Gary Lightbody had little need to explain Snow Patrol’s long association with Glasgow – the knowing cheer that went up soon as the band’s Northern Irish frontman proclaimed “it’s so good to be back” spoke volumes. “We lived here for 10 years,” he reminisced nonetheless, “it’s a big part of our lives”.
Snow Patrol, Hydro, Glasgow ***
There will always be a little part of Snow Patrol that belongs to Glasgow. For all that it’s become easy to knock them as softcore post-Britpop bores, it’s much fairer, to say nothing of kinder, to commend their extraordinary 16 million selling success and simple staying power.
New album Wildness is the band’s first in seven years. Lightbody has spoken of grappling with addiction and depression in that long intermission. Seeing him beam with earnest gratitude and joy as the crowd roared every word of Run – the slow-burning big room ballad that in 2003 transformed Snow Patrol into global pop contenders – it was hard not to think of musicians we’ve lost to mental illness in recent years, and to wish that they could have been as fortunate as Lightbody in facing down their demons.
In 16 years since there have been a few mega hits and a whole lot more eminently forgettable misses, and we got a mixture of both. The once inescapable Chasing Cars inevitably proved the most smartphone-battery sapping number of the evening. To say that new songs such as the woolly the woolly Life on Earth and What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get? were in anything like its league would be a lie. But to say that love for Snow Patrol seems to be waning, even after a long time away, would be equally untrue. - Malcolm Jack