Having stuffed our faces with home-made pancakes, (yes all me!) P.S. and I grabbed a bus into town to see The View at the Academy in Dublin last night. It was a pretty chilly walk across O’Connell Bridge, but when we got there the venue was jammed so the chill was left on the doorstep. I like the Academy, most ‘intimate’ venues are poky and maybe a bit gig-worn but because this place used to be a nightclub, it’s modern and sleek, plus you get a good view from pretty much any where you stand.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a great view you’re after when you go to a gig, sound is kind of important too. Having purchased pints, which incidentally, were spilled across the bar by our tender, we found one of the many perfect spots to see the stage. It was then that I realised that there was no atmosphere. True there were the faithful moshers bouncing in the pit, but considering the full-house crowd, the mood was barely buzzing. It sounded absolutely dreadful; though seemingly in-tune, you could hardly hear the singer and the drums and one or two of the guitars were totally muffled. The keyboard and cymbals however were louder than a team of Formula 1 test drivers in Hawaiian shirts. The noise of which, crashed around the venue like a drunken student in a stolen shopping trolley. This did not a good concert make.
Now I’m not a sound technician by any stretch of the imagination, but if you are distracted by the banal chatter of girls standing five or six rows away and can hear random members of the mosh pit clapping even though you are standing at the back of the room there must be something amiss.
There were a few guitar changes and a sort of acoustic set (?) before what should have been a welcome blast of heavy-hitters. As a barrage of brash guitar noise and some shouty vocals plummeted off the stage, a few faithful fans in the crowd tried a rendition of; The View, The View, The View are on fire, the band’s signature chant. That petered out after a couple of tries because the entire room knew that even if said blaze was the candle atop a one year olds birthday cake, this performance could not be described as on fire.
As with all bands at the one* album level, the anticipation for the ‘big number’ or in this case ‘the one you know’ was tangible and kept us in our places. It came and went with a feeble cheer and a patchy crown sing-along. A number of messy tunes were rumbled out followed by the latest hit, Shock Horror. On air, a fantastically charged indie pop track. Live, in this case at least, it was the suitable finale to a poor show that saw the band walk off stage, with no encore (shame), to resounding boos from the crowd. With stories of cancelled shows due to an over indulgence of the hotel mini-bar, it seems The View aren’t on fire, they’re sitting comfortably next to their bottles of beer, in ice.
* Second album, Which Bitch, released (2nd February 2009)