The Submarines & Bell X1 live in Vancouver

Sing sing, originally uploaded by louder.

It’s a bit odd to be ushered out of a concert so that hip hop night can start and it’s also a change of pace for a concert to end by ten. A 7:30 pm start was not that odd, but the fact that a 7:30 start meant a 7:30 start is nearly unheard of.

I went to The Plaza to see The Submarines play [wp]. I’d enjoyed their first album Declare A New State and was keen to see how the sound translated live. Sadly because of the early start time by the time I got into the venue twenty minutes after doors open, The Submarines were already on their last song of the set. It was a good performance, and it translated their studio sound well. If you’re into indie rock, checking out Declare A New State is well worth a trip to iTunes.

I might have come to see the opening act but it was Bell X1 that blew me away.

Bell X1 in Vancouver

Not knowing anything about the group apart from that they were big in Ireland, I really had no idea what to expect. I like to pick up an album of a band before I go see them live, or more regularly I go see a band live because I’ve really enjoyed their album, so experiancing new music in a live setting is actually really rare for me and being surprised is even rarer.Bell X1 might not have made a name for themselves in North America yet, Nada Surf got the Commodore Ballroom and when you can’t out draw Nada Surf, but if last night’s performance was any indication that’s not going to last. They’ve got everything to be big here, a stage presence, a good and varied song catalouge which after only a few years is an achievement.

None of which is a guarantee of success, but the elements are there.

Though the set was short, because you know Granville needs another hip hop club at 10:30 pm, it was strong.

Lead singer Paul Noonan has an energetic onstage presence. There was not much in the way of onstage banter, but he was engaging and clearly having fun with the audience. Bits of other songs were thrown into verses of Bell X1 songs, including some David Bowie and The Talking Heads.

iTunes does not have Bell X1’s most recent album up, but I’ll be going to the HMV to seek it out. I’d suggest you do the same, so that in three years when everyone is lined up outside the Commodore to see them you’ll know what they’re in store for.

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