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They’re not Coldplay, They’re Mine!

Posted on 23rd February 2004. No Comment

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John McGee bemoans the loss of his beloved Snow Patrol to the masses.
They tell me that one of the hardest things you can go through in life is losing a pet. I’ve never really understood what anyone meant by this, maybe its just my aversion to being licked which leads to this? Its certainly something. (as an aside why did old men always tell me ‘its all right she’ll lick you to death before biting you’, were they taunting me? Bite me dog, just sodding bite me!!) Well I’ve finally started to sympathise. Why? I lost my pet, or at least I now have to share it with many millions of people. Ask anyone, I won’t even share a bag of Minstrels, I’m hurt bad.
The pet in question is the current band du jour ‘Snow Patrol’, yep that band with that song. You’re probably humming it now, its everywhere! When the album ‘Final Straw’ landed into the top three in the album charts a couple of Sundays ago (its currently at number 9) it was ironically just that for me. I’ve gone through weeks of people coming up to me asking if I’d heard this new band or la-la-ing the first few chords of ‘Run’s’ chorus and asking me who it was, I could barely choke back ‘You can’t like them, they’re mine.’ then, but now I’ve just given up. If anyone else tells me they’re the new Coldplay I will officially scream in their face.
So what I hear you say, why shouldn’t a band be allowed to be successful? I truly don’t begrudge them that, to be fair I’m really pleased for them, its just that, they were always my best kept secret. I’ve liked Snow Patrol since their first album ‘Songs for Polarbears’ was released in 1998, own several of their singles, have seen them live on a number of occasions, know that they used to be called Polarbear and why they changed their name, heck, I even know that they write ‘mums and dads of the world be patient with your children’ inside the sleeve of every CD they release. I am, if you like, a Snow Patrol anorak. If anyone I know ever asked me to borrow a decent album, or indeed anything, I’d always send a Snow Patrol CD along for the ride in order to try and convert someone. Many bands who I’ve liked have gone on to great things, I liked Coldplay, The Music, The Coral, JJ72, The Dandy Warhols amongst others before they went particularly mainstream, so am a bit bothered as to why I feel so narked.
I can only conceivably give two reasons. The first is that ‘Run’, whilst a fantastic single and a brilliant pop song, is not exactly vintage Snow Patrol. It is the most commercial song I have ever known them to produce and to me belongs more on one of singer Gary Lightbody’s side project ‘The Reindeer Section’s albums, where big chorus pop wins the day. I’ve always associated them with spiky pop melodies, dark lyrics and an experimental edge, they have a turntablist and sampler (in Tom Simpson) as practically a full time member, although you’d hardly know it from ‘Run’. I’ve always associated them more with America’s alt. scene (bands such as Sebadoh and Yo La Tengo) than traditional British indie, whilst I admit when I first heard ‘Run’ live this summer I commented that they should sell the rights to some boyband, see it soar and live on the royalties, it feels really harsh to say but I kind of wish they had! The second is the backing of a big name record label in Polydor, they first released ‘Final Straw’ on their Black Lion imprint which has since been changed to Fiction for the re-release (I bought it the day it came out by the way, I’m that sad.). I know its a cliche to say that major labels have a big part in bands selling-out but its seems no shock that the next single will be ‘Chocolate’ the only other Coldplay-esque track on the album, which is ironically in my top three all time favourite SP tracks (the other two are ‘Ask Me How I Am’ and ‘Absolute Gravity’ for those who care!).
I’m not saying Snow Patrol have sold-out, far from it, they’ve just released the brilliant pop song, which I have always known them capable of producing. I guess I just feel like a parent who has packed their kid off to uni, kind of jealous, but in the main knowing that this is it, they’ll never be just mine and its time for them to grow up. However, just like those parents, I’ll never stop loving them and will always be ready to take them back in the bad times.
John McGee

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  • Sam said:

    its a man thing…

    whats best is playing the john peel lottery, listen to his show, back a band on the strength of their song and wait 2/3 years for them to go supernova…

  • Sam said:

    its a man thing…

    whats best is playing the john peel lottery, listen to his show, back a band on the strength of their song and wait 2/3 years for them to go supernova…

  • Sam said:

    its a man thing…

    whats best is playing the john peel lottery, listen to his show, back a band on the strength of their song and wait 2/3 years for them to go supernova…

  • Pete said:

    I know the exact feeling – I was banging on about Muse, The Darkness, Snow Patrol, Coldplay etc long before they became properly mainstream. However, I gain extreme pleasure and a sense of pride to see bands go on and make it. As I foresaw many a yore ago, 2004 will be the year of Franz Ferdinand, Keane and yes, Snow Patrol.

  • Pete said:

    I know the exact feeling – I was banging on about Muse, The Darkness, Snow Patrol, Coldplay etc long before they became properly mainstream. However, I gain extreme pleasure and a sense of pride to see bands go on and make it. As I foresaw many a yore ago, 2004 will be the year of Franz Ferdinand, Keane and yes, Snow Patrol.

  • Pete said:

    I know the exact feeling – I was banging on about Muse, The Darkness, Snow Patrol, Coldplay etc long before they became properly mainstream. However, I gain extreme pleasure and a sense of pride to see bands go on and make it. As I foresaw many a yore ago, 2004 will be the year of Franz Ferdinand, Keane and yes, Snow Patrol.

