The Weather Station @ The Grand Social - 28th Jan 2018

The Weathers Station’s last appearance in Ireland was as a two-piece performing at The Kilkenny Roots Festival in 2016. This time around Canadian singer songwriter Tamara Lindeman is accompanied by a full band and delivers a very short but hugely impressive set with material drawn in the main from her current self-titled album and it’s predecessor Loyalty released in 2015. Will Kidman on guitar and keyboards, Ben Whitely on bass and drummer Ian Kehoe provide the perfect rhythm section to compliment Lindeman’s distinctive semi spoken vocal delivery.

Having had to cancel a show  earlier in the tour due to laryngitis the Dublin show had been in some doubt but fortunately Lindeman’s vocals and determination won out ("the ferry was so expensive there was no way we were turning back!"). In fact, her vocals were stunning throughout even if it was obvious she was struggling during her occasional chats between numbers.

Referring to her first visit to Dublin playing support some years ago, she jokingly recalls attempting to navigate to the venue (most probably The Workman’s Club) with the assistance of her tiny Google Maps mobile phone screen, unfortunately driving on the opposite side of the quays to the venue "it possibly took me three hours to arrive at the venue due to the traffic restrictions and congestion!"

She eases her way into the set with Personal Eclipse and Way It Is Way It Could Be from Loyalty before raising the tempo with Free, the excellent You and I (on The Other Side of The World) and the uncompromising Kept It All To Myself, all three from her current album. Her songwriting has always avoided the conventional verse and chorus structure, instead offering short stories put to music, delivered with a vocal refinement that is gentle yet displaying quite a powerful edge. Her latest album suggests an artist growing in confidence as her career develops as is equally evidenced by her live performance this evening. Reinforcing this point, later in the set Lindeman comments that she used to write ‘quiet’ songs up to a few years ago ‘which just isn’t right now there’s so much going on’ before she and the band pump up the volume to deliver at full throttle Floodplain and the highlight of the evening Thirty, their last two songs before leaving the stage. An encore of Tapes finishes a set that lasts only fifty minutes but quite understandable given the circumstances.

Also performed were Don’t Know What To Say (after a few false starts), I Mined, Complicit and Floodplain by an artist with the ability to write candid, personal and dynamic conversational pieces and to execute them with corresponding brilliance.

Ena Brennan’s solo project Dowry performed the opening earlier in the evening. The multi-instrumentalist’s set included a stunning loop pedal assisted violin intro together with some equally experimental and impressive vocal and guitar looped pieces. 

Review and photograph by Declan Culliton