Snow Patrol started life when Gary Lightbody (guitar, vocals) and Mark McClelland (bass, backing vocals) met at Dundee University, and discovered that they had lived a few streets from each other in their native Belfast - and of course a shared desire to make some delicately crafted guitar noise. With the help of Belle & Sebastian's Richard Colburn on drums until Jonny Quinn could travel from Belfast to join the band full-time, the band (then called Polarbear until legal issues later forced the change) were snapped up by Jeepster on the strength of the ultra-rare single 'Starfighter Pilot', released through Electric Honey records, the label which also has the super-ultra-rare 'Tigermilk' by B&S to its name.
After releasing the critically ignored debut album Songs For Polar Bears at the turn of the century, Snow Patrol went on to release what should have been their breakthrough album When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up in 2001, and even though the radio exposure clicked into place this time around, Jeepster's advertising budget was poor.
Relations between Jeepster and the Patrol soon soured before they parted company, Jeepster folding soon after. Snow Patrol retreated back to Belfast to write and record third album Final Straw off their own backs, before securing a major deal with Fiction/Polydor. Having worked with Iain Archer as something of a fourth member on the second album, they instead recruited Belfast boy Nathan Connolly from local act Fuel for what was to follow.
They still needed some luck though, and it came one morning when their friend Radio 1 DJ Colin Murray chased Jo "The World's Most Mainstream Hippy" Whiley down the road one day in the summer of 2003 clutching a copy of 'Run'. Even though 'Spitting Games' was the forthcoming single, the radio play it received was negligible, and before long 'Run' hit both the airwaves and the charts.. and then everywhere else.
Sensing the indie-kids wanted Coldplay instead of Rock Music, the record label set about releasing all the slow tracks from the zillion-selling Final Straw, earning them some kind of reputation as indie bedwetters. As the gruelling tour schedule wound down, Mark was unceremoniously kicked out of the band one night without discussion (he alledges) for reasons which have remained top secret, and Paul from Terra Diablo joined as his replacement immediately. They also welcomed on board long-standing but, until then, unofficial fifth member Tom for keyboards and electronic wizardy.
Fourth album Eyes Open was released May 2006.