Windings in Whelan’s on November 8th 2012

Windings’ album tour continues with a stop off in the capital to take over Whelan’s upstairs venue on a night heavy with 12 Pubs casualties. The band have hit their stride in style with third album ‘I Am Not The Crow’, a swaggering blend of downbeat vignettes and lock-tight musicianship, and one of the finest Irish releases of 2012. First up though is Waterford three-piece Percolator, on the circuit plugging their new single Yellow Fire.

With a singing drummer, synths and guitar the band recall Sonic Youth, and a streak of shoegaze ancestry runs through their set. Instr is a well constructed drum-led number, while things move from thrash guitar to krautrock segments throughout. It’s a somewhat nervy performance, but when they pull it off they do so in style. It’s only on the final number that they seem to start enjoying themselves as it escalates subtly and effectively from its undulating synth foundation.

Windings – sparkly of drum, beardy of face, Limerick of origin – have already made the stage their own before lifting one of their many guitars, with their name in lights dominating the back of the stage. Sun In My Bones kicks off a set heavy with new material, as Stephen Ryan’s Fender Jaguar snarls. Claws are retracted and instruments are swapped as a drone links into Something Outnumbered before the first lift-off of the night. This Is A Conversation sees the keys man take up a megaphone, and those power chords of the chorus seriously carry some weight.

Alkaterian Are Alright benefits from the live treatment, its swirling infection spacier and airier than its recorded form. The musicianship on display from the five men is impressive, Ryan at one point casting a smile at the drummer casually tossing out an impressive fill with nary a second thought. He dons an acoustic for Old Like J, the true tale of an ill-fated encounter with Dinosaur Jr. guitar hero and renowned bollocks J. Mascis, while a recorder lifts it along with the mid-tempo drum beat.

Cleaner more so than any other song in the set showcases the understated, deft drumming of Brian Meaney, and the song carries an extra emotional punch live. Local Broken Man and I Am Not The Crow round off the night, an impressive performance from a band riding a wave of confidence. Having only seen Windings on the festival circuit up until now this was an eye-opener, and the ‘I Am Not The Crow’ material is just made for tearing up live. Take any opportunity you can to see them do just that.