Live Review

Snow Patrol, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

For all the years they’ve worked at their art, Snow Patrol thoroughly deserve the recognition they’re finally getting, and to be huge with it.

It’s almost four months to they day since Snow Patrol played to a half-full Aldershot West End Centre. That was before ‘Run’ became the biggest indie anthem of the year so far - and look how things have changed. Managing to sell out every venue on their tour, including this, their second (and larger) London date, shows just how much a bit of Radio 1 airplay can do for a band.

‘This is the biggest gig we’ve ever played!’ exclaims enigmatic frontman Gary Lightbody, as Snow Patrol take to the stage. He looks almost frightened to be on such a big stage, but any such worries are blown away when they get the crowd going with ‘Wow’, taken (like 90% of their set) from most recent album ‘Final Straw’. The band are all smiles throughout the set, clearly delighted with the audience’s reaction to every song they play. Moments of sublime beauty, like in ‘An Olive Grove Facing The Sea’ and ‘Same’, are peppered amongst more upbeat tracks like ‘Gleaming Auction’ and past single ‘Spitting Games’, which closes the set. ‘Run’ is met with rapturous applause, and the joy is evident on the faces of the Snow Patrol boys as every single member of the crowd sings along to every single word. It gets a bit too emotional for some, and more than a few tears are shed. ‘Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking’ is made even more powerful by the brief presence of a string orchestra onstage, and when they finish their encore of ‘Post Punk Progression’ and ‘Tiny Little Fractures’, you’re left with the feeling that Snow Patrol are far more than just ‘the new Coldplay’. For all the years they’ve worked at their art, Snow Patrol thoroughly deserve the recognition they’re finally getting, and to be huge with it. But lord, let them play ‘Starfighter Pilot’ every now and then, please!

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