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Bell X1 Is Damien Rice’s Old Band & A Good One At That

The New Now

Bob Dylanonce had a backing band that eventually became a notable act in its ownright. They were known as the Band. If you consider Irishsinger/songwriter Damien Rice your Dylan, then Bell X1could be your Band. But even if Rice isn't your Dylan, and Bell X1isn't your Band, few could argue that Bell X1 is indeed a band, and agood one at that.

The band releases its fourth album, Blue Lights On The Runway,on March 3. Here's a clip of Bell X1 performing "The Great Defector,"one of the 10 tracks included on the new album, live in Dublin. Notethis song contains the lyric that inspired the album's title.

If you thought that song sounded a bit like a more laid-back version of Talking Heads,you're not alone. But unlike the Heads, who sprung out of the New Yorkart/punk scene of the mid-'70s, Bell X1's roots date back to the early'90s when most of the band's members were in a band called Juniperalong with Rice. Despite some success in Ireland, Rice split from theband after a row over whether their CD should be packaged in recycledpaper or not. As a result, drummer Paul Noonan became the group's newfrontman, although he still plays drums on the band's studiorecordings. Noonan's dual role as frontman/studio drummer explains theband's emphasis on big beats. Check out this clip of "How Your Heart IsWired," another track from Blue Lights On The Runway, but keep in mind that the drums are far more prominent on the studio version.

IfBell X1--whose current lineup also includes guitarist/vocalist DavidGeraghty, bassist/backing vocalist Dominic Philips, and touring drummerTim O'Donovan--sounds familiar, you may have heard them on your TV.Aside from appearances on Late Show With David Letterman and The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and Late Night With Conan O'Brien, the band's music has also been heard on The OC, Grey's Anatomy, and One Tree Hill. I have a feeling you're going to be hearing a lot more from Bell X1. How about you?

Atour bus fire derailed Bell X1's U.S. tour last year, but it's comingback to the States for a series of East Coast dates in mid-March. Untilthen, watch this groovy album preview video. Dig the cowbell, but beforewarned if you find naked mannequins offensive.

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