Ten years ago, a group of shaggy-haired teenagers from St John’s RC High School in Dundee formed a band.
Tonight, after No 1 records and hundreds of thousands of album sales, The View are returning to the city’s Caird Hall, touring their fifth studio album.
Enigmatic lead singer Kyle Falconer spoke to the Tele about the band’s decade together, his home city, booze, and a diving board accident, among other things.
The Dryburgh quartet catapulted to fame with the critically acclaimed album Hats Off to the Buskers in 2007, which was heavily influenced by the city in which they grew up.
Kyle said: “We started off just writing about what was going on around us but we still feel very close to the fans here, and we try to make sure that they feel involved.
“Dundee is still at the core of the writing. After all, it is where we learnt our trade.
“The first time we really felt like we made it was when we first played the Caird Hall, as we had seen so many bands there, so it’s always special.”
The View emerged alongside a host of British indie bands, but few others have stood the test of time.
Kyle added: “I think because we were friends from school, it’s easier to avoid tensions growing.
“A lot of people start to get on each other’s nerves after a while but we’d already been through that stage by the time we started the band.
“We’ve tried to make each album sound different but the new one sounds a lot more like the first.
“We wanted to get back to that, as we had less to care about and more freedom back then, and I think it has come full circle in a way.”
Several tracks on their new album, Ropewalk, take on a far more introspective tone.
Asked if his own problems with alcohol and substance abuse and had informed this, Kyle said: “The drink abuse and that sort of stuff starts to take its toll on you. It’s not like back in the day when you could just shake off a hangover and get on with it.
“You start to feel a bit nuts sometimes when you’re on tour on the other side of the world, and you think ‘this is not what it’s meant to be like’. It’s a bit scary sometimes.
“The writing side of it just comes as part and parcel of that. It’s not something you set out to write about but it just comes out.”
Kyle, now based in Liverpool, was recently fined for a disturbance on a Dundee street, and touched on the difficulties that accompany fame.
He said: “There is always a bit of bother when I go out in town with people trying to entice me, so I try to stay away from it.
“I’m from Dundee and should be able to go out without being hassled but I try and avoid most of the pubs.”
But being back in Dundee does have its benefits. He said: “I normally go golfing at Piperdam when I’m home, and go to the Olympia as they’ve got a diving board and I love diving boards, though last time I tried a somersault and landed on my face.”
Of his plans for the near future, Kyle said: “I’ll be in Dundee for Christmas and then back to Liverpool.
“I’m never happy in one place, so I want to buy a boat and travel wherever I want, eventually.”
The band begin their European tour in January, followed by a second tour in April before festival season.
Asked what he would have thought of all this 10 years ago, Kyle confidently retorted: “I knew it was inevitable because we worked harder than any other band, and we wrote better songs than them as well.”