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Bell X1's Paul Noonan Takes 'World Cafe' On A Tour Of Dublin

Bell X1's Paul Noonan and <em>World Cafe</em> host Talia Schlanger stand outside of Pablo Picante's where The Dublin Arts Club once stood.
Kimberly Junod
Bell X1's Paul Noonan and World Cafe host Talia Schlanger stand outside of Pablo Picante's where The Dublin Arts Club once stood.

There's something extra special about going to visit an artist in the place where it all began. On our recent trip to Dublin, Paul Noonan, lead singer of beloved Irish band Bell X1, took us on a walking city tour to show us some of the spots that have been important to the band over its 20-year career.

We started off on Clarendon Market where the Dublin Arts Center, the spot where Bell X1 played some of their earliest shows, once stood. It's not a venue anymore, but we still heard a woman playing the piano and singing from outside a music school. Paul reminisced about the moment when he realized it wasn't just Bell X1's family and friends in the audience anymore.

We made a pilgrimage to the famous venue Whelan's to find Paul's photo on the wall of artist alumni. And then Paul took us to a house he used to share with friends in Smithfield. It's right across from the Capuchin Day Centre For Homeless People and Paul remembers passing long lines of people waiting for food in the mornings. That's where he met Rocky, a man who would sleep on a wooden pallet outside Paul's window. One morning, Paul saw Rocky snuggled with a lady friend and was inspired to write the song "Rocky Took A Lover." Come along to hear the whole story.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.