Monday, November 30, 2009

Bell x1, Olympia Theatre, Dublin, November 27th 2009



Friday night myself and Jane saw the ever wonderful Bell x1 at the olympia. It was a surprise for Jane, no reason except she's awesome and she loves Bell x1. We went for something to eat before hand and as we were sitting there Jane looked bemused for a second and then said "That looks like Paul Noonan from Bell x1". Turns out it was the whole band having pre gig dinner. I wrestled with the idea of going over and having a chat but us Irish don't like to disturb people when they're having their dinner.
The gig itself was so good. Starting perfectly with an extended la la la, la la la....from 'The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella' the first song off their new record. Following up with the punchy 'Reacharound' and the melodic beat laden 'How Your Heart Is Wired'. The whole first set was fantastic, not a bad song amongst them. I was surprised that 'The Great Defector' got such a big reaction, possibly the biggest of the night. 'Bad Skin Day' and 'Next To You' where a perfect sweet combo followed by 'My First Born For A Song' before, as Paul Noonan said, 'Eve The Apple Of My Eye' "done proper" as some fans had requested. Interesting to hear him say they had changed it around a little bit because they can get bored of playing it so much; they played the original radio edit. Tongue a song in which I'm not crazy about preceeded the crowd singalongs of 'Flame' and 'Rocky' which was dedicated to the Simon Community and Focus Ireland agencies who help look after homeless people. The song is written about a homeless man who lived near Paul Noonans apartment in Smithfield. Apparently he was always on his own until one morning he had a lady with him in his sleeping bag, the song is pretty much an imaginary conversation between the two. A cracking tune.
The encore started with 'Slowset', my favourite song off their first album. They had a poll on their website as to what song they rarely play would fans like to hear. 'Slowset' won and was played acoustic with just Paul and David. Dominic joined them for the acoustic rendition of 'Just Like Mr. Benn' which again was wonderfully played. Another old school song Alphabet Soup was played with plenty of cowbell. Will Ferrell would have been very proud. 'A Better Band', a stomping tune from the new album came before the last song of the night 'I'll See Your Heart and I'll Raise You Mine' a fittingly gorgeous way to end a cracking gig. Here's the setlist.

The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella
Reacharound
How Your Heart Is Wired
Bad Skin Day
Next To You (The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson snippet)
My First Born For A Song
Eve, the Apple of My Eye
The Great Defector
Tongue
Flame
Rocky Took A Lover
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Slowset
Just Like Mister Benn
Alphabet Soup (Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads snippet)
A Better Band
I'll See Your Heart and I'll Raise You Mine --->Do You Realize?(Flaming Lips(