The band are warming up for the show at the ping-pong table that always accompanies them on tour.Unlike Pete Doherty, they choose not to flaunt the trappings of rock success. ‘It’s all-consuming.’ He has the unkempt Gallagher-brother look about him: dark haired, with an outfit that looks as if was hastily grabbed off the peg from a provincial Oxfam shop. I’m not saying I didn’t in my younger days but I was never a rock slut.
At least it has been up to now.’Lightbody is now in his backstage dressing-room.
There are no scantily clad groupies, hard liquor or class-A drugs.
Their latest album, Eyes Open, sold a whopping 1.3 million copies at home, more than anyone else by a country mile.
To put this in perspective, this is more than Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms in 1985 and Madonna’s True Blue in 1986, both record sellers in the pre-digital age. By tonight, the year’s end, the band’s worldwide album sales will have topped five million.
‘Then again, our best songs come from the darker side of his nature.’ On the band’s most recent album, Eyes Open, one of the recurring lyrical themes is the breakdown of Lightbody’s last serious relationship, a split apparently precipitated by his own infidelity.
‘I’ve strayed in the past and that’s left me feeling guilty. I’m more likely to start going out with Su Pollard.
Looking back, Belfast-born drummer Quinn admits that he’s now grateful for the band’s long and often difficult gestation.
‘The long hard road we’ve taken is always there to remind us where we’ve come from.’Having relocated from his native Bangor to study at Dundee University, Lightbody formed the earliest version of Snow Patrol back in 1994.
As newspapers and magazines were publishing their traditional end-of-year round-ups, all the musical accolades were being handed out to Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen, 2006’s most conspicuous breakthrough acts.