Not an easily thrown out phrase but a fact, it IS the hottest day of the year so far in Copenhagen and the high 20’s are full of girls glistening on bikes and topless boys out jogging. The city is all parklife, lakes and white wine outside cafÃ©s. After tea, and inside the NÃ¸rrebro district’s cosy and almost cabaret-like Rust club, Bell X1 are playing what must be their smallest gig in years. Despite this they put every same bit of that energy into the show that the box-like stage and it’s ceiling a mere two foot from Paul Noonan’s head allow. Bellies gigs always seem to be not so much good or bad but only varying degrees of excellence – like when A-minuses, As and A-plusses were created for the Leaving Cert. So you’re always on a winner but it’s funny noting that these guys on stage fighting for head-room with the lighting system have headlined Malahide Castle. There’s no egos on show here and they’re as friendly and cheerful as the banjo in -Alphabet Soup’.
Concerts in Copenhagen are more often than not a very sober affair with all the Danes enjoying a bit of personal space and nodding no matter how intense the show. But the house tonight was full of expats and other assorted hibernians who were in great cheer thanks in part to the amazing day. The odd heckle and shout-out was of course in an accent from one of the 32 counties but what a joy to be back in sweaty little venues with a great band and a rousing, good spirited (and a little drunk) crowd to stand amongst. The band gave us a bit of a ballady start to it all but there’s a little change in the air right about when Dave Geraghty comes in with his harmonica in place of the trumpet on -Next To You’. Noonan is getting a bit sweaty now and then he sings the trumpet bit too and we’re all shuffling a bit towards the front. What -Creep’ is to Radiohead, -Eve Is The Apple’¦’ is to these lads and after a great intro involving ‘You write a song that you think defines you. Then someone goes and puts it in a TV show…’ there’s a soothing version of the song to cool the room a bit. Another concert rarity in these parts is the mass sing-along and it’s as refreshing as a Mr. Freeze.
After introducing ‘Flame’ as stemming from ‘a bet that we couldn’t write a disco song about marshmallows’ Noonan then forgets the opening lyrics, but gets back on track then just in time for the discoball in the venue to light up the room. The Dane and Englander beside me light up themselves and we’re all having a bit of a boogie by the end of the number. A fine cheer brings the band back on for an encore and just as my English friend was saying how overjoyed he was at the Talking Heads influence on the band he gets a massive treat as they give us a cover of -And She Was’.
Leaving us with -I’ll See Your Heart’¦’ it’s a naaa na na na na na na singalong to see us out. Out into the warm tropical night and across the lakes and streets on a cloud.