Published Mar 09, 2010Vancouver act Solars may have seemed an odd pairing for A Sunny Day In Glasgow's debut show in the city, but if you follow back the lineage of both band's love of shoegaze, there are definitely a few dots to connect. Solars, a guitar-based two-piece who have already released a handful of cassettes and seven-inches in their brief existence, take the heavily affected guitars from the cult shoegaze band Flying Saucer Attack and stretch them out into a wavering, blissful noise. Their 20-minute set was an awe-inspiring and ear-ringing testimony to the staying power and the ingenious mutations of the genre.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow, too, have a penchant for piling on a mountain of effects in the style of bands like My Bloody Valentine or Cocteau Twins, smearing their songs into a blissed-out, pastel-hued mist. This musical blurring often makes it difficult to separate one song from the other, particularly on their most recent effort, 2009's Ashes Grammar. The live show, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. Every song in their hour-long performance at the cavernous Media Club popped out of the speakers as clear as a sunny day in, well, you get the idea.
Most notably in the front of the mix were the dual female vocals, which had previously been buried beneath the mix far enough to obscure most of the lyrics. "Failure" and "Close Chorus" from Ashes Grammar were stripped down to the bare essentials, revealing an almost sugary pop that seemed miles away from the heavily treated sound the band has become synonymous with.
Despite the resistance to clutter their sound, there was still plenty happening on stage. Between every song, the six members swapped guitars, drums, bass and a scattering of keyboards and random electronics. The crowd soaked the whole show up, swaying and shimmying to the ecstatic groove laid down, which is about as much as you can hope to get out of the usually pacifistic Vancouver concertgoer.