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Snow Patrol

 B i o g r a p h y

Snow Patrol is a rock band which formed in Dundee, Scotland, with the majority of their members being from Bangor and Belfast, Northern Ireland. They are based in Glasgow and are signed to Polydor Records. Originally formed as an indie rock band, Snow Patrol have sought a more alternative rock and powerpop sound in recent years on the heels of mainstream success with the songs "Run", "Chasing Cars" and "Signal Fire" from the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack. The band's first three records, including their first EP, (Starfighter Pilot, Songs for Polarbears, When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up) were commercially not succesfull and was released under independent recordlabel. When the band moved to a major record label Polydor Records they released their album Final Straw which crossed 4x platinum sales in the UK. The band got world wide succes thanks to the album Eyes Open which sold 4.7 million copies worldwide. Snow Patrol has been nominated for 3 BRIT Awards and has won five Meteors. World wide the band has sold over 7 million albums.

Originally formed in late 1994 as "Shrug" by students Gary Lightbody and Mark McClelland at the University of Dundee in Dundee, Scotland, the band started by performing gigs at the university and surrounding pubs before changing their name to Polar Bear (or Polarbear) in late 1995. In the early days, the band used to pretend to be members of the Scottish band Belle & Sebastian in order to gain free entry to the Student Union club at the Glasgow School of Art. In mid 1997, they released a three-track EP, Starfighter Pilot, on the Electric Honey label. Richard Colburn, from Belle & Sebastian, played drums on this record, and Stuart Murdoch, from the same band, sang on one of the B-sides. At this point, Jonny Quinn, from Northern Ireland, joined as permanent drummer. With him the band released their next EP "Little Hide" on Jeepster Records while still living in Dundee (its cover was a blurred photo of a football crowd watching Dundee United F.C. at Tannadice Park, taken by Gary Lightbody). A follow-up single "One Hundred Things You Should Have Done in Bed" was a minor independent chart hit. Both of these early singles were heavily promoted by Jeepster - with videos included as computer files on the CD singles, and Snow Patrol starting to appear on television. Their first MTV interview was in 1998, and they briefly appeared on a Channel 4 documentary about Jeepster Records (which concentrated mostly on Belle and Sebastian) that same year. Two albums on Jeepster followed: Songs for Polarbears in 1998 (including a slightly remixed version of their debut single "Starfighter Pilot") and When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up in 2001 (both recorded while the band lived in Glasgow). Also in 2001, Gary collected a group of Scottish musicians, from such acts as Mogwai and Belle and Sebastian together to perform as a "supergroup", The Reindeer Section, who have so far released two CD albums. Gary also performed vocals on a single by Cut La Roc. After the critical successes but commercial failures of the band's two albums on the Jeepster label, the band became increasingly disillusioned with their relationship with their label. The band began to feel that Belle and Sebastian got all the attention from the label and little effort was being made to promote Snow Patrol. Since the band was not making much money, the members were under financial pressure, with Lightbody having to sell off his CD collection in order to pay for his rent.

After being dropped by Jeepster, guitarist Nathan Connolly joined, and the band signed to the mainstream Polydor label. They gained mainstream success with their song "Run" (which debuted at No.5 in the UK singles chart), as well as the album it was from, the 2003 release, Final Straw which was produced by Jacknife Lee. The record peaked at #3 in the UK albums chart. Archer's final date with the band was September 27, 2003 in the St Andrews Students' Association. They followed the success of "Run" up with three more singles from the album: "Chocolate", as well as a re-release of "Spitting Games", both reaching the top 30, and "How to Be Dead" reaching number 39. The release of Final Straw in the United States in 2004 saw the album notching up well in excess of a quarter of a million sales and becoming the 26th most popular British album of that year. On March 16, 2005, McClelland left the band, with Lightbody stating 'a whole new set of new and unexpected pressures... have unfortunately taken their toll on working relationships within the band, and it was felt the band could not move forward with Mark as a member.' Former Terra Diablo member Paul Wilson replaced him on bass. In April 2005, Snow Patrol declared longtime touring keyboardist Tom Simpson an official member of the band. In mid-2005, during their tour to support Final Straw, the band toured with U2 as an opening act on U2's Vertigo Tour in Europe. That summer also saw Snow Patrol playing a small set in London at the worldwide benefit concert Live 8. After finishing their opening act duties and extensive 2-year tour of Final Straw in late July, the band took a few weeks off and began writing and recording songs for a new album. Snow Patrol's new version of John Lennon's "Isolation" was released on December 10, 2005 as part of the Amnesty International campaign, Make Some Noise. The song was later issued on the 2007 John Lennon tribute album, Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.

