The Kildare band Bell X1 charmed an intimate crowd at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village on Wednesday night. For the first time, the Irish band played in the round, facing each other, while the audience lapped up every tune.
Front man Paul Noonan commented that it had been “mad” to experience playing in the round for the first time with the band. He joked that he heard musicians often made “sex faces” when they played. However this didn’t seem to throw them off as they played a set of old favorites and new material from their latest album “Blood Coupe”.
A newer tune, “Suger High”, was well received with an introduction explaining its origins as beginning with a couple of politicians in a tent in Galway. Just some of the lyrics include, “Let's build all this s**t, no one's ever gonna buy, When we come 'round we'll blame the sugar high, And act all sheepish and kinda sorryish”
The intimate feeling of the New York gig was illustrated perfectly when they played “I’ll See Your Heart (And Raise You Mine)”. Noonan ditched his mic, singing acapella with his guitar and accompaniment from David Geraghty.
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Noonan said the experience had been “absolute pleasure” even if they had to be careful not to repeat too many of the songs, having played three concerts in New York in just six months.
Just last month they performed as part of Other Voices NYC alongside acts such as Glen Hansard, Martha Wainwright, and Bryce and Aaron Dessner, from The National. The show, to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Dingle-based Irish TV show, also included readings by actor/director Gabriel Byrne, National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, and many others.
In June they played two nights in the famous Bowery Ballroom, with support from fellow Irishman James Vincent McMorrow.
BellX1 are now completing their US tour, which included stops in LA, Nashville, Chicago, and Seattle to name but a few. Joining them on the road was Brooklyn indie band the Favourite Sons who played a lively opening slot at Le Poisson Rouge.
Noonan and the rest of BellX1 will take a short break before their December tour of UK and Ireland.
For more information visit their site.
VIDEO: “Sugar High”- official video:
VIDEO: “I'll See Your Heart (And Raise You Mine)” - From the live DVD “Tour de Flock” -