Snow Patrol's Nathan Connolly has spoken of the band's immense pride at being part of the 2011 MTV EMAs - and of their desire to play Bangor's Wark Park again
The Co Down guitarist described last November's EMAs as an 'amazing, crazy, fun-filled' weekend, which had shed a positive light on Belfast and would continue to reap benefits for the city's music scene.
Nathan was speaking ahead of the band's upcoming Fallen Empires tour, which kicks off in Dublin this Friday before making its way to Belfast for a three night stint at the Odyssey Arena tonight.
"We can't wait to get back to Belfast to play," he said. "There's always a pretty special atmosphere at our shows at home and the one we did at the City Hall for MTV was amazing.
"We were delighted to be involved on the night, in fact the whole weekend was pretty crazy and fun-filled. There was such a buzz around Belfast and it really did fill us with a huge sense of pride.
"For Belfast too, it was an incredible experience in so many ways. It helped the city financially and also shone a positive light on Northern Ireland, culturally and musically. Obviously, as a musician, I love the fact it showed off the music scene here. It's so diverse and there are so many amazing bands out there at the moment, so it's great the world got to see that."
The opening show of the band's new tour at the 02 in Dublin also marks Nathan's 31st birhtday and he said he couldn't think of a better way to celebrate.
"We always say that the three cities we love to play the most are Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow and they're the three places we're starting off this tour," he said. "We'll never lose that sense of excitement. There's a real nervous energy about playing these places and we can usually gauge then how the tour is going to go and how the audience will react to new songs."
With a sixth studio album released in November, just days after the EMAs, Snow Patrol's extensive back catalogue of material makes it more difficult to draw up a play-list for gigs.
"There are the songs we have to play, the singles that we know will win the crowd over, though they're not always the songs we want to do," he said. "But we're really excited about playing the new stuff from Fallen Empires. It's only when we do live shows that we discover what songs the audience connect with. We've done a handful of gigs recently ahead of the tour and we're finding that This Isn't Everything You Are seems to be the one that people are emotionally connecting to and instantly getting."
Fallen Empires sees Snow Patrol experiment with new sounds - electronica and even a hint of disco - and Nathan said it was their most ambitious album to date.
"It's the closest we've come to actually getting what's in our heads down on a record," he said. "We didn't want to repeat ourselves, but at the same time, we didn't want to forget our strengths. It's less polished, less perfect than the previous two albums. When a record's too clinical you can lose some of your personality. This is the first step in a new direction and you'll see it come through even more on the next album."
And Nathan also revealed that the band is hoping to stage a third open air concert at Ward Park in Bangor.
"Maybe there'll be another Ward Park, we are talking about it," he said. "But it won't be this year."
*Snow Patrol play the Odyssey Arena on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 23, 24, 25. New single In The End is out now.