The band from Scotland and Northern Ireland formed in 1994 released three records before obtaining mainstream success with 'Final Straw'. Since the band was influenced by the likes of U2 and Coldplay, Snow Patrol has now created their own style of music that many people in the UK and America enjoy. Snow Patrol is now a household name and are one of the biggest bands of the noughties.
Originally formed in 1994 by Gary Lightbody (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Michael Morrison (drums) and Mark McCelland (bass guitar, backing vocals) called themselves The Shrug until they found out their was an another The Shrug in America. The band settled on calling themselves Polar Bear and creating their debut album 'Songs for Polar Bears'. After Michael Morrison left the band and the conflict between Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery because his part time band was also called Polar Bear, they appointed the name that would stick, Snow Patrol. After appointing Johnny Quinn as their new drummer, Snow Patrol signed for Jeepster in 1997 and released two more albums. They were applauded by critics but unfortunately were a chart flop.
Jeepster dropped Snow Patrol from their label in 2001 as the relationship soured between the two parties. After asking Nathan Connolly (lead guitar, backing vocals) to join the band, signing a record deal with Frition and working with producer Garrett ‘Jacknife’ Lee, the band secured their first number one album in the shape of ‘Final Straw’ in 2003. Their first top five hit also was supplied by this album called ‘Run’. After the success of the record, Mark McClelland departed Snow Patrol as he could not cope with the pressure of being a member of a successful band. Paul Wilson took his place. Full time keyboardist Tom Simpson also became an official member of the band.
After touring with U2, the band took a break to write their new album which would later become their biggest record to date ‘Eyes Open’ with £1.6 million in sales. They released the album in 2006 with their first single ‘You’re All I Have’ being a reasonable hit. The band however, was later pushed by their fans to release ‘Chasing Cars’ due to early download sales. The single remained in the top 75 for an astounding 90 weeks and was voted best song of all time in 2006 by Virgin radio listeners. Other singles included the notable ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’ featuring Martha Wainwright and ‘Open Your Eyes’. 2007 saw Snow Patrol writing ‘Signal Fire’, which became the official song for the film Spiderman 3.
‘A Hundred Million Suns’ was released in 2008 with the singles of ‘Take Back the City’, ‘Crack The Stutters’ and ‘If There’s A Rocket, Tie It To Me’. Snow Patrol toured with Coldplay and again with U2 followed by there own sell out tour across the UK. They released a greatest hits compilation entitled ‘Up To Now’ in 2009.
Still young and going strong, the future looks bright for the alternative outfit.
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