The band completed recording Eyes Open in December 2005, with Jacknife Lee returning for production, and this album was released in the UK and Ireland on the May 1, 2006, with the first UK single "You're All I Have" having been released on the April 24, 2006. The album was released in North America on May 9. While "Hands Open" was the first American single, "Chasing Cars" pushed its way onto the download and pop charts after it was heard in the second season finale of the television show Grey's Anatomy on May 15, 2006. Due to the song's surprise popularity, it was released as an overlapping single in early June and the video was re-recorded to include clips from the show. The song was also featured in another television show, One Tree Hill, during its season finale. On the December 30, 2006, it was voted by Virgin Radio listeners to be the #1 song of all time. Another one of the band's songs, "Open Your Eyes", was heard on the season finale of another medical program, ER, on the May 18, 2006, the The 4400, the second episode of Grey's Anatomy's third season on September 28, 2006, and the pilot episode of NBC's series The Black Donnellys. Yet another one of their songs, "You Could Be Happy", played in closing credits in the 7th episode of the controversial HBO series "Tell Me You Love Me", on October 21, 2007, and was also used in UK comedy Gavin and Stacey (series 2, episode 6), in April 2008. On Saturday Night Live they performed "You're All I Have"" and "Chasing Cars" On July 30, 2006, Snow Patrol appeared on the finale of the long-running BBC music show Top of the Pops, performing "Chasing Cars". The band was the last act to ever appear on the show. It was used as the music for the 2007 series Big Brother UK's best bits and in June 2007 featured in the BBC hit comedy Gavin & Stacey as the first series climax in episode 6. Snow Patrol recorded a live session at Abbey Road Studios for Live from Abbey Road on October 4, 2006. The performance was included on an episode shared with Madeleine Peyroux and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and shown in the UK on Channel 4 and the USA on the Sundance Channel.

The band was forced to postpone a majority of the American Eyes Open tour after polyps were discovered on Lightbody's vocal cords, and failed to heal after initial postponement of three dates on the tour. Dates were rescheduled for August and September. The year would continue to be difficult on the band for the U.S. legs of their tours, as they were also forced to cancel two west coast festival appearances in mid-August due to the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S.-bound flights from the UK. Two band members made it to the U.S. while two were stuck in London. Subsequently, they all made it to the lone U.S. tour stop in Boston days later but failed to recover any of their luggage, forcing them to shop for clothes on Newbury St. that afternoon. Their gear arrived hours before show time, just in time for sound check. The band also had to cancel appearances in Germany and France after bassist Paul Wilson injured his left arm and shoulder. On November 26, 2006, Eyes Open had become the UK's best-selling album of the year, overtaking previous leader Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not by Arctic Monkeys. Despite very strong sales for Take That's comeback album Beautiful World, Eyes Open marginally earned the title of the UK's best-selling album of 2006, with 1.6 million in sales. The album reached platinum certification in the US as well, selling over 1,000,000 copies, and it maintained a spot in the upper quarter of the Billboard 200 list for over fifteen weeks, on the heels of the popularity of "Chasing Cars". The band also holds the distinction of having one of iTunes' top downloaded albums and songs of 2006. Ahead of the band's February tour, Eyes Open topped the Australian charts some eight months after its release on January 22, 2006. This February tour, the band asked long term friend and Boss Volenti drummer, Graham Hopkins to play drums as Jonny Quinn had broken his arm. Back home in Ireland, Eyes Open became one of the best selling albums of all time, staying at the top of the charts from the end of 2006 to early - mid 2007, and remaining in the charts to the present. Snow Patrol appeared as the musical guest on the March 17, 2007 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They performed "You're All I Have" and "Chasing Cars". The band toured Japan in April, followed by European festival dates, Mexico, and the US in the summer. They ended their tour in Australia in September 2007. The band contributed the song "Signal Fire" to the Spider-Man 3 soundtrack, as well as the film. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack and was featured in the credits to the film.

On July 7, 2007, the band performed at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London. It performed "Open Your Eyes", "Shut Your Eyes", and "Chasing Cars". Shortly after the band's performance, Simpson was arrested at RAF Northolt for missing a court date in Glasgow after having been charged for possession of a Class A drug (cocaine). He was held at Uxbridge Police Station, and transferred to Strathclyde before being released in time to perform with the band at T in the Park in Balado. Simpson missed Snow Patrol's performance at the Oxegen Festival in Ireland as a result. On the 25th November 2007 Snow Patrol performed an acoustic session for the charity Mencap, in a small chapel in Islington. They were one of the main bands to take part in the project, called little noise sessions which was curated by Jo Whiley. Gary Lightbody has stated that recording for the follow-up to Eyes Open was to begin in autumn 2007, with Jacknife Lee returning a third time for production.[citation needed] The band have since stated that they wish to take a year off after back to back tours of Final Straw and Eyes Open and intend to emerge at the end of 2008 with their next album.[citation needed] Gary Lightbody is set to release an album as part of a solo project called "Listen... Tanks!" but a date for this has not yet been publicly announced. However, a blog posted by Lightbody to the band's My Space page on March 24th announced that they were going to begin work on the new album starting in April 2008, and write and record straight through the summer. This time schedule puts an album release date in the late fall/early winter of 2008.

Current members

Former members

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Official Homepage: www.snowpatrol.com

 A l b u m s

Songs for Polarbears (Jeepster Records, 1999)
Final Straw (Polydor Records, 2003)
Eyes Open (Polydor Records, 2006)
A Hundred Millions Suns (Polydor Ltd. UK, 2008)