Live in Mandela Hall, Belfast, 21 October 2005
Bell X1 played in the Queen's Students union in 2003, when perhaps many people in Northern Ireland were not so familiar with their music. This time, a larger crowd came to listen, and they had high expectations. Judging by the performance, and the reactions from the audience, the band did not disappoint.
The CLUAS Verdict? 9 out of 10
Opening wth 'Reacharound' (the first track on their new album Flock), was a good choice with the audience immediately showing some lively interest which remained for the rest of the performance. Classics such as 'Alphabet Soup', 'Tongue' and 'Eve the apple of my eye' continued to please the crowd, and fans of their debut album were treated to a great version of 'Pinball Machine'. However the new songs it must be said sounded perfect live, as if they had been playing them for years, and the (lyrically brilliant) 'Rocky took a lover' was a personal highlight.
A beautiful rendition of 'I'll see your heart' (comically interrupted by an audience member at the beginning of the second verse) went on to end surprisingly with Marvin Gaye's 'Lets get it on' and a slower than usual version of 'Heroes' by David Bowie.
The band were on top form, and this was probably only one of many great gigs on Tour de Flock so far. Paul Noonan's voice sounded sublime and he seemed delighted for the almost two hours they were on stage. They chose to wrap the set up with 'Lampposts', a perfect end to the proceedings.
Flock will not be officially released in the UK until January 2006 and, before playing 'Flame', Paul told the audience that it would not only be the first single from the album but that it would "storm the charts." Based on this perfomance tonight they certainly deserve to.
Indeed I am convinced that this will be the last gig they will play in the Mandela Hall, as they reach a wider audience. But wherever the next gig is in Belfast, I'll certainly be there.
Check the CLUAS review of Bell X1's debut album 'Neither am I'.