Snow Patrol - City Of Manchester Stadium - 14.6.05

It's the first of two dates for U2 in Manchester and if for the support bands, The Bravery embody everything rock n roll should be about, then Snow Patrol surely sum up everything that is wrong about music in 2005.

Designer Magazine first saw Snow Patrol playing one of the legendary annual free gigs in Castlefield (that later turned into the D-Percussion Festival) a number of years ago and they displayed every trait that mini-Lamacqs would tugg about under the covers. At the time they were at best inoffensive, they sold no records so there was nothing to worry about. But nowadays, Snow Patrol are the mainstream and the best thing you can say about them is that they deliver mediocre, mind numbingly boring middle of the road indie bollocks. In comparison a Katie Melua / Jamie Cullum dinner party for the terminally comatose would fair better in terms of excitement.

What's worse is that frontman Gary Lightbody is a variety show version of Patrick Kielty and Vernon Kay and really should be performing to that size of audience. Not surprisingly the British public lap up this lowest common denominator indie rock in the same way previous generations would flock to Lighthouse Family and Beautiful South gigs. Surely it seems wrong that whereas previous generations listened to The Stones, The Smiths and The Stone Roses the highlight of your day is slipping a Snow Patrol track onto your Ipod.

In fairness to the band, "Run" is a genuinely affecting song which has outgrown it's status as a carbon copy version of Coldplay's "Yellow", but one song does not maketh a whole career.

So if we hate Snow Patrol with such passion why should we care? Because each and every time a Snow Patrol record gets played on radio, another band is denied the airplay. And there's a whole new generation of kids who know nothing better than the latest Snow Patrol record and will go on to form bands. Imagine a world where the charts are full of bands that sound like Snow Patrol and have the charisma of Gary Lightbody. Go on, for 30 seconds just think about that thought.

Alex McCann

Are Snow Patrol the worst band in the world...ever?
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