THE VIEW – Hats Off To The Buskers (1965)

For a very short while in early 2007 The View were the next big thing, and the name to drop to confirm your street cred. I had heard a couple of their songs and to be honest was not that struck, but I gave their album a listen to see if I was missing something. ‘Comin’ Down’ opens proceeding with a storming punk rocker, owing a huge debt to the 2nd division bands of 1977, and I start to think perhaps I have misjudged them. ‘Superstar Tradesman’ is another fine piece of post-punk, and my hopes are raised even further. ‘Same Jeans’ is their big indie hit, but I just cannot get past the fact the they have completely ripped off ‘Brimful Of Asha’, and from there-on it is downhill all the way. ‘Don’t Tell Me…’ and ‘Skag Trendy’ could be any third rate pub band, new single ‘The Don’ is Scottish reggae(!!!) and extremely average, and ‘Face For The Radio’ is the band trying to be sensitive with an acoustic ballad. It is not until ‘Wasted Little DJs’ blasts out that the album picks up again, but excellent though that is it is not enough to save the day, and then they blow it all anyway with the lame ‘Gran’s For Tea’, the jazzy rockabilly of ‘Dance Into The Night’ and the lumpen ‘Street Lights’. ‘Wasteland’ tries to pull things back, but its double-speed reggae stylings don’t really work with the shredding guitar-work, and the band just sound like they can’t wait to get to the end of the song - as can I. ‘Typical Time’ ends the disc with a thirty second ditty on harmonica and guitar, and it is all over. I can’t say that I really expected any more from this album than it delivered – a clutch of good tracks and a lot of filler, and so I can’t say that I am disappointed. If anything I feel more let down by the NME for championing the band, as it is a rare slip by them, having drawn my attention to many better groups than this so far this year.