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Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008
Snow Patrol begin four city tour

By Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

Snow Patrol on stage in Belfast

Snow Patrol chose a tiny theatre in the centre of Dublin to perform their new album for the first time.

The band are on a two-day tour visiting four cities in the UK and Ireland to promote their fifth album, A Hundred Million Suns.

Frontman Gary Lightbody paid tribute to the crowd at the beginning of the first gig.

He said: "You guys were the first to get us. We played to 500 people here when in the rest of the UK only 50 people were showing up."

The singer looked genuinely happy to be there and smiled the whole way through.

He added: "It's been brilliant fun, especially because it's a matinee - it's Sunday - people are just out of beds, it's a bit weird but they seem to dig it."

Liz and Alana
Liz and Alana were right up the front at the tour-opener in Dublin
The front of the theatre was packed with fans who'd won tickets. The back was a little bit quieter as it was full of journalists.

"Have you all taken a vow of silence back there," shouted Lightbody, before starting a cheering competition between the two.

The fans were clearly delighted to be so near to a band that can now claim worldwide success.

Mobile phones were raised throughout most of the hour-long set and everyone sang to Chasing Cars and Run.

Liz from Dublin said afterwards: "Amazing, absolutely amazing, we were up at the front, right in front of Gary.

"It's a bit of an honour that they picked Dublin as the first place and we won tickets. It's great."

Alana, also at the gig, laughed: "It was really special, he (Gary Lightbody) was on great form, nice to see him happy for once."

They performed a lot of the new album, with the crowd particularly enjoying possible future single, Crack the Shutters.

After the gig, Gary Lightbody told Newsbeat: "Dublin felt like a relaxed atmosphere, everyone was sitting down to begin with, didn't feel so much pressure. They were great."

'Patrol Plane'

Snow Patrol's next stop was Belfast.

The band and their entourage, including Newsbeat, hopped onto the 'Patrol Plane' to get to the gig, which was scheduled for only a few hours later.

Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol are jetting around to play four cities in two days

As we arrived at the check-in desk the band were already there, still smiling, obviously happy with their Dublin performance.

We all climbed aboard the bus which took us to a twin-propeller private jet.

It didn't say Snow Patrol on the side though.

The pilot seemed excited though, holding up Snow Patrol CDs and a pen as the band were getting on board.

Gary assured Newsbeat that the rock star lifestyle hadn't gone to the band's heads: "This is a little tiny airplane - it's just a propeller, it's not Led Zeppelin.

"We're certainly not the type of band who'll be flying around on a private jet."

The homecoming

The flight between Dublin and Belfast took less than half an hour and then before we knew it, we arrived at the second intimate venue - the Empire Music Hall in the city centre.

I got nervous before the gig. I suppose because it's where we were born
Gary Lightbody

Gary admitted afterwards: "I got nervous before the gig. I suppose because it's where we were born. I don't normally get nervous before gigs."

Four hundred people crammed into the venue. There were even some watching from the entrance.

The crowd were very excited to see their local band back where they started.

Gary Lightbody was equally delighted, telling the crowd: "It's nice to be home."

His family were all there to watch, as well as his 15-month-old niece Honey.

He said: "It was her first gig, she was wearing her little luminous ear defenders. She knows the songs and bops her head along."

He dedicated The Golden Floor, one of the band's new songs, to her.

The proud uncle said: "I love you to bits. This song is not about you - because that would be weird - but it's for you Honey Bridges."

Judith and Lisa
Lisa (right) was at the Belfast gig. She said it was amazing.

But it was the final track that the Belfast crowd were waiting for - the one that's all about their city.

Gary Lightbody introduced Take Back The City by dedicating it to Belfast and Northern Ireland and the great music scene there.

Lisa from Belfast told Newsbeat after the gig: "That was the best night life of my life!"

Twenty-one-year-old fan David said: "Fantastic, another brilliant Snow Patrol gig. The way they were bantering with the crowd and the new songs sound awesome."

With another day still to go, Gary told Newsbeat: "Great to start the record off in Ireland. It's what we wanted to do right from the start. Irish crowds are always great."

Next up the Patrol Plane is on its way to Edinburgh and then London.

A Hundred Million Suns is released on 27 October.

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