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Bell X1 are a band hailing from Dublin, Ireland who formed in 2000. Since 2000, they have released eight albums and have become one of the most popular rock acts of their home country, second only to U2 in terms of radio play and draw as a live act.
The seeds of Bell X1 were sewn in 1991 with the formation of the band Juniper. Paul Noonan drummed, Brian Crosby and Dominic Philips played guitar and David Geraghty was recruited to play everything else in the band. Fronted by some guy called Damien Rice, the band saw some legitimate success in their home country across the 1990’s, debuting in 1994 and signing a six album deal with PolyGram in 1997. 1998 saw them score a top ten single on the Irish charts with “Weatherman” and its follow up “World Is Dead” went into the top twenty. However, the label was pushing the band to write and release faster, rockier songs that Rice just wasn’t writing, and frustrated by the pressure, he quit to begin his solo career. Where is he now, eh?
After a few crisis talks about where to go next, the rest of Juniper decided to keep playing together, with Paul Noonan taking over lead vocals from the departed Rice. The band took a few months out to rethink and re-brand themselves before returning as Bell X1, named for the first plane to achieve supersonic flight. Fortunately, the band were able to keep their contract with PolyGram even though the label had been bought up by Island Records, and their debut album “Neither Am I” was released in 2000. The album was instantly a success, going on to be certified Gold and producing two succesful singles in the form of “Pinball Machine” and “Man On Mir”. However, their second effort “Music In Mouth” was what really put them on the map, going double-platinum and generally being the best reviewed effort of the bands whole career.
Ever since then, the band have become one of the biggest rock acts to come out of Ireland since some other bunch of guys from Dublin named after an aircraft. Their third album “Flock” was released in 2006 and was certified five times platinum, and they saw out the rest of the decade with sold out shows at arenas around Ireland including the RDS Main Hall and the 8’500 capacity Point Theatre in Dublin. They’ve appeared on the main stage at the Oxegen Festival and in 2011, at the peak of their powers, they played a sold out show at the 32’000 capacity Marlay Park in Dublin. They’re a very special band indeed, one that remains at the top of their game after 15 years in the business, and for that, they come highly recommended.