I don’t think Superstar Tradesman quite qualifies for inclusion as a song lyric making for a great short story, but there is a very clear message being put across:-

Superstar tradesman, stand at the bar
Get a trade son, you will go far
You have a house in The Ferry and a new guitar
That’s never been played before and it never will
Never been played before and it never will

This was the second single to be released by The View, a band from the Dryburgh area of Dundee, Scotland. It’s not the most salubrious of communities but has long enjoyed a strong working class/blue collar tradition in which the most important thing for any young lad leaving school was to get himself a job, and preferably one in which he could learn a trade, such as electrician, plumber, joiner, bricklayer/builder or heating engineer, that would ensure a comfortable(ish) life in years to come.

The boys in the band were no doubt hearing this, if not from their parents then certainly from other members of their extended families. They might have talents in singing and playing of instruments, but it was no guarantee of success or a decent income. Much better to take the well-trodden path and once you’ve got your new house in Broughty Ferry (a very salubrious community on the eastern fringe of Dundee), you can buy yourself a decent new guitar and have another go at making it as you’ll have something solid to fall back on.

The boys, however, know that once you give up on the dream, even if it’s in your best financial interests to do so, it will never be realised; and while the trappings of a comfortable life might enable you to purchase a new Fender Stratocaster, it will just sit in its case rather than be put to good use.

mp3 : The View – Superstar Tradesman

The song crashed high into the charts in late October 2006, straight in at #15 on the back of what had been some four weeks of advance play across radio stations, including the accolade of ‘Record of the Week’ on a BBC Radio 1 show. The following week, however, it had dropped out of the Top 40 altogether, indicating that while there was a large and dedicated fan base, there was little evidence of them reaching a wider market.

The b-side was a cover, and an absolute stinker at that:-

mp3 : The View – Up The Junction

It had been recorded for a Radio 1 session in August 2006 and the label decided it should be utilised for the 7” vinyl and CD single. It was a bad call……………




The View initially formed around a cover band from a school in the very working-class district of Dryburgh in the east-coast city of Dundee, initially signing to local independent label Two Thumbs on which they released the self-titled The View EP in early 2006. They quickly came to the attention of a number of radio presenters and before long were wooed onto 1965 Records, a London-based subsidiary record label of Sony, founded and run by James Endeacott (formerly of Rough Trade Records).

By late 2006 they had released two Top 20 singles – Wasted Little DJs and Superstar Tradesman – and at the same time began to tour extensively across the UK, including a prestigious slot on a heavily advertised package tour put together by MTV2. The View were incredibly hot property at this time thanks in part to what were exciting and chaotic live sets and the support of what seemed to be every DJ who played indie music on their shows across the UK. Their third single, Same Jeans, went Top 3 in early 2007 while debut LP Hats Off To The Buskers went straight in at #1.  Subsequent singles didn’t fare anywhere near as well although the LP would subsequently be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.  The band were either still in their teens or barely out of them while this was taking place………

But just as quickly as the band rose to prominence, so did they disappear as the music press moved on to whoever was the next big thing. The band seemed to struggle with this and there was a two-year gap between the debut LP and the follow-up, Witch Bitch. Evidence of fans having moved on so quickly can be seen by the dramatic fall in sales of the second LP – less than half of what had been afforded the debut.

The band have now released a total of four studio LPs as well as a 20-track compilation album in 2013 featuring the tracks they had most played live over the previous seven years along with three new songs.

They are still an exciting live act, hugely loved in their home city and other parts of Scotland. A short tour in 2014 with shows Edinburgh, Aberdeen and three dates at Oran Mor in Glasgow, all selling out within hours of going on general sale.  Despite a career which is now stretching into a ninth year, the band members are all still only in their late 20s.

Here is that #3 hit and b-sides from the CD single:-

mp3 : The View – Same Jeans
mp3 : The View – Cherry Girl
mp3 : The View – Superstar Tradesman (live at Glasgow Barfly, 2006)

and here’s the b-side from the 7″ vinyl version:-

mp3 : The View – Screamin’ n Shoutin’

The CD single also had a clip from that Barfly gig, one which myself and Mrs Villain had a thoroughly enjoyable time (and which was reviewed over on the old blog back in the day)