mosh action, destined to be big on the festival scene this year too, but I didn't think they quite lived up to some of the comments written about them. It would be all too depressing if 'the media' (yes, you know who you are) built them up, then knocked them down again...for gawds sake let new bands breathe, find their feet, fuck up if they need to. Soapbox moment over. Anyway, the album is class. Check out 'Face for the Radio' to see a whole different view of (yes I'm going to be that obvious) The View.

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