Date Published: 28-Nov-2012
Limerick band, Windings, who make music for the sheer joy of it, play Róisín Dubh on Thursday, December 5. The Limerick-based band have just released their third album I Am Not The Crow and Steve Ryan, chief songwriter of the five-piece group, explains how Windings came to be.
“The first album I released in 2005,” he says. “It was like a solo thing I was doing on the side of my other band [the hard-rocking two piece Giveamanakick]. Then that band finished and we put out the second album as Windings – there were two other lads involved at that stage.
“Then, come this year, there were five of us altogether. Since finishing the album and releasing it, we’ve lost one member and gained another. It’s kind of constantly changing! But the line-up that recorded the line-up is pretty spot on; we’re very happy.”
I Am Not The Crow was recorded in two sessions, one in Montreal and the other in Donegal (“All the –als!” laughs Steve).
The album has been released as a vinyl picture disc, and the nature of a record informs the mood of the album – Side A was recorded in Montreal, while side B was laid down in Tommy McLaughlin’s studio in Donegal.
“We happened to be over in Canada because we’d been invited to play Music Week in Toronto,” says Steve. “Then we went up to Montreal by train. Before we had even left for Canada, the four songs were rehearsed to within an inch of their lives. When it got to the studio, we just set up and did every song 19 or 20 times until we got the one we wanted.”
From the outset, Windings wanted to make an album that would be one cohesive piece, and not just a random collection of songs.
“We had the album envisioned as eight songs, we knew how we wanted the songs to be ordered,” says Steve. “I had been DJ-ing with a friend of mine called Tim, from a band called Hidden Highways. We had this night where we’d only DJ stuff from before the eighties.
“Basically, it got me rooting through my record collection. All the stuff my dad owned – Neil Young stuff, Funkadelic and David Bowie, who used to make albums that only had seven or eight songs, but it’d be a whole piece. It’d build up from the start of side A, and down from the start of side B – and that’s what we were looking to do.”
The album cover and picture disc features a vividly coloured bird, and was designed by Mattie Bolger and Emily Lidstrom, who go under the moniker M & E. Bolger is a member of Redneck Manifesto, and the couple have also designed sleeves for that band as well as for Si Schroeder and Choice Prize winner Jape. Anyone who buys I Am Not the Crow on vinyl has a work of art in their hands, something the Windings’ front man is proud of.
“We had a choice doing this album – print up 1500 CDs or we could get 500 vinyl for the same price,” says Steve. “And our vinyl is a picture disc, so it has a piece of art on it that we commissioned people to do. Now, it’s a much more limited run than CDs, but for the same price I think it’s more worthwhile, to look at, to appreciate, than a CD box would be.”
To celebrate the picture disc, Windings played a show in Limerick, but it would be fair to say, the event sounds more like the opening of an exhibition than a record launch.
“Kind of!” says Steve. “It was everybody’s first time seeing the record. Maybe we wouldn’t have made such a big deal of it if it hadn’t been a picture disc. We played a gig and played our record about two hundred times!”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
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.