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Snow Patrol, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

Snow Patrol’s Bellahouston gig was billed as a bit of a homecoming for the band and featured much of lead singer Gary Lightbody reminiscing about being penniless in dodgy Glasgow flats before they made it big.

This was the band’s biggest gig in Scotland with a pretty impressive 25,000 people and, as Lightbody reminded the crowd, Snow Patrol started in Scotland when at university in Dundee together.

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They’d also asked along an interesting variety of acts for the shindig in the park from both sides of the Atlantic, such as Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit, Editors, from England, and America’s Band of Horses. There was an interesting array of star-spangled banners in the crowd, which was possibly more to do with some football tournament than support for the US bands.

Chocolate marked the start of a fantastic section featuring “special guests”, including a string quartet, brass instrumentation and, finally, haunting vocals from Glasgow’s Monica Queen, whose unassuming stage appearance made her subsequent presence all the more beguiling with show-stopper Set The Fire To The Third Bar. Even Lightbody had to admit that he’d almost lost the musical plot by the end of the song, so mesmeric was her beautiful voice.

A stunning arrangement of Run soon followed and newer single The Planets Bend Between Us was a more low-key success of the evening. Perhaps predictably, indie anthem Chasing Cars brought up the rear and sounded much better in the lower area of the natural auditorium of the park, which was left strewn with paper cups and promises of love for everyone from the charismatic Mr Lightbody himself.

Star rating: ****

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