Kyle Falconer

20th January 2012 at 00:00
The singer with Dundee band The View had an art teacher who listened to his demo tapes and came to see his early gigs

My favourite teacher at St John's was my art teacher, Miss Campbell, because she was really down to earth. She spoke about things that other teachers wouldn't talk about, such as underage drinking if you came in with a hangover. She knew everyone did it.

After I left school I used to see her in the pub and have a drink with her. Art was one of my favourite things before I took on music.

Miss Campbell would put in more time than other teachers to help you. She always smelled of smoke, too - you could tell that she'd just had a fag. I used to bring demo tapes into class and she would stay back after school to listen to them.

She came to a couple of our gigs in the early days when we used to play in Dundee. The band started at school and we won the school talent contest a few years in a row, which was a big deal because usually the contest was won by the Irish dancers. They were kind of like the cheerleaders winning: they won every year.

Our deputy headteacher, Mr Cousins, actually gave us our first name - Kyle and the Casuals - because we were about to play in the school talent show and we didn't have one.

Everyone who won gave their prize money to charity, but when they asked us who we were giving it to, we said we were just going to buy lots of beer.

To be honest, Mr Cousins wasn't very enthusiastic about me at the start. When I got there, he said: "You Falconers! You better not get into any trouble like your brother." Once I got older and the band became famous, he started telling other pupils how "these boys stayed on at class", but it's not true. We were rebels at school.

My sister is a teacher there now and she says it's really embarrassing because the other teachers are always mentioning The View in assemblies and trying to use us to say to pupils now: "Look at what you could achieve if you stay at school."

We spent all our time playing football and debating who was better, Oasis or The Beatles, at dinner times and sitting in our maths teacher Mr Bell's class. We've seen him quite a lot since we left school because he lives near the T-Pot studios in Perthshire, where we've been recording, so we go for a pint with him now and again.

I liked music at school, but I wasn't that great at playing. I started getting good on guitar but I couldn't really play piano.

My music teacher, Mr Campbell, always used to give me good marks when we were doing tests like, say, writing songs. We never played any of them, though. At school, we were a covers band. We always thought doing our own stuff was miles away - there was no way we could do that.

After school, I actually started on a training scheme for bad boys who left school early. The place was full of people who were just out of jail. I wasn't a bad boy, but you got money to do it, so me and my friend Marco went along and we got picked to do a bricklaying apprenticeship.

I only stuck that for a month before I went to Perth College, but I didn't like that either and then we got our record deal and started touring with Pete Doherty, so I quit.

The school was redone after we left. Now it's got a swimming pool, a gym and a dance class. We never had anything like that when we were there.

We used to rehearse in a dingy old pub opposite the school, so we went back in about two years ago after hours and all the dinner ladies wanted their pictures taken with us.

The View will play the Kilmarnock Edition Festival, 10-12 February. Kyle Falconer was talking to Julia Horton


Born: Dundee, 1987

Education: St Mary's Primary and St John's High, Dundee; studied music briefly at Perth College

Career: Apprentice bricklayer before The View got a record deal, going on to win the NME Best Track award 2007.

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