A first time Snow Patrol will never forget

By Nathalie Tomada, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 09 2012 02:44 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2012 10:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The members of Snow Patrol expressed their sadness and concern over the thousands of Filipinos affected and displaced by the floods caused by the torrential rains that have battered Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in Luzon.

“It’s an awful, awful news to arrive to,” said the rock band’s Irish-Scottish frontman Gary Lightbody on the calamity during a roundtable media interview on Wednesday.

“I hope you’re all safe, I hope all your families are safe. We’re all thinking of you, we’re all praying for you. All my prayers probably don’t count that much, ‘coz I haven’t been quite a conscientious prayer (person) in the past. But our thoughts are with you for sure,” he added.

Snow Patrol, whose other members include drummer Jonny Quinn, lead guitarist Nathan Connolly, bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson, is in town for a scheduled concert tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It’s the first-ever Philippine performance of the band, which has successfully evolved from being a no-name indie group to stadium rock stars behind such hits as "Chasing Cars," "Signal Fire," "Run" and "Just Say Yes."

According to Lightbody, they’ve been looking forward to their Manila gig, which is part of a multi-city Southeast Asian tour promoting the band’s latest album Fallen Empires.

Snow Patrol just came from Singapore, where they enjoyed one of the “stunning” shows they’ve had so far this year.

“We play European cities a lot, we haven’t played Southeast Asia (until now). Not to take any thing away from our European concerts, but everything just feels so special here. It feels like a start of a ‘beautiful relationship,’” said Lightbody.

Asked what the band’s Pinoy fans can expect in tonight’s concert, he said, “Everybody coming tonight will get their asses rocked off, that I can guarantee you.

“We have an awful lot of fun onstage. People are gonna be surprised by just how much it is, ‘coz you know the songs are kinda heartbreaking. But yeah, there is an awful lot of joy created by that heartbreak. It’s funny (how) these things are changed by the environment and people in the room.

“We’re very blessed that everywhere we go in the world, people sing back our songs to us, in high volume. I never expect it, but I always hope (for it).”

Snow Patrol isn’t the only foreign band that has arrived to the adverse weather. Earlier, the Smashing Pumpkins had to move its concert from Tuesday to Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the American alternative rock band Vertical Horizon, who recently performed in the country, posted on its Twitter account: “Sending out strength and love to all our friends and fans in the Philippines. We hope you and your loved ones are safe.”