I went to see Bell X1 tonight (review). It's the second time I've seen them, having previously seen them just over two years ago supporting Aqualung (see here and here) with Rob.
I haven't got their new album yet, so didn't know quite a lot of songs, but did appreciate those from Music In Mouth - an album I hadn't listened to in a while prior to this week, but which is actually pretty good. I have to say though that they're probably not as good a live band as they are on record. Not that I didn't enjoy seeing them, but it was more down to them having quite a few good songs rather than a fine stage show. Frontman Paul Noonan in particular looked pretty awkward onstage all night, almost like Mr Bean fronting a rock band.
The other things of note were the strangeness of going to a gig outside of term time. I'd expected that to lead to a young crowd - in fact, it was probably more older people, though with youngsters there as well, and fewer 18-22s than usual.
Also they were taking signatures for an Oxfam petition on controlling arms. It made a change to hear the singer plug an Oxfam stall rather than the band's own merchandise, but what is it with these socially-conscious Irish rock stars - who does he think he is, Bono?
The unusual thing about the campaign is that they were trying to get people to draw themselves, as part of some 'face up to it' challenge. When I looked a bit dubious about being asked to share my artistic talents (or lack thereof) rather than just my name, I was told they could take a photo instead, which they did.
I don't know how much good it will do, but while I declined to join support band The Upper Room's mailing list (despite their cunning ploy of having two attractive young girls asking for signatures) I'm always willing to support a cause at gigs - and I'm already on the Love Music Hate Racism mailing list after a Miss Black America/Kinesis gig.