Bell X1 charm the Brattle Theatre

A review of BellX1 at the Brattle Theatre on October 8, 2010

, Managing Editor

The last time Irish rockers Bell X1 played Cambridge, a little over a year ago, their bus caught fire. This time around was much more successful for the threesome, who filled the cozy confines of the Brattle Theater with an acoustic set of heart-warming ballads. The band is still touring behind the success of their 2009 album, Blue Lights On The Runway, but they also gave fans a sneak peak at some new songs off their upcoming release.

Although the show was billed as an acoustic set the band still included a few electric elements like a drum machine, electric bass and piano, and a playback system that they featured on show closer “The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella”. Still, the band certainly stuck to the acoustic, softer-toned theme with their set of largely tender tunes.

The show played out quite softly and the band kept things loose with plenty of humor. Lead vocalist Paul Noonan provided much of the banter, including a little quip about the group’s love for R Kelly, including a quick impression. Guitarist David Geraghty also made a joke following the band’s most well known song “The Great Defector”, poking fun at the tune’s constant comparison to the Talking Heads. Though, most of the band’s performances were loving ballads, they still had fans chuckling during some of their songs as well. The humorous new tune “Velcro” featured some goofy lines like “I was jonesin’ for some Wi-Fi” and the quirky song “I’ll See Your Heart and I’ll Raise You Mine” amused fans with it’s tale of a card game between an angel and the devil.

While the band successfully amused fans, they also charmed them as well. The band’s delicate strumming on their acoustic guitars and Noonan’s falsetto combined for some pretty moments in songs such as “Light Catches Your Face” and “Eve, Apple of My Eye”.

The old adage, “short but sweet” perfectly defines Bell X1’s performance at the Brattle. Only a modest amount of fans got the chance to take in this sold-out experience in the tiny theater but with a new album waiting in the wings hopefully it won’t take this group another year to come visit again.

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