Friday 28 October 2016

On-song Bell boys chime and charm flock at the RDS

Published 02/02/2006 | 00:11

Review Bell X1 RDS, Dublin FOR the past few years, the smart money has been on Bell X1 to turn domestic success into international acclaim.

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Their second album, 'Music in Mouth', was a big seller here but failed to make an impression beyond these waters.

Now, its number-one follow up, 'Flock', is about to be released in Britain, and advance notices suggest that the band may experience a happier fate this time of asking.

Back home, though, the Kildare band's stock has reached the enviable level where they can sell out the 5,000-capacity RDS.

Vocalist Paul Noonan, multi-instrumentalists Brian Crosby and Dave Geraghty and bassist Dominic Phillips - with touring drummer Tim O'Donovan in tow - are not used to playing such a large arena, but on Tuesday night it felt like this was their natural home. Bell X1 were immense.

There were shades of Talking Heads - particularly in Noonan's nervy vocals and fidgity stage persona - Radiohead and early U2 in this near two-hour performance.

The band pushed themselves into exciting new areas while also delivering the sort of emotional singalongs that have become their forte.

Among the high points were a playful re-interpretation of 'Tongue' (an old song from the Juniper days co-written with former bandmate Damien Rice), the garage stomp of 'White Water Song', a rousing rendition of new crowd favourite 'Rocky Took a Lover' and the crowd-assisted 'Flame' - which was being recorded on the night for future release.

Best of all was a haunting performance of 'I'll See Your Heart' and 'I'll Raise You Mine' which beautifully segued Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the Silence' into the middle eight.

And 'Lamposts', with its Pink Floyd-like atmospherics, proved that Bell X1 have reached a level of performance far beyond most of their Irish contemporaries.


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