Snow Patrol: Dublin Temple Bar Music Centre

There are dimensions beyond Snow Patrol's bubblegum gusto...

In half an hour’s time Snow Patrol will step aside to make way for the triumphant return to Dublin for fellow Norn Iron pop-punkers Ash. That means that they have just 30 minutes to do as much damage as possible to the ears of the assembled teens in oversized ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ t-shirts sardined into a deliberately undersized venue. And to be fair, Snow Patrol, with their fresh approach to bounce up’n’down indie-rock, deserve to nick a few t-shirt-wearing pre-pubescent fans of their own.

It’s a well-conceived din full of hooks, scratches and the loveable bendy-legged charisma of lead singer/guitarist Gary Lightbody. Even without the back-up of their celeb friends from Belle & Sebastian and former Happy Mondays/Black Grape moustachio Wags, the Patrol rock the kids’ little socks off. Lightbody is the perfect naughty big brother role model with his flailing arms, droll sense of humour, but ultimately warm nature. Never for a moment do you question his passion to make this happen and, more importantly, to make lots of noise doing it.

But there are dimensions beyond Snow Patrol’s bubblegum gusto. As their fan-fucking-tastic forthcoming second album ‘When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up’ (due next March) testifies, the Patrol have sonic new pastures on their mind. Current single ‘Ask Me How I Am’ recalls the funky pop soul of Folk Implosion. Forthcoming single ‘One Night Is Not Enough’ (scheduled for a Valentine release, ahhh!) fizzles with a slow-burning balladic blaze. And the panned-out big beat of their Cut-La-Roc collaboration ‘Post-Punk Progression’ moves your hips and your head with super-cool symmetry. Watch your back Ash and company, Snow Patrol are thieving your fans.

Leagues O’Toole