Date Published: 08-Jun-2011
BY EAMONN McLOUGHLIN
Indie band Bell X1 who are currently touring the US and Canada to mark the release of their new album, Bloodless Coup, are looking forward returning to the Big Top on July 16 for their Galway Arts Festival show.
“It’s always great to play in the Arts Festival” explains vocalist Paul Noonan from his Toronto hotel room. “We had an amazing gig when we played the Big Top before.”
Known for their entertaining live performances, Bell X1 will be joined in Galway by Duke Special and New Zealander Liam Finn.
Liam, the son of the famous Neil Finn of Crowed House, has already established himself in his own right having opened elsewhere for acts such as Eddie Vedder and Wilco. This will be his first time sharing a stage with Bell X1 and Paul is looking forward to bringing Liam Finn to Galway.
“I’m a massive fan of his father, Neil Finn,” he explains
Belfast based Duke Special, recognised for his distinctive style and theatrical performances has supported Bell X1 the past and Paul feels his addition to the Big Top line up will create a night to remember. “The Duke is wonderful live as well; he really connects with the audience.”
Bell X1 will finish the first leg of their current tour in Galway, and Paul is excited about the visit. “They always seems to bring out something special in Galway, it’s amazing being in the Big Top with 10,000 people singing along with your songs. You feed off it, food for the soul.”
While the Big Top offers a great buzz, Paul also enjoys some of the smaller, intimate venues which the band are known to play, describing them as “a different animal”.
The Kildare band will showcase material from their fifth album, Bloodless Coup when visiting Galway.
“We chose the name as a reference to the romantic notion that change can be driven by collective will of the people,” explains Paul. “Ireland is in a state of flux at the moment and there’s lots of frothy searching, who we are and why are we in such a mess. We all need to step up and play a part and within the artistic and wider community there is a desire to do so.”
The past few years have seen Bell X1 making major artistic and career strides but the group has been honing its sound since its formation in 1999, and its members have been making music together since the early ‘90s. Having met at school in Kildare, Paul Noonan, Dave Geraghty, Dominic Phillips and Brian Crosby first recorded as members of Juniper, whose lead singer was Damien Rice. After Damien departed to launch his solo career, Paul Noonan (vocals) Dave (guitar), Dominic (bass) and Brian (guitar and keyboards), regrouped and renamed themselves Bell X1, borrowing the name of the first plane to break the sound barrier.
Their debut album, Neither Am I in 2000 was followed by Music in Mouth (2003) and Flock (2005). In 2008, Brian Crosby decided to leave and the following album, Blue Lights on the Runway was the first release without him.
For Bloodless Coup, Paul, Dave and Dominic brought two new people into the studio fold – Rory Doyle on drums and Marc Aubele on keys and guitar.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.