Belfast Telegraph

Belfast inspired new Snow Patrol single

By Maureen Coleman

Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody has told how he was inspired to write the band’s current single, Take Back The City, by his love of Belfast.

The Bangor-born frontman described the track — the first to be released from new album A Hundred Million Suns — as a “rough edged homage to a rough edged city”.

He revealed that the band will embark on a huge tour early next year, taking in Belfast, and that they also plan to return to Ward Park in Bangor, where they played a massive homecoming concert in September 2007.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph ahead of next Sunday night’s intimate gig at the Empire in Belfast as part of a two day tour, Gary said the band couldn’t wait to play their favourite city.

“I’m a Bangor man, but I’ve always considered Belfast my city,” he said.

“I went to school in Belfast, I’ve had some great nights out in Belfast and it’s affected my view of every other city in the world.

“Take Back The City is a happy, positive song, inspired by Belfast. It’s a great time to be from Northern Ireland and the song is something of a celebration, a rough edged homage to a rough edged city, as are all the cities I love in the world.

“We weren’t going to do any preliminary touring as we have a big tour scheduled for next February/March, but we insisted upon it and said the first gigs had to be in Ireland, in Belfast and Dublin. We made a big deal of it.

“People who got the tickets are people in the fan clubs in the various cities we’re playing in. Hopefully, if the demand is there, then we’ll do the bigger gigs next year, but Belfast is definitely guaranteed. And we’d love to do Ward Park again, maybe next year, maybe the following year. We had so much fun that night.”

Listen to Take Back The City

A Hundred Million Suns — released next Monday — marks a departure from previous albums, as the tracks Gary has written are more upbeat, concentrating on the positive aspects of love.

“The world is a scary place right now and so we wanted to make a record that wasn’t looking at the problems out there,” he said.

“It’s not a grim record, it’s not sad. It’s the first one you can operate heavy machinery to.

“There’s a lot I haven’t written about before — family, Northern Ireland, the positive side of love. I always focused on sad endings.

“In past relationships I have been obsessive about how they ended. I tended to treat them like a post-mortem, trying to work out where they went wrong. This time, it’s about what’s right with relationships.

“That was difficult to do because it’s hard to write about love without resorting to cliches and hackneyed language.”

He admitted there had been pressure on the band to deliver with A Hundred Million Suns, following the success of Final Straw and Eyes Open. The latter sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide and helped them break America.

“Yeah, we felt pressure a bit, it had to be an even better album,” he said. “But there’s no point getting worked up over things like record sales.”

Snow Patrol play the Empire Music Hall on Sunday, October 26 followed by a signing of A Hundred Million Suns at HMV, Donegall Arcade at 9.45pm. Entrance by wristband only, obtained from store opening on Sunday, October 26.

Win tickets to the hottest concert in town

Snow Patrol are back in Belfast this Sunday, October 26, to play an intimate show at the Empire Music Hall. The band, led by lead singer Gary Lightbody (right), will showcase their new album, A Hundred Million Suns – the follow-up to Eyes Open.

Tickets for the gig were snapped up within minutes of being released. But the Belfast Telegraph have teamed up with the Grammy-nominated Northern Irish band to offer a pair of tickets to five lucky readers.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, just answer the following question.

Q. What is the name of Snow Patrol’s new album?

Email your answer to mcoleman@belfasttelegraph.co.uk, with your name, address and a telephone number. Winners must be aged over 18.

Closing date is Thursday, October 23 2008.

Each lucky ticket holder will also get an exclusive free Live CD with highlights of the show they attend, picking up an artworked CD on the night, which will contain details of how to download music the next day.

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