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Familiar face comes back to R—is’n with a brand new line up



Date Published: {J}

Melodic indie band Windings play Róisín Dubh on Thursday, August 5 as part of the Strange Brew Summer Shindig. The quintet is led by Steve Ryan, who is still trying to come up with a term to describe the group.

“Windings is a band, or a project,” he says. “It’s a band now. It was a project I was doing for the past seven or eight years, which was running concurrently with another band I was in called Giveamanakick, which finished up at the end of 2009.”

Even though Giveamanakick kept Steve very busy he did manage to release an album under the Windings moniker.

“I had been performing solo, and sometimes with my friend Liam Marley, as Windings,” he explains. “We had released an album back in 2005, which was all home recordings. We hadn’t done much – we were playing gigs every now and then – but Giveamanakick was taking up most of my time.”

Joining Steve in the new Windings line-up are Liam Marley (bass/vocals), Aaron Mulhall (drums), Stephen Purcell (organ) and Patrick O’Brien (chimes, xylophone and saw). Liam and Steve have been collaborating for quite a while now.

“I went to school with Liam,” Steve says. “We were in bands together in secondary school and we’d been writing together since the age of 15 or 16.”

“It’s great to have Liam in the band fulltime now,” he adds. “He’s tipping in with his own songs and things like that. It’s a great change; it’s almost a fresh start with Windings. It was something I could never pay full attention, but it was a thing I always had to have as another musical thing.”

Steve is determined to make Windings a collaborative band, one in which each member is coming to the table with songs.

“The first album was all me,” he recalls. “The second album has a couple of songs from Liam. I’m trying to encourage them – it’s a new band, it’s a new start. We’re finding our feet still. I’m delighted that Liam is chipping in with songwriting and hopefully more of that will happen with the other lads.”

Steve will be well known to Irish indie fans as the front man with the incendiary two-piece, Giveamanakick. Steve, on vocals and guitar, and drummer Keith raised the roof wherever they played, gaining critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. After years of touring the circuit, had the band reached its natural end?

“It had,” says Steve. “Myself and Keith had both agreed that we’d set out to do certain things and we had done them all. We released three albums we were very proud of and a few singles, and we got around the world. Basically, that was it for us – we both realised we wanted to wrap it up. We didn’t want it to get stale.”

Given the praise lavished upon them and the fact that their live show was superb, does Steve feel disappointed that his old band did not get more exposure?

“I’m not going to lie, there were times like that. But we were a band that liked to keep busy as well. If we weren’t busy we probably would had more time to think about that. It never really bothered us for long because we were on to our next gig.

“It didn’t really bother us that we weren’t number one in the charts,” he continues. “People remembered us – whether they loved us or hated us, we didn’t care. Ambivalence, though, we weren’t fond of that!”

Having blazed a trail with his previous project, Steve is happy to be now able to his Windings his full attention. First up is the release of the single Brain Fluid, followed by a new album in October. Both were produced by Tommy McLoughlin, who Steve has worked with before.


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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