'NDIE ROCK SNOW PATROL
Brodick Town Hall, Arran, Sat 10 8. Sun 11 Apr
The Snow Patrol story is the classic tale of overnight success that took years. The Glasgow-based Northern Irish ex-pats have been kicking around this bonnie country for a decade now, plugging away in the alternative music scene, providing entertainment for the few, when really they deserved to be giving it to the masses. A couple of sporadically brilliant albums on indie label Jeepster and a hell of a lot of local goodwill were about all they had to show for their years of toil.
Until this year, that is. Because all of a sudden there they were on Top of the Pops and CD:UK, bashing out the glorious anthemic single ‘Run’ as if they were born to do it. Since that number five hit there have been sold out tours of the UK and the States and their album, Final Straw, plonked itself into the charts at number three on its re-release and, damn it, the lads deserve every bit of it.
We catch up with singer Gary Lightbody, he hasn’t got used to it yet. He uses the word ‘bizarre’ a lot.
‘lt’s bizarre, really bizarre,’ he says, grinning. ‘There’s a lovely atmosphere, people have been coming up to me in bars and clubs in town, saying you’ve been doing this for so long and you really deserve it. It’s bizarre.’ And how does it feel for a bunch of indie ne’er-do-wells to be sneaking their way onto Saturday morning television? You guessed it.
‘Very bizarre,’ says Lightbody laughing. ‘Pink is a big fan of ours, she brought us round into her dressing room at CD:UK and told us that Final Straw is her favourite album at the moment. I don’t know
whether we caught her with a hangover or something, but she was very placid.’ Snow Patrol’s recent success can be seen as part of a bigger shift in attitudes among British music fans, with a host of quality guitar bands with pop sensibilities suddenly charting as the sales of reality
TV pop dross plummets.
‘lt’s brilliant,’ says Lightbody enthusiastically. ‘I think that as soon as you show people how pop music works, Popstars and Pop Idol and all that, people realise that it’s all a con. It will never completely die out but it’s just great that people have lost faith in it a little bit, and they’ve started to look at other
things with a bit of substance.’
In the meantime there are videos to make, America to break and gold discs to receive. ‘The album just went gold,’ says Lightbody. ‘So our mummies and daddies will have something to hang on their walls. Hopefully they’ll finally realise their sons haven’t been wasting their lives for the last ten years.’
As the band say on the sleeve of Final Straw: ‘Mums and dads of the world be patient with your children. In this case, that patience has paid off. (Doug Johnstone)
FOLK KILA Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 15 Apr
Nothing tidy about them
Eoin Dillon. Colm Mac Con lomaire. and brothers Rossa and Renan Snodaigh — it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that these guys are Irish. And if you are told that they play uillean pipes. whistle. fiddle. bodhran and bones. you might assume that they'd play tidin
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for a traditional wedding on the Aran Islands. Well. they might. but there w0u|d be nothing tidy about it. As four sevenths of Dublin- based phenomenon Kila. the guys are more likely to be stripped to the waist banging skin and making more neise than a Jumbo load of Japanese ritual drummers. Ronan's chanted Irish may have roots in the anoient Gaelic sean-nos Singing style. but its appeal rings Out to the new Subcultures of Hibernia and beyond. at Glastonbury and Womad and Scotland's Galloway and Dumfries. where mUSic is but a functional part of a whole hanscendentexpenence.
Formed in 1987. part old age. part new age. but follownig no leaders. Kila have over the last decade managed to create a mammoth. and quite unique
ensemble sOund and showed. as in some of the long tracks from their Sixth album Luna Park. It's a record that provides a way forward for a generation that's getting bored With the saccharine sentimentality of the Mary Black clones. or the sexy slickness of Riverdance. Now Kila have world tOurs. filiii soundtracks. a vast audience at the opening of last year's Specral Olympics and a speCial TV event next month when they jOlll Alanis Morrissette and others in a 10”” BBC RTE broadcast to celebrate the enlargement of the EU and Ireland's preSidency of the union. Now. if only Kila can seduce those diehard Runrig saddoes into the new. emerging pan-celtic shamanic tribe. (Norman Charlinersi
ROCK THE CHURCH OF ROCK Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow, 11 Apr
Listen up. you bunch of cretinous heathens . . . you're not living the way it was intended; you frequent discotheques. pick your pop icons from the telly and call immoral nu metallers like Lost Prophets rock music. You need a saviour, someone or something that will drag you out of your sinful existences. and that my children. is the Church of Rock. The Reverend Obediah Steppenwolf III will be y0ur hysterical host for the evening. you'll be purified by the Jack Daniels baptism sessions and have your faith restored by air guitar competitions. but most importantly. you will hear the sacred sounds of Kain. Raar. the Blimp. Stylus Automatic and Stonewhisper. and only then will your soul will be truly saved. Listen to Brother Innes Forbes. frontman of
Raar in their Sunday best
classic rock-loving Black Isle quartet Raar. for he speaks the truth. “Alec Downie had a vision on a train. He saw a glowing denim sword rising out of the grOLind between two leather skulls and the sword spoketh unto him to congregate the people of Glasgow in the deep south of the Grand Ole Opry. Rock is a religion. it's a way of life and we're really looking forward to this.‘
Raar's new single 'Longhorn' is out at the end of this month. and includes a comic written and drawn by the band. It will be the first in a series and every truly holy home must have one. but until then their legendary live experience is the only way to hear the message. ‘I can't stand nu metal. that's blasphemy. Thou shalt not hip hop. That is what this gig is all about. We're defending our faith and trying to freshen things up. Nirvana killed the riffs by making them just three chords and created a whole horrible genre of poor copy bands. and it's good that the craftsmanship and harmonies and widdly solos are coming back.‘ Spread the word. (Camilla Pia)