1991 - 2000
Brian, Paul, Dom and Damien Rice form Juniper, having met in School. They go to College, play some weddings, 21st's and Bar Mitzvahs... and for a while have a Sunday night residency in the Kildrought Lounge and Bar, Celbridge. They meet Dave, who weens them off the Neil Diamond and Roxette covers. Band move into house in country, release EP, "Manna", and two singles in Ireland. Damien leaves band, the others read about Chuck Yeager and his Right Stuff. They call the new band Bell X1. Bell X1 support Elliot Smith and Bon Jovi in the same 1 week period, leading to severe identity crisis, making small music with big hair. They make their first album, Neither am I, in the summer/autumn of 1999 with Nick Seymour of Crowded House and release it in Ireland a year later, after much touring and a couple of ould singles.
Band take some time to indulge musical differences.Paul records and tours as drummer with Tipperary siren Gemma Hayes, Brian's away with Offaly hearthrob Mundy, and Dave and Dom join Richie Mullen of Lino Richie Carpets, Finglas, in touring cabaret show. Bell X1 regroup in late summer and write songs for what would become 'Music in Mouth' in a house by the sea in Wexford.
Second album recording starts in Ridge Farm studios in Surrey, with producer Jamie Cullum. After 4 weeks they move to the Fallout Shelter, London. The studio has no teapot!! Some moaning. The band take turns to make dinner. Some of it is shite. The world cup happens. Mixing finishes in July and everyone goes away for a while. Come back and mix it all again. Borrow a friend's house in Kilkenny, record some more songs, play hurling, are laughed at by locals. Music in Mouth finally finished in December, a few days after the birth of Jamie's daughter Ellie, who was both conceived and born during the making of the record.At least someone was doing good work.
The album 'Music in Mouth' is released on July 21st 2003, to tremendous applause, and the band play with allsorts to try to flog it. Tom McRae, Keane, Starsailor, Aqualung and Snow Patrol show them the highways and byways of the UK and continental Europe. Songs from the record appear in many TV series, from Teachers to The OC, and at home the album goes double platinum, with four top 40 singles. In July 2004, the band gather in yet another house in Wexford to write a new record.
Flock is recorded in Dublin and mixed in London, with Roger Becherian producing and Phil Hayes knob twiddling. A shrine to Daniel O' Donnell (Irish singing deity, ref Cliff Richard without ever having had a brush with cool) is created in the green room, Dave creates Pistachio Nut Shell Installation and moustaches are grown. The band take a break from recording and sell out a mini tour of the States, where they record a live session for Nic Harcourt's essential show on KCRW in L.A.
Flock is released in Ireland on Oct 14th, and goes straight in at No 1 in the pop charts. The band sell out a nationwide tour. The record will be released in the UK in early 2006.
Friday, March 20
Wednesday, March 11