Kyle Falconer - Live at the Ice Factory

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As my friend Paul and I walk into the Ice Factory we start to reminisce about when we used to go to the dancing there as young men.  It looks completely at odds with our recollections but weirdly the young audience doesn't seem to be dressed that differently from when we were in our teens. 

With their uniform of either Fred Perry polo shirts or carefully ironed Ben Sherman checked shirts these young men could fall into a time portal to The Ice Factory back in the '90s and not look out of place.  They'd be pretty lost without these young men could fall into a time portal to The Ice Factory back in the '90s and not look out of place.  They'd be pretty lost without 4G and Wi-fi though.  4G and Wi-fi though.  

The young support acts, The Sandemans from Perth and The Medina's from Dundee seem to have brought along a spirited fanbase all of their own.  It's nice to see that the venue is already starting to fill up nicely and that these talented bands get to play their sets to a healthy-sized and receptive crowd.

Fresh from a successful set at this summers Craigie Hillfest 2019 The Sandemans play a confident, engaging set.  They have a punky edge and their songs are already showing a great deal of potential.  I particularly like their paean to underage drinking 'Tyskie' with its refrain of 'meet me where you had your first drink'.

As The Medinas take the stage, we're not sure but we think we can make out the outline of a bottle of Buckfast to the right-hand of the stage.  For such a young band they play remarkably well together and have a cohesive sound. 

On some of their songs, their love of Oasis is perhaps a little too apparent but I guess that's a matter of personal taste.  'Sunday Blues' with its cracking descending lead guitar and the extremely well-crafted 'Daisy Chain' are evidence Kyle Falconer Ice Factory - Live Onstageof a band starting to successful carve out their own identity.  Plus, their performance sparks a debate between me and my friend about whether the bass player looks more like U.S. comedian Bill Mahr or the kid from the 'Dazed and Confused' film.

It becomes apparent as Kyle Falconer comes on stage that this isn't your average solo acoustic show.  The View has a vehemently loyal fanbase and they aren't shy about showing their support for their favourite frontman's solo career resulting in an atmosphere that's a lot more charged and exciting than your usual coffee shop vibe.

The opening song, 'Grace' from The Views 'Bread and Circuses' although dating from 2007 fits in well thematically with the material on Falconer's recent post-rehab recent album 'No Thank You'.  With it's lyric 'I'm a sober boy and your a lonely girl' seem to foreshadow Kyle's new direction.  

Tonight's setlist does a great job of keeping everyone happy.  For people like me who got into Kyle's music off of the back of the stupendously good, 'No Thank You' (for my money the best solo album by a frontman since Tim Burgess's of The Charlatans 2012 'Oh No I Love You') we are not left feeling short-changed.

Hearing the beautiful 'Avalanche' and 'Japanese Girl' stripped of their string arrangements and layers of instruments reveal a new dimension to the songs and really showcase Kyle's vocals.  I reckon Kyle has one of the most underrated voices in modern music, something akin to an indie Rod Stewart, you have I reckon Kyle has one of the most underrated voices in modern music, something akin to an indie Rod Stewart, you have to see him live to really appreciate it fully. to see him live to really appreciate it fully. 

My favourite song on 'No Thank You' is the almost achingly catchy 'Family Tree' with a melody and refrain that is absolutely filled and overflowing with positive vibes.  It makes a natural sing-along song and soon The Ice Factory is booming with hundreds of voices singing:

"Cause I'm working on me, and the family
I'm growing up, ye' see? I'm putting bottles of whisky and vodka behind me.  I'm working on the family tree"

The guy with the Paul Weller haircut spinning around like a mod Tasmanian Devil and knocking the drinks out of everyone's hand definitely isn't putting the whisky and vodka behind him.  He does know all the words though.

Fans of The View get a generous helping from their back catalogue including the cutting and sardonic 'Face for the Radio' and the energetic and poppy 'Wasted Little DJ's'.  All throughout the set Stevie Anderson former guitarist of The Law Kyle Falconer- Ice Factory- Black and Whiteand AMMWWF provides stellar accompaniment.

I did a telephone interview with Kyle this morning and I asked about the possibility of him playing his cover of Tina Turner's 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' but he was a bit non-committal.  Kyle and Stevie do break out a version of Crowded House's 'It's Only Natural' that features some lovely two-part harmonies. This is followed shortly after by a ukelele arrangement of George Harrison's 'Something'.  As Kyle leaves the stage it's looking unlikely that there is going to be any Tina tonight.

Back for the obligatory encore, Stevie's rhythm guitar part starts to make my pulse react, and sure enough, Kyle's soon belting out the chorus while busting some Jacksonesque dance moves.  Sung in the same key as the original and bolstered by a capacity crowd it is a great end it's a great ending to a great nights entertainment.

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