Bell X1 are an Irish rock band from County Kildare in Ireland. They have released four critically acclaimed albums in Ireland. They have represented Ireland in the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, received several major award nominations and headlined several festivals in their own country. The band is named after the Bell X-1, the first supersonic aircraft in history.
Bell X1 began their existence as Juniper, a 1990s act who had success in Ireland and counted, as their frontman, Damien Rice prior to his international success as a solo artist. Rice departed the band over creative differences in 1998. The remaining members formed Bell X1 in 1999, releasing their debut album Neither Am I in 2000. A second and third studio album, Music in Mouth (2003) and Flock (2005) followed respectively before Tour De Flock, a live CD and DVD set recorded in the Point Theatre, was released in 2007.
In recent years Bell X1 have gained success in the United States after the song "Eve, the Apple of My Eye", taken from the Music in Mouth album, featured during an infamous lesbian kiss scene on an episode of The O.C.. Shortly afterwards they began frequent tours of the United States, culminating in live performances on the Late Show with David Letterman (twice), The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Flock, previously released exclusively in Ireland and later in the United Kingdom, received a North American release in February 2008. On October 2, 2008, founder member Brian Crosby announced his decision to leave Bell X1. Blue Lights on the Runway—the band's fourth studio album and their first without Crosby—was released in Ireland on February 20, 2009 and in the United States on March 3, 2009. It gave the band their second Choice Music Prize nomination. A fifth album, Bloodless Coup, is scheduled for release in 2011.
The Irish Times placed Bell X1 at number nine in a list of "The 50 Best Irish Acts Right Now" published in April 2009. Aside from U2, they are the Irish band with the most airplay in their native country and, according to Billboard, also the second biggest live performers.