There are plenty of odd and quirky venues all around the city of London, ranging from tram sheds to yacht clubs and everything in-between, so its unsurprising that the St Pancras Old Church was chosen to host Irish band Greywind’s debut album release show. And by god (no pun intended) was it a good ‘un especially with the sibling duo playing not one, but two shows on the night. Supported by Holding Absence, who our own Theo Swaddling (name drop) has been accompanying as a photographer on tour, this was really a night to remember.
As the clock struck midnight on Friday 27th January, just as Afterthoughts became available to the general public, a last minute acoustic performance was announced at the very same venue. After an equally last minute and hectic chasing of whether or not all allocated press passes would also cover this surprise set, we were confirmed entry. There is no way of describing the show other than intimate. Although the main event was sold out, there were no more than thirty people in the room for this last minute event, all captivated by Steph and Paul O’Sullivan.
I knew Greywind’s acoustic set was only going to last about an hour, give or take.. Having missed their Reading performance last year because I was rushing to get from Coheed & Cambria to Deaf Havana, I didn’t expect Steph to put as much energy or passion into her singing as she did, especially considering that this was only a taster of what to expect later on that night, but the church’s acoustics complimented her voice beautifully.
Fast forward to 7pm and St Pancras Old Church is already full. Its safe to say that if you haven’t already, Holding Absence are bound to secure their place on your list of ‘ones to watch in 2017’. It was all too easy to forget that the Cardiff natives were the opening act, not the headliner, as frontman Lucas Woodland put everything he had into his performance, only to fall to his knees at the end of their performance. Both ‘Dream of Me’ and ‘Permanent’, the only songs by Holding Absence that you can find online are both, simply put, absolute bangers.
Greywind finished their full band set with ‘Afterthoughts’. It seemed only right that the song that kickstarted their career all of 18 months ago, saw them play their first ever show as a band with Mooseblood and secured them a slot at Download Festival last year, was the one to end the night. The rest of their set consisted of other fan favourites such as ‘Car Spin’, ‘Safe Haven’, ‘Circle’ and ‘Forest Ablaze’. The crowd sang back every word, including two little girls in the front who had followed a previous Greywind tour and who had spent the night eyeing up my camera. Personally, letting them shoot their favourite band topped off what was already a great night. The fact that Greywind have built up a dedicated fanbase, with some crowd members even boasting Greywind tattoos, and played most major UK festivals prior to releasing their debut album sets them up to be one of the most exciting bands to come out of Ireland in a long time. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where they’ll be at by this time next year and what other quirky London venues they’ll have under their belt.