Hard on the heels of their Up To Now compilation, Scotland’s, Norn Iron’s, Britain’s, Ireland’s, Europe’s and SouthYemen’s finest band ever Snow Patrol are set to release a double spoken-word album* of singer Gary Lightbody’s endless platitudes to audiences all over the world.
His stock, crowd-pleasing utterances, in which he compliments the size or quality of any given venue or audience, have charmed armies of the converted for years. No matter the occasion, he seems never to tire of telling crowds from Belfast to Baranca, that they are simply the “best audience ever”.
Back in 2004, I wrote the following as an introduction to a review of the ‘Patrol’s somewhat underwhelming gig at Dublin’s Olympia:
‘Is Gary Lightbody the jolliest sufferer of chronic déjá vu in the world? Every Snow Patrol live review you read, the frontman always seems to say what he told us tonight: “We never thought we’d be playing anywhere as big as this!”; and he says it with such apparently sweet, wide-eyed bewilderment that you almost believe him. At some point in 2004 though, in between thunderous rounds of adulation, he must have heard the sound of a penny dropping; Final Straw is a massive album, the tours are moving to progressively bigger venues and a US tour with U2 looms. Lightbody might want to pretend that Jennifer Love Hewitt’s favourites are just a tiddly indie band but they are fast becoming a skyscraper-devouring, stadium rock monster.’
In August this year, he’s still at it, in this report from NME.com:
‘Earlier, Snow Patrol had discovered that despite jeers greeting news of Oasis’ cancellation earlier in the day, they were warmly received as headliners by the V Stage crowd.
“Already you’re one of the best crowds we’ve ever played to,” Lightbody declared after just two songs. “It’s a dark, dark time but we’ll try to shed some light on it.” ‘
Well, in the spirit of Gary’s ebulliently understated niceness, can I just be the first to say that Snow Patrol’s album, A Hundred Million Platitudes, is the best spoken word album ever. I never thought I’d be listening to anything this good…
*may not be actual album, at all. Sorry.