  • murray said:

    i like that fact that in the Concepts reject box (alternative music society are given a box full of reject promo stuff for the freshers fair) was a shit load of franz ferdinand stuff!

  • murray said:

    i like that fact that in the Concepts reject box (alternative music society are given a box full of reject promo stuff for the freshers fair) was a shit load of franz ferdinand stuff!

  • murray said:

    i like that fact that in the Concepts reject box (alternative music society are given a box full of reject promo stuff for the freshers fair) was a shit load of franz ferdinand stuff!

  • Smoggie said:

    so whats this to do with staying in then? should this be in opinion section since its someones opinion?

  • Smoggie said:

    so whats this to do with staying in then? should this be in opinion section since its someones opinion?

  • Smoggie said:

    so whats this to do with staying in then? should this be in opinion section since its someones opinion?

  • Ushi said:

    Surely its this kind of ‘Indie Fascism’ that has resulted in a fair few of the ICBIN Cheese events alienating about 99% of the people in the Fonteyn Ballroom, by the insistence on playing the most obscure music possible? I admit the last ICBINC was better, but there were a good few before that when the Fonteyn was empty as even when a well known band were played, the DJs often played the tracks that most people wouldn’t have known. I get annoyed when people have a ‘i’m cool because my music is more obscure and less commercially successful than yours’ attitude. If music’s good, it should do well commercially and people should get to hear it. I’m sure Snow Patrol, Keane and Franz Ferdinand would much rather be on the radio and high in the charts than have only a very tiny number of people able to hear their music, and have no money with which to make records with.

    And by the way, I have a friend who is possibly the biggest Snow Patrol and Keane fan to ever exist as from their very early days she’s always followed them round on tour and been to every gig and as a result all the members of both bands know her. And she’s been nothing but completely thrilled by the commercial success of these bands.

    I say enough of the Indie Fascism and elitism! Lets just enjoy it when good bands get some recognition by the rest of the population.

  • Ushi said:

    Surely its this kind of ‘Indie Fascism’ that has resulted in a fair few of the ICBIN Cheese events alienating about 99% of the people in the Fonteyn Ballroom, by the insistence on playing the most obscure music possible? I admit the last ICBINC was better, but there were a good few before that when the Fonteyn was empty as even when a well known band were played, the DJs often played the tracks that most people wouldn’t have known. I get annoyed when people have a ‘i’m cool because my music is more obscure and less commercially successful than yours’ attitude. If music’s good, it should do well commercially and people should get to hear it. I’m sure Snow Patrol, Keane and Franz Ferdinand would much rather be on the radio and high in the charts than have only a very tiny number of people able to hear their music, and have no money with which to make records with.

    And by the way, I have a friend who is possibly the biggest Snow Patrol and Keane fan to ever exist as from their very early days she’s always followed them round on tour and been to every gig and as a result all the members of both bands know her. And she’s been nothing but completely thrilled by the commercial success of these bands.

    I say enough of the Indie Fascism and elitism! Lets just enjoy it when good bands get some recognition by the rest of the population.

  • Ushi said:

    Surely its this kind of ‘Indie Fascism’ that has resulted in a fair few of the ICBIN Cheese events alienating about 99% of the people in the Fonteyn Ballroom, by the insistence on playing the most obscure music possible? I admit the last ICBINC was better, but there were a good few before that when the Fonteyn was empty as even when a well known band were played, the DJs often played the tracks that most people wouldn’t have known. I get annoyed when people have a ‘i’m cool because my music is more obscure and less commercially successful than yours’ attitude. If music’s good, it should do well commercially and people should get to hear it. I’m sure Snow Patrol, Keane and Franz Ferdinand would much rather be on the radio and high in the charts than have only a very tiny number of people able to hear their music, and have no money with which to make records with.

    And by the way, I have a friend who is possibly the biggest Snow Patrol and Keane fan to ever exist as from their very early days she’s always followed them round on tour and been to every gig and as a result all the members of both bands know her. And she’s been nothing but completely thrilled by the commercial success of these bands.

    I say enough of the Indie Fascism and elitism! Lets just enjoy it when good bands get some recognition by the rest of the population.

  • sarah said:

    i know where you’re coming from but believe me you should be happy for snow patrol. I live in Belfast and since I was about 12/13 I’ve seen snow patrol back up just about every band that came to northern ireland..it’s only fair they get their turn. Also in a way it’s good they’ve released their more mainstream songs because then you get to keep the good ones for yourself!

  • sarah said:

    i know where you’re coming from but believe me you should be happy for snow patrol. I live in Belfast and since I was about 12/13 I’ve seen snow patrol back up just about every band that came to northern ireland..it’s only fair they get their turn. Also in a way it’s good they’ve released their more mainstream songs because then you get to keep the good ones for yourself!

  • sarah said:

    i know where you’re coming from but believe me you should be happy for snow patrol. I live in Belfast and since I was about 12/13 I’ve seen snow patrol back up just about every band that came to northern ireland..it’s only fair they get their turn. Also in a way it’s good they’ve released their more mainstream songs because then you get to keep the good ones for yourself!