Live Review: Bell X1 @ Shepherd's Bush Empire

By Ruth Last edited 110 months ago
Live Review: Bell X1 @ Shepherd's Bush Empire

RL_Bell X1.JPG The Irish population of London may well still be licking their wounds from defeat at the hands (literally) of the French last week, but there was at least some consolation in the rare arrival to these shores of Bell X1 in Shepherds Bush on Thursday night.

Support from American trio The Postmarks went from gawky bashfulness, to an all-out, epilepsy-inducing strobe rock out. Adoration seemed to catch the crowd unawares, with the majority of the audience swaying along to Tim's lilting vocals in tracks such as Lucky Charm and Jetsetter by the second song in a set which seemed far too short.

As the headline act took to the stage, Paul Noonan - looking ever more like Michael Cera - gave the uninitiated a crash course in the band's signature beautifully bonkers lyrics, whilst Dave Geraghty demonstrated his mastery of a comically vast array of instruments (although we would argue that you could always have MORE COWBELL).

Old tracks intermingled with those from Blue Lights on the Runway to the equal enthusiasm of the audience, and although there was no sign of the full blown covers for which they've received high renown from live TV appearances, there was still a smattering of borrowed lines from innumerable tracks overlaid on instrumental interludes. After an upbeat set consisting entirely of their top tracks, a hush descended over the crowd who had previously been dancing like maniacs (okay, maybe that was just us...) for a low-key, banjo heavy rendition of West Of Her Spine, the reverence for which was matched only by that for Next To You. Dave - if you can see it in your heart to expand your one-man orchestra even more, can you please start playing the trumpet for this? The harmonica isn't quite so goosebump-inducing.

Unfortunately you're more likely to catch Bell X1 in the US or Europe, where tickets sell out quickly. We were lucky to see such a relatively small and cheap gig, but don't count on that for long... Keep an eye out (and your fingers crossed) for a return gig sometime next year, but in the meantime The Postmarks are jetting back across from Florida for another gig in February to mark the launch of their album. If you want witness a little of their musical magic that won us over, we are promised that details will be available here very soon.

Last Updated 21 November 2009