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UK Premiere of Daydream Nation at GFF19

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On Saturday 23 February at Glasgow Film Festival 2019, Director Lance Bangs attended the UK premiere of his film Daydream Nation, alongside Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Stephen McRobbie, frontman of ‘80s alternative rock band, The Pastels.

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Released in 1988, Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation is one of the defining indie records of the 20th century. In 2007, the band performed the album in full on fewer than twenty occasions, and Lance Bangs’ live concert film captures one rapturous performance, right here in Glasgow. Excited to talk about the film, Bangs took the time to chat on the red carpet, he said:

"It felt like you were inside a speaker, where the room itself bounces the sound waves back at you, and that energy is always something we'd adored about Glasgow and the audiences that would be here, so it was the ideal situation to film.”

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Blending HD concert footage with fragments of super8 and 16mm stock from Bangs’ private archive of the band, Daydream Nation is an incredible document of an iconic band at their prime. The film holds a particular poignancy due to the performance taking place in the O2 ABC, which Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) described as ”the type of venue for which the songs were written”. 

It was bittersweet seeing Glasgow’s O2 ABC on the big screen - lost to the flames in the devastating fire of last June – but audience members were positively captivated throughout the entirety of Sonic Youth’s ferocious performance. It was like opening a time capsule and getting to relive this gem of a live set in the iconic venue.

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It is, as befits this sprawling, beautful, violent, sexy anti-concept album, an amazing film, with all four musicians on fire… You can see the sweat glistening on forearms as they shred, marvel at the avant-garde approach to fretwork, using tools like screwdrivers, and witness Steve Shelley’s tribal drumming up close.

The Tempohouse

Following the screening, Bangs, Shelley and McRobbie attended a Q&A in which the guests shared many stories and laughs with the audience. Inquisitive fans fired off questions, like: why did Sonic Youth guitarists, Moore and Lee Ranaldo, use so many guitars while Kim Gordon used only two basses? The answer, according to Shelley, was due to the plethora of different guitar tunings the former would flex between throughout a live set. We're sure it was that - and absolutely nothing to do with guitarists' notorious addictions to buying new guitars...

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Another attendee probed Shelley on what the band had meant when they said that the O2 ABC was ”the type of venue for which the songs were written”, to which he replied saying that it was one of those old turn-of-the-century with character that ‘just rocked’. The Q&A session was the icing on the post-punk cake that made this screening everything attendees had hoped for, and more. 

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The next day, Bangs returned to the Glasgow Film Theatre for an intimate and insightful session at Lance Bangs: In Person. Director of many legendary music videos for REM, Green Day, Bell & Sebastian, Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Bjork amongst many others, Lance’s portfolio also boasts an incredible array of feature concert films, producing the likes of The Black Keys, The Gossip and now Sonic Youth. He spent an hour looking back on his extensive career to date, discussing the inseparable bond between music and film.

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At Glasgow Film Festival, we pride ourselves on being a festival that loves the movies and loves our audience. GFF19 is your festival - so talk to us and let us know what you're up to! Were you at the UK premiere of Daydream Nation? Do you have your eye on the Scottish premiere of Vox Lux with Natalie Portman? Or are you going to see Jessie Buckley in the Scottish premiere of Wild Rose?

Tag us in your photos, posts and tweets - we want to hear from you! #GFF19

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