Words by Sean Walsh | Photo by Zoe Jet Ellis
“This is a casual concert,” Roses lauded before inviting tonight’s patrons closer to the stage. It was a funny line but nevertheless settling and comforting, as I finished my first swig of an ice cold Duvel. I perched against one of the side walls and began to take in the sights and the sounds of the Bootleg Theater.
The night opened with United Ghosts followed by Roses, a 3 piece-synthy-nostalgic, tropical-dance version of the band Real Estate. The songs were able to carry themselves to the finish, even with the absence of a live drummer, and as they began to tighten up the melodies and crispness, each song continued to take on its true shape.
The novelty of this place astounds me; the upside-down “Cocktails” sign, and subsequent lack of liquor, the caddy-cornering stage curtains that don’t quite cover the entire backdrop of the small stage, with small Double Dare-game-show-style flags strewn across…leaving just enough room to install a rather intriguing sign-glittered with light bulbs, which spell the word, “Salvation.” I walked to the side of the stage underneath that sign and really began to feel a sense of salvation I hadn’t felt in a long time. I took in the moment, and right after a small group pow-wow, A Sunny Day in Glasgow was about to take the stage.
I was sent right back in time to reminiscing of the days of old fuzzy-synth-garage style of recording magic. I wasn’t here to hear perfection, or see some type of new-aged light show, but rather to hear a group of individuals come together to create an audio entity that captivated and ran on an energized spirit the whole night, and command a creative, original space where neon-clad teeny ravers were not welcome. This realization in itself, instilled again, even if for just a moment…brief salvation.
Although the crowd was slightly “pedestrian” there were moments of brilliance when heads could be seen gently bobbing and weaving in the dark room. Some notable favorites like ‘Double Dutch’, ‘In Love With Useless’, ‘Golden Waves’, and ‘Oh I’m a Wrecker (What to Say to Crazy People)’, were sprinkled amidst the collection of records both old and new. The newer material comes from their latest release, Sea When Absent, which dropped last month and was explored in bits and pieces throughout the evening.
While perfection did not seem to be the group’s forté, A Sunny Day in Glasgow was able to pump life into their material with each bass note, which seemed to breathe behind the building melodic symphonies, swirl around the theater’s shallow ceilings and invigorate our patron ears.
It was nice to see a band “just go for it.” You know, with no lights, lasers, gimmicks, or any other modern day bullshit that cultural waste-oids heavily feast on. It felt like watching a group of people play music for music’s sake, and that is probably what I enjoy most about this band. They are able to play a style of dream-pop that clamors a bit more than it does caress, and bounce more than it does glide, but can still sweep you right off your feet, and make you feel like you were floating underneath a cool-calm, gently-moonlit sky. Ah, the simplicity. You should put down your cell phone and try it some time.
TheWaster.com | LA