Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows, Bella 24 Interview

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We catch up with Sean of Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows, ahead of Belladrum 2024 and ask them a few questions about the band and, of course, Bella.


We had a chat with Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows ahead of @Belladrum Festival appearance on the #offaxis Seedlings Stage. Borne out of former band Dante, the band talked to us about their influences, recent album and being up against sexbomb :). Read more of their interview on #windupcrows #belladrum

♬ Ninewells – Seán R. McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows

What would be your FFO list?

The Felice Brothers,The National, Bright Eyes, Frightened Rabbit… but a bit more folky, perhaps. 

Tell us a little about how the band came to be and a story so far.

Vicky, Steve and I used to be in a band called Dante (read more about Dante here), but I started this new record as a kind of solo-project. It reminded me of how I used to create music on my own in my flat years ago, but I’ve loved bringing it all to life with this new band – The Wind-Up Crows. I’ve got some incredible musicians to help me out live. 

As an act, how has 2024 treated you so far?

Great! We released our debut record, “Goodnight, Lad” in May (you can buy the album and other merch here) and the response has been incredible. Loads of radio play and some lovely reviews. It’s exciting starting a new project like this and I feel like we’ve already come a long way in a few months. 

You have three original songs to wow the Belladrum audience, which ones would they be and why?

Wishing Well



The first track, ‘Wishing Well’ has been getting a lot of love and is a great introduction to the band. I think it’s a great upbeat one for a festival as well. 

“Ninewells” pulls things in a more folky direction, and “Hairband” shows our softer side. A nice wee spectrum of what we do there, but the album is a great way to get a sense of my writing and what we’re about as a band. 

Festivals are renowned for horrible clashes, which act on the Belladrum line-up would you least like to clash with and why?

I actually played Belladrum years ago with my old band – we were playing an acoustic set on the quietest stage possible. I was trying to finger pick my way through some wee folky versions of our songs and Tom Jones was shouting about his Sex Bomb. Not in front of me, I should add – on the MainStage. 

This year, I really want to catch The Vaselines, Teenage Fanclub, Rosanne Reid, Hamish Hawk, and Kate Rusby so it’d be great if could play before or after them. 

What are you favourite memories of Belladrum? If it’s your first time, what Is the draw to playing Belladrum?

Frightened Rabbit. Loved seeing those guys play anywhere and they played a blinder at Bella.

Frightened Rabbit 1 530x530 - Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows, Bella 24 Interview
Frightened Rabbit , Belladrum 2014

Last time we played I was camping with my brother and some other guys in the band – it was great craic. The campsite was a bit of a party.

Given the Love theme, if you had to create a love playlist with only five songs, what would be on it?

  1. Lover – Taylor Swift 
  2. Love Story – Taylor Swift 
  3. This Love – Taylor Swift 
  4. You are in Love – Taylor Swift 
  5. Love in an Elevator – Aerosmith 

If you could travel back in time which Belladrum would you like to revisit?

The Tom Jones one. I’d shout Sex Bomb at him and see if he likes it. 

In your act’s repertoire, what is the most romantic song you have?

Probably ‘Hairband’. It’s about long term relationships, family and sleep deprivation. Which I think is more romantic than fancying someone… but it would make a shite valentines card. 

What’s on the horizon for you after Belladrum?

We have tour to announce and an EP we’re releasing after the summer. If folk are into our music, signing up to our mailing list is the best way to find out what we’re up to. 

Anything else?

We’re coming back to Inverness in September – keep an eye out for the announcement! 

Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows perform at The Seedlings Stage stage on Thursday at 1545 and can keep track of the band here.

Images from Belladrum 2023 by Gordon Doherty image no 15284718041353 - Seán R McLaughlin & The Wind-Up Crows, Bella 24 Interview


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Chris Lemon
Chris Lemon
A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.If you want get in touch you can contact me direct at

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