Tim Hughes meets The View: a band as famous for rowdiness as for their Scottish power

Kyle Falconer is not much of a talker. He doesn’t need to be. When you front a band with the visceral power of The View you don’t need anecdotes and witticisms.

His vision is clear, though: this is a band which is all about the music.

“We are rock and roll!” says the 25-year-old in a Dundee accent as thick and stodgy as one of the town’s famous fruit cakes. “And we are on fire.”

As far as mission statements go, it’s up there with the best. This, after all, is a band who have continuously flirted with controversy – if not, deliberately caused it.

Their propensity for lavish partying is the stuff of legend – before and after shows. Falconer has turned up at shows too drunk to perform, and at a gig in Nottingham the lead singer of a support band had to stand in for him as he was so inebriated. The band were forced to cancel an American tour five years ago after Falconer was arrested for possessing cocaine (“we got stitched up and the police wanted it to happen,” he insists). More recently, feminists turned on the band, claiming a video for their song How Long showed women who had been battered and abused.

None of that, however, detracts from the fact that they are one of the best, and most uncomplicated, pop-rock bands around. And, as Falconer insists, they are very “rock and roll”.

I caught up with him in Glasgow, where the band are preparing for a tour which, next Saturday reaches Oxford. The band will perform at the O2 Academy’s Propaganda club night – and are charging fans a fiver a head. The show gives them a chance to warm up for their support slot for The Stone Roses, in front of an estimated 50,000 Glasgow crowd the following Saturday, and a summer of festivals including their spiritual home, T in the Park.

It also follows the release of their fifth album — a compilation of tunes called Seven Year Setlist. That’s a compilation — not a greatest hits collection. It’s a subtle distinction, but next to live favourites Wasted Little DJs, Superstar Tradesman and Same Jeans are four new songs. Still, it’s something of a departure from last year’s fan-grabbing top 10 album Cheeky For A Reason.

“We had to get all our songs on a collection for America,” says Kyle. “We’ve got a new record label and they wanted to put it out and we thought it looked quite good.

“It’s not really a ‘greatest hits’ though, as it’s got new songs. A lot of bands have done it after four albums, and we thought it wasn’t such a bad thing. After all, some songs get major radio play, but others don’t.”

Does that signify an assault on America then? “Yeah,” he says. “America is different but, generally, they still get it. And people are aware of the fact we are Scottish — chaotic and with a chip on the shoulder.”

The band’s reputation raised a notch when their album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2007, alongside Arctic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, Dizzee Rascal, Oxford’s Young Knives, and, winners, Klaxons. Kyle remains refreshingly non-plussed though. “It was cool, but I didn’t agree with some of the other bands that were nominated. And The Klaxons were diabolical! There were a lot of pretentious bands and I don’t believe in any of that.”

Still, he must have been happy? “Not really. Our album had already been No. 1 so it couldn’t have helped much.”

The band’s ‘rider’ (list of requested items to venues) speaks volumes. “We ask for vodka, cider, Guinness, lager and Coco Pops,” he says, matter-of-factly. “We used to get socks, but we just left them in a pile in the bus.”

So do they deserve their hard-living image? “Well, I do drink too much,” he admits. “But everybody does. Anyone who says they don’t is a liar. Everyone has a drink on the bus. We’ve just been tarred with the brush. We have been keeping our noses clear though.

“Now and then we can be idiots, but we keep close. We started working together when we were young and now do it well. After all, we grew up in the same place, are into the same things.”

And that, more than anything, is music. “Once you hear bands like The Beatles and Stones, you get into it,” he says. “Lads get into music or football, and for us it was all about music. And we approach it 100 per cent.”

  • The View play the Propaganda club night, O2 Academy, this Saturday
  • Also playing O2 Academy Saturday June 23
  • Tickets ticketweb.co.uk