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'Sleepless nights' Bell X1's Paul Noonan reveals how parenthood was a 'great leveller' after U2 support slot

Paul is currently working on an online family music show called The Electric Kazoo.

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Bell X1's Paul Noonan

Bell X1's Paul Noonan

Bell X1's Paul Noonan

Singer Paul Noonan of legendary Irish band Bell X1 explains how he was brought down to earth after the thrill of supporting U2 in Croke Park back in 2009.

The popular group's frontman and dad of young children remembers the generosity of U2 and how Bell X1 celebrated after their glorious moment in the spotlight at Croker.

"Our daughter, Aislinn, was very small we were still going through the sleepless nights and as parents it was who's doing what/when?" Paul tells Shuffle.

"We opened for U2 in Croke Park, and we had a great night because U2 are really thoughtful at looking after anyone who comes into contact with them. They had left us a crate of Guinness and Champagne in the dressing room for when we came off stage.

"We enjoyed that and I came home full of the joys. As soon as I got in the door I was handed the baby, so that was a great leveller."

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Paul has revealed that Bell X1 have been working on new songs which they'll showcase when they return to playing live gigs in the autumn.

Paul has revealed that Bell X1 have been working on new songs which they'll showcase when they return to playing live gigs in the autumn.

Paul has revealed that Bell X1 have been working on new songs which they'll showcase when they return to playing live gigs in the autumn.

Fast forward, and Paul's children Sam (11) and Aislinn (nine), are now working with him on an online family music show called The Electric Kazoo, which will be presented online next Saturday at 5pm as part of the annual Music Town festival.

Music Town celebrates music of all genres every April, and this year contributing producers and artists have been asked to present their work online in imaginative ways to engage audiences.

The Electric Kazoo will feature well-known children's songs, a children's book set to music, tunes written in response to artwork sent in by the small people ... and lots of kazoo.

Children can send drawings/paintings of a friend or friendship to hello@theelectrickazoo.ie and maybe tell a little about her/him, and Paul and his family will try to make them into songs.

Revealing how he got involved in the project, Paul says: "I went back to college a couple of years ago and did a masters in music therapy. Then I was on a placement with very young kids in a pre-school in Dublin's inner city when lockdown happened. The work there ended pretty brutally on the Thursday when Leo announced that everything would shut that evening.

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"I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the kids, so as a way of trying to stay in touch with them I started a Facebook live stream from home with my own kids.

"We were just playing kids' songs and goofing around with instruments and making up songs and being silly. It evolved from that weekly Facebook stream to a show called The Electric Kazoo, because anyone can play the kazoo. We started sending kazoos out to kids.

"When schools were in lockdown we did it pretty much every week on a Friday afternoon when fuses get short in houses around the country having lived through the week with everyone in lockdown at home.

"It was a bit of madness and music. Then we started asking kids to send us drawings and paintings around themes like teddies and what their teddies mean to them.

"We would make up songs in response to those pictures and drawings. We'd put them up on the screen and sing songs and talk about the kids. It's been lovely in the absence of having an audience there to feed off."

Meanwhile, Paul reveals that Bell X1 have been working on new songs which they'll showcase when they return to playing live gigs in the autumn.

"We have rescheduled seated shows in Ireland and the UK for October with a string quartet, so hopefully they can happen," Paul says.

"Because we're doing these shows with a string quartet, Dave (Geraghty) and myself have been writing songs with that in mind. There are a few that we're excited about, so we're looking forward to performing them.

"There's this incredible desire to do it, and there's a real hunger for shared experience."

Go to www.musictown.ie for details on how to watch all events online.

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