A mere year after releasing ‘Focus on the Past 5’ Windings finally got to launch their fifth studio album in Dolan’s with an evening that was a superb celebration of musical talent from the Treaty City.
First up on the bill is The Low Field a band formed in 2021 made up of talents drawn from Casavettes, Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Deadbog. As you would expect from a band conceived from those origins, theirs is a sound that offers maximum intensity with a deep and emotional edge.
Influences from their former bands abound but what strikes you instantly is that this is an ensemble that even after only dozen or so live appearances seem to be in sublime synergy. Throughout their set the potent lyrics give way to multi-layered tantalising instrumental tangents that have both band and audience transfixed. The Low Field are currently working on their debut studio release, and this performance certainly has us hungry to hear what emerges from those endeavours.
PowPig make a triumphant return to Dolan’s Warehouse to the strains of Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time, and whilst they maybe a few years older than they were when they made their impressive debut, they still retain the infectious enthusiasm and winning stage presence that saw them lauded across the country.
It’s five years since PowPig emerged from the Music Generation programme as raw teenage rockers with wonderful potential, and even though they’ve only played less than a handful of gigs in the past 18 months they are tighter than ever before – Just Love Me, Buzz Buzz and Mother Teresa are particularly delightful. Almost seamlessly swapping guitars, vocals and banter throughout PowPig bring their joyous Limerick comeback to a close with the double delight of Ode to Wiseu and Sticky Teeth. PowPig are back and not a moment too soon either!
There’s a palpable ever so slight initial nervousness, possibly down to them operating as a four piece, but any apprehensions are firmly blown away as Windings deliver a rollicking version of the title track from their Choice Prize nominated album I Am Not The Crow.
The setlist is a marvellous mix of the very recent, the familiar, and some forgotten gems – perfectly illustrated by a helter-skelter Boring, after which frontman Steve Ryan says that has them “cocky enough” to tackle 2010’s gorgeously delicate Apologia, before Pa O’Brien takes vocal duties for Breathe In – an upbeat almost poppy delight.
It’s one of the more serene renditions of the night that is the standout renditions of the entire evening’s fare as Jean Wallace and her harp join Ryan front of stage for the sensitive and touching Late Praise – her co-vocal and harp, along with some delicate pedal steel work by drummer Brian Meaney, and a subtle dab of bass from Liam Marley combine for a truly magical moment.
I’m Alarmed and Brain Fluid perfectly set the scene for a magnificent double-headed finale with the dark, gut-punching Black Widow and it’s fierce and frenetic coda leading in to the glorious Ambivalence Blues, an epic melancholic anthem that closes an album launch well worth the winding wait.