Bell X1
Photo thanks to Diana Broeders

As we walked into Het Paard last night it was practically empty. Are these the only 12 people that got tickets for the concert we wondered? By the time support act The Postmarks started playing we might have made it to 20. They played a suitably sullen few songs until for some reason the lead singer cheered up and the band made us all come closer to fill in the big awkward gap. Much better.

By the time Bell X1 took the stage the room had just about enough people in it to not be embarassing. Thankfully, what we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm. There was a warm reception for all the songs, particularly from a small but noticeable Irish delegation of ladies. The band played a diverse setlist, making sure to play their better known material such as Flame, Bad Skin Day, Rocky Took a Lover and of course their modest Talking Heads soundalike hit The Great Defector. Even the song that first brought the band to my attention: Eve the Apple of my Eye.

I went to this show because friend and Bell X1 advocate CoR invited me. I know and like a few of their songs, but was never properly grabbed by the Bell X-bug. I would have to say that this remains the same after the concert. In a way that’s odd, because I can’t fault the band. Paul Noonan has a good voice and puts his soul into his performance, the band is solid and their songs are decent. Maybe it’s a classic case of “It’s not you, it’s me” for me and these Dublin boys.

I really enjoyed the show all the same. The intimate setting was a nice change from some of the overcrowded sardine tin concerts I’ve recently been to. Highligts for me were the frenzied performance of Tongue, and Noonan’s very impressive attempts to speak Dutch! Hoofd, schouders, knie en teen!