Music review: Snow Patrol, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

WITH their recent album Reworked, which consisted of reimagined versions of some of their career highlights, Snow Patrol solidified their position amid the established ranks of the heritage indie-rock players of the mid-2000s. The intention of this show was to revisit their extensive repertoire of hits and fan favourites in a more expansive and richly-arranged format, with an eight-piece band, a string quartet and a pair of brass players onstage.

Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol was in reminiscent mood, with 25 years of the band behind him. Picture: Graham Harries/Shutterstock

Snow Patrol, Usher Hall, Edinburgh ****

Amid it all, however, it was still possible to hear the youthful playfulness of the DIY group which was beloved by small audiences in Dundee and Glasgow before they ever became famous. Noting that this is the 25th anniversary of the band, and that 14 of those years were spent in Scotland, singer Gary Lightbody appeared to be in a mood to reminisce. He pointed out the reference to Teenage Fanclub in the lyric to Lifening, and also gave a particular welcome to Richard Colburn, playing percussion here and also a member of Snow Patrol influences Belle & Sebastian.

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In I Think of Home Lightbody remembered his youth in Northern Ireland and referenced his love of the whole island, and he poignantly pointed out after Chocolate that only in Ireland and Scotland do audiences sing along with the guitar lines. Warmer Climate and A Dark Switch were here as the result of an online fan poll of favourite songs (“you can’t do a song on the fly with a 15-piece band,” smiled Lightbody, when the shouted requests began), and the hits were reconditioned accordingly.

A touch of post-rock grandeur was added to Spitting Games, and Run – which finally brought the crowd to their feet – sounded even more epic with choral and string elements. Fortunately Lightbody, who has suffered vocal problems on the tour, could let the crowd deputise for him on songs like Shut Your Eyes and Chasing Cars, amid the kind of euphoric scenes with which a band so supposedly genteel might not usually be associated.

DAVID POLLOCK