PRS for Music set up the Heritage Award scheme last year to recognise the performance birthplaces legendary UK music acts. Snow Patrol is the sixth act to be given the award.
Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar), Nathan Connolly (lead guitar), Paul Wilson (bass guitar), Jonny Quinn (drums) and Tom Simpson (keyboards) were all on hand to see the plaque unveiled.
Of their first gigs, Gary Lightbody commented: ‘We never sold out the Duke Of York. To be honest, getting 30 people back then was a good night. To be playing for up to 40,000 people now is incredible for us.’
Snow Patrol’s drummer Jonny Quinn added: ‘What I remember of the Duke Of York back then was that we did two nights, one acoustic and one as a full band, and there weren’t many people there. It’s great to be back where it all started. It hasn’t changed much at all - except there’s more posters on the walls now.’
PRS Chairman, Ellis Rich said: ‘Celebrating these birthplaces of our country's musical heritage is a really well deserved thing to do and I’m absolutely delighted to unveil this Heritage Award to Snow Patrol today. The UK has given the world fantastic songwriters and performers which have enriched our lives and provided us with music we all love and appreciate. I'm immensely proud that the bands’ humble musical beginnings at the Duke of York pub have been recognised and honoured for all to see.’
Since their first gig in 1998, Snow Patrol has taken the musical world by storm. The band rose to national fame with their major label debut Final Straw in 2003. The album was certified 5 times platinum in the UK and sold over 2.9m copies worldwide. Their next studio album Eyes Open (2006) propelled the band to greater international fame. The album topped the UK Album Charts and was the best-selling British album of the year, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. In 2008, the band released their fifth studio album A Hundred Million Suns and in 2009 their first Best Of album Up to Now.
Snow Patrol have been nominated for five BRIT Awards, five Meteor Ireland Music Awards and an Ivor Novello.