Wednesday, October 22

Snow Patrol- Then & Now.

. Wednesday, October 22

You all know the drill. It's X Factor auditions. A girl has just walked in and she tells Dermot O'Leary how her Mum and Dad both died in a freak boating accident ten minutes ago and she wants to make them proud of her. Now this is going one of two ways. She either goes in front of the judges and sings an out of tune Michael Jackson song along with bad dance moves or she goes in and blows them away with the "Best voice we've heard all day". If the latter happens you will hear this song.

The quiet bits as she goes in and the explosive loud bit when she bursts through the doors into Dermotts arms. Like I said you know the drill. Snow Patrol are now (and have been since the release of 'Run') the televisual tear jerker sound track. The video for 'Chasing Cars' has 26 million hits on Youtube, another one shown on the end of shit-fest Greys Anatomy has 27 million views. Thats a stupendous number to get you head around. Americas government bails out the bank with $500 billion, thats a lot but it's makes sense for a nation that big. 53 million times to watch a video of an Irish man sing a song that about wasting time? It's either satirical genius or the worlds gone mad.

Now, in bumper Ocotber, Snow Patrol release their fifth album 'A Thousand Million Suns' which will almost certainly hit the number one spot. This is no shock. Only when you start to think of it in context does the whole thing cause your brain to melt a bit. I was not a fan of Snow Patrol before 'Final Straw' but I did get into them from the first single from that album 'Spitting Games' which is still a lo-fi pop master piece.

This was five years ago. To support the single release they toured the country. They played in Scarborough, my home town. Nobody I went to school with knew who they were nor wanted to go. I am confident many of them have since paid good money to see the band in a huge venue or festival since. The point is however that in just 5 years they have gone from nowhere to well.. Greys Anatomy. What makes them unique however and a class apart from bands like Coldplay and Keane is that they toiled away, and I mean toiled, for ten whole years before my young ears even heard 'Spitting Games'. They released two critically acclaimed albums and Gary Lightbody formed The Reindeer Section, a collective of Glasgows finest including members of Belle & Sebastian and Alfie. Sound like the same X Factor band? Didn't think so. Back then they were really 'indie'- small label, little success and sonic innovation. All a million miles from where they find themselves now.

The 2 pre fame albums 2000's 'Songs for Polar Bears' and 2001's 'When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up' have some amazing songs on them. 'Ask Me How I Am' is wonderful Grandaddy meets Brit-pop fun whilst NYC hinted at the emotional epic that Snow Patrol were capable of. Whenever I hear 'Chasing Cars' though I want to shout at them that they are missing the best song, a truly beautiful song in 'An Olive Grove Facing The Sea' easily in my top 5 songs of all time. It's amazing. I found an unnoficial video on Youtube, it has 11, 455 views.

The point of this blog was not to boast about how I knew about a band before they were big, far from it. In fact I probably got into Snow Patrol at the exact moment they got big. Signed to a major label, loads of press and national radio and TV all over them- I am no different to anyone else. All I urge is that anyone going out to buy 'A Thousand Million Suns' next week also takes a chance on the bands earlier output. They will be rewarded handsomely.


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