A Sunny Day in Glasgow to play Glasgow
‘I’m a big believer in psychogeography,’ claims dream-pop journeyman Ben Daniels of A Sunny Day in Glasgow. ‘I think place informs our thoughts more than any of us are aware.’
Daniels is well-qualified to speculate. He’s stayed in Philadelphia, London, Scotland and Montreal (amongst others) and currently lives in Sydney. He started the band in 2006, but its cast has been similarly perambulant: many members have come and gone, including his own twin sisters on vocals. Now settled as a six-piece, and loosely based in Philadelphia, its roll call features Daniels (guitars, songwriting), Adam Herndon (drums), Annie Fredrickson (vocals, cello, keyboards), Jen Goma (vocals), Josh Meakim (guitar, keyboards, vocals), and Ryan Newmyer (bass). ‘It’s the best line-up ever,’ he smiles.
Once tagged ‘The Fleetwood Mac of New Weird America’ (an accolade to which they responded with an epic acoustic rendition of ‘Everywhere’), A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s balmy rock alchemy conjures – of course – precious Central Belt summers. Does our country hold a fascination for Daniels?
‘I love Scotland,’ he nods. ‘Kelvingrove Park is one of my favourite places in the world. When I lived in Glasgow I always wanted to build a raft and navigate the River Kelvin but I never got around to it. Maybe someday…’
Did he ever visit Grangemouth, home of the Cocteau Twins – a band whose hazy lyricism and amorphous vocals are recalled in ASDIG’s quixotic pop? ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know that that’s where they came from! The Cocteaus are one of my favourite bands, so if people compare us to them, I’m very flattered.’
They cite peanut butter and riding bikes as further influences, and they’re also rumoured to fetishise horses. Is it true they conspired to steal a mule? ‘Haha, I forgot about that,’ he laughs. ‘Yeah, every weekend when we were driving out to record [their thrilling 2009 album] Ashes Grammar, we’d pass this horse farm. There was always this tiny pony in the pasture, it was so cute. We named it Pancakes. We talked about kidnapping it all the time.’
Should we fear for the welfare of our equines? ‘Scotland’s ponies are safe.’
Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow, Sat May 15