PRS for Music honours Snow Patrol's first gig

Legendary rock group Snow Patrol have been honoured by the PRS for Music Heritage Award.

A special plaque was erected earlier today in Belfast where the original group Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar) Jonny Quinn (drums) and Mark McClelland (bass) first performed, at the Duke of York pub in Belfast in 1998. 

PRS for Music set up the Heritage Award last year to recognise the unusual ‘performance birthplaces’ of famous bands and artists. Snow Patrol is the sixth band to be given the honour of receiving the permanent plaque. 

Current members – Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar), Nathan Connolly  (lead guitar), Paul Wilson (bass guitar), Jonny Quinn (drums) and Tom Simpson (keyboards) were there to see the plaque unveiled.

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 PRS for Music 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.”

The band said it was “an honour that their very first gig at the Duke of York has been recognised like this and it’s a pleasure to be back here”

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.”

Gary Lightbody continued:  “We never sold out the Duke Of York, and 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.” 

In just over a decade 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. 

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