Whatever Happened To: The View

An update on the Scottish quartet that took the UK rock world by storm in 2007

The View Band History
Illustration by Steven Fiche

    Whatever Happened To is a series where we dig into the history and happenings of music’s biggest disappearing acts. Today, we’re going on a search to find Scottish indie rock band The View.

    The British rock press loves a Cinderella story, and in the mid-2000s, the Dundee, Scotland band The View were anointed the next big thing. Singer/guitarist Kyle Falconer, bassist Kieran Webster, guitarist Pete Reilly, and drummer Michael Annable were school chums who began playing covers together at student talent shows. But when they began writing their own songs and gigging more widely, they landed a spot opening for Babyshambles, and things took off quickly from there.

    The average age of the members of The View was 19 when they received their first BBC Radio 1 airplay in early 2006, shortly before the release of their self-titled debut EP. Over the next year, the band experienced a meteoric rise. Their first single “Wasted Little DJ’s” was a chart hit, and the band played the Reading and Leeds Festivals, aired a special on MTV2 Europe, and jetted off for a handful of shows in America and Japan before they’d even released a full-length album.


    A chant of “The View, The View, The View are on fire” became a tradition at the band’s shows, as captured at the end of the “Wasted Little DJ’s” video. And when The View entered the studio to record an album, they had a kingmaker of UK rock in their corner: Owen Morris, who’d produced Oasis’s (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

    In January 2007, the hype for The View reached a fever pitch as their debut album Hats Off to the Buskers debuted at No. 1 on the UK album chart and eventually went Platinum, with “Same Jeans” reaching No. 3 on the singles chart. “I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now, I’m going to go to a disco in the middle of the town,” the shaggy-haired, baby-faced Falconer sang on the band’s signature song, which featured both a twangy harmonica and a punky tempo change at the end. Hats Off to the Buskers went up against stiff competition like Amy Winehouse and Dizzee Rascal for the 2007 Mercury Prize, ultimately losing to The Klaxons.

    Like many UK bands who were successful at home, The View looked at breaking America as a career goal. However, a scheduled full-scale American tour in support of Hats Off that had to be canceled after Falconer was arrested for cocaine possession in Dundee and U.S. immigration authorities refused to grant visas for the band’s visit. The band eventually did return to America, playing smaller clubs like The Troubadour in L.A. and the Knitting Factory in New York.