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.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.