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Snow Patrol Biography

Home > Music > S > Snow Patrol > Biography

Birth Place: Northern Ireland and Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Years Active: 1994–present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Power Pop, Indie Rock

Snow Patrol is an alternative rock band from Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland and now based in Glasgow, Scotland. The band originally formed at the University of Dundee in 1994, Gary Lightbody, Michael Morrison and Mark McClelland under the name Shrug.

In 1995 they released an extended play titled “The Yogurt vs. Yogurt Debate.” Morrison left that year and the band changed their name to Polarbear.

Under this name they released a second EP, “Starfighter Pilot,” on the Electric Honey label 1997. Drummer Jonny Quinn joined the group and the band signed to Jeepster Records the same year. They then underwent their final name change to Snow Patrol.

Their first two albums for the label, 1998’s “Songs for Polarbears” and 2001’s “When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up” failed to do well commercially. Subsequently, the band was dropped by the label.

Guitarist Nathan Connolly joined in 2002 and Snow Patrol was signed to Fiction and Interscope record labels in 2003. Their third studio album, “Final Straw,” was released the same year, and was a commercial success. "Run" became their breakthrough single in the United Kingdom, charting in the Top 5 on the singles chart. The album won the Ivor Novello Album Award.

During the end of the Final Straw Tour of 2003 – 2005, founding bassist Mark McClelland was fired. The band recruited Paul Wilson as his replacement, and touring keyboardist Tom Simpson was made a permanent member of the band.

Their next album, “Eyes Open,” released in 2006, was more successful. Sales of the album were boosted by the success of the Grammy-nominated "Chasing Cars," which reached the Top 10 in the U.K. and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album itself won a Meteor Award and was nominated for several more. It sold over two million copies in the U.K. and achieved platinum status in the United States.

In 2008, the band released their fifth studio album “A Hundred Million Suns.” The album debuted at #2 in the U.K. narrowly missing the top spot. The album reached #9 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart and was certified platinum in the U.K.

In 2009 they released their first compilation album, “Up to Now.” The album performed well commercially, reaching the Top 5 in three countries, including #3 in the U.K.

During the course of their career, Snow Patrol has won five Meteor Ireland Music Awards and have been nominated for three BRIT Awards. Since the release of “Final Straw,” the band has sold over ten million albums worldwide.