- 14 Jan 09
BellX1 have announced a run round Ireland in support of their Blue Lights On The Runway album, which is due on February 20 and is preceded by the lead single, ‘The Great Defector’.
Catch them in the Black Box, Galway (March 25); Dolan’s, Limerick (27); Vicar St., Dublin (30 & 31); Nerve Centre, Derry (April 2); and Mandela Hall, Belfast (3).
“We started recording in Ballycumber House, County Offaly in October/November 2007,” says lead singer Paul Noonan of their new baby. “Built as a castle in 1627, it was home to the local Lord and Lady of the day, and features many portraits of same gazing down with their beady eyes – along with lots of stuffed pheasants, wonderfully awful patterned carpet and wallpaper, standard lamps, doilies and all that malarkey. It was freezing! There was a games room with a pool table and some old, treacherously rusting exercise machines. We then recorded in a disused factory in Inchicore, and in Dom's garage in Meath. We mixed in Sun Studios, Temple Bar. Phil Hayes was at the helm all the way through.”
Here’s Paul’s track by track guide to proceedings:
‘The Ribs of a Broken Umbrella: I met an old man in a bar in New York who had come to America many years before from Poland to seek a better life. He knew that a girl from his home town had also made the journey west, and they had planned to meet in New York City. He had hoped to make her his wife, but he couldn't get in touch with her, and still carried a photograph of her in his wallet. He had lived most of his life in New York, and never married, always holding a candle.
How Your Heart is Wired: was written on a piano in a music school in Rathmines, Dublin. We dressed the song in beats and sounds from little black boxes. The end section was an extended wig out we did during one of the takes, and liked. Makes it sound more purple!
The Great Defector: Touring can do funny things to a fella…There is sometimes an unhinged exhilaration to the transience of it all - the constant newness of everything, the people you meet, the sociable hours, bad food and boozing. The song is, I suppose a celebration of the madness.
Blow Ins: If all time since the Big Bang was compressed into a single day, we humans would only be around for the last few seconds. I find this staggering. Our limitations as humans mean that we can't imagine what forms of life are undoubtedly to come, or how the very idea of life and existence will evolve. In short, we ain't all that
Ameila: Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and an inspiration to many. She disappeared over the Pacific in 1937. There is much speculation about what happened. Her copilot was Fred Noonan….!
A Better Band: I'm often overwhelmed by the great music that is and has been. This song is like a self help tape we can listen to in our sleep - "I am a strong, confident woman...". It has 3 movements (one, two, and bowel)...so maybe dips a toe into the Sea of Prog Rock? This was the hardest tune to make work but we love playing it live
Breastfed: Low Fat! Skimmed! Semi Skimmed! Super! 2%! 3%! I remember as a young boy on the farm going to the fridge for a glass of frothy, unpasteurised milk that had shortly before come from the cows udder... ah them were the days!
Light Catches Your Face: The simplest, everything-played-and-sung-live song on the record. One of those very satisfying recording moments. A Hamlet cigar moment, if those yokes weren't so manky
One Stringed Harp: We wanted this to be theatrical, in a lush, timpani-and-fanfare Bacharach kind of way. Check out the "ba be ba" backing vocals in the middle 8 - still not sure about them. A 4-man (gentle) rant against being bombarded with how-to-live-your-life-and-hold-the-correct-opinions.
The Curtains are Twitchin’: I’m very excited about the brass on this one. I heard a New Orleans funeral march over the latter part of the song (in me head) so we found a brass section in New Orleans, sent them the tune and they sent us back the brass part...very satisfying.