Reviews

Munster Express: Westend Live

"Highlights of the music programme will include BellX1 in The Showboat. Bell X1 (formerly known as Juniper) had two chart hits in 1998 with "Weatherman" and "The World Is Dead”. Described as "campfire disco", the music ranges from big rattly rock and roll to sweet aching ballads influenced by Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, The Velvet Underground, and DJ Shadow."

 

mcd.ie: Bell X1 "Neither Am I"

"Formerly known as Juniper, who had two Irish chart hits in 1998 with Weatherman and The World is Dead, the band’s line-up and sound has changed along with its name. When the original singer left the band, gifted crooner Paul Noonan took up the mantle. The newly born Bell X1 retreated to the remote valleys of Wales where, under the guidance of Crowded House’s Nick Seymour (soon to become the Puff Daddy of Irish Nu-Rock), they made a record. The result is the innovative and sublime Neither Am I.

Described by its authors as “campfire disco”, the album encompasses both sweet, emotive ballads and high-octane, rattly rock n’ roll with a singularly subtle brand of electronica present throughout."

 

The Headline Agency

"Formerly known as Juniper, who had two Irish chart hits in 1998 with Weatherman and The World is Dead, the band's line-up and sound has changed along with its name. When the original singer left the band, gifted crooner Paul Noonan took up the mantle. The newly born Bell X1 retreated to the remote valleys of Wales where, under the guidance of Crowded House's Nick Seymour (soon to become the Puff Daddy of Irish Nu-Rock), they made their debut record."

 

LoopDiLoop: Natural Born Elvis

"Natural Born Elvis is a compilation disc of Elvis-covers from an assortment of Irish artists. The disc features a number of rising stars, from across the genre divide (would-be rock-stars Juniper, crooner-swooner Jack L, trad troupers Kíla and gypsy dream-weavers Loyko) a number of ones-to-watch-out-for (Craft / Yuma) and an assortment of the dropped (Whipping Boy), the dormant (An Emotional Fish / Mundy) and the defunct (Engine Alley) of the Irish music scene.

The challenge in such a disc comes from the question of how do you present the familiar while at the same time holding out something dif'rent to the record buying public? The folk behind Natural Born Elvis - students and tutors in the Temple Bar-based Sound Training Centre - seem to have come up with a solution (or maybe it's just a coincidence) - make the songs, for the most part, unrecognisably Presley.

Juniper knocked me sideways almost when I realised it was they. They sound like they had a whale of a time. Disappointed as I have been so far by their major-label out-put, I felt my faith restored by the time they faded out of I Just Can't Help Believing.

So, overall, Natural Born Elvis is a mixed bag, which is prob'ly true of most all compilations. Elvis fans'll hate it from the off, calling it sacrilege. Music fans ... well if they've got courage they'll give it try, and come away with a couple or three good tunes..