A couple of Irish teens, Gary Lightbody and Mark McClelland, made a move to Scotland to attend university in 1994. There, music captivated their attention and the two started crafting tunes, eventually becoming Snow Patrol with the addition of drummer Jonny Quinn in 1997.
Within a year, the band had landed a deal witth indie label Jeepster Records and issued Songs for Polar Bears. As their following slowly grew, a move to Glasgow preceded the release of 2001's When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up.
When Jeepster dropped Snow Patrol, Lightbody veered off into a side project, the Reindeer Section. But he never lost sight of the real deal. Guitarist Nathan Connolly signed on in 2002, as did Fiction Records. With Chris Lord-Alge at the helm, Snow Patrol went back into the studio to make Final Straw. The album's lead single, “Run,” helped push the set into the mainstream, with global sales eventually topping 10 million.
In early 2005, McClelland split, leaving a core trio behind until bassist Paul Wilson and touring keyboardist Tom Simpson were brought on. After U2 brought Snow Patrol along on their Vertigo Tour in Europe, the band got to work on 2006's Eyes Open. The album enjoyed a slow burn to gold then platinum status, with “Chasing Cars” lingering on the charts and airwaves for a year. The single even cracked into the Top Five, making Snow Patrol the first UK pop band in 13 years to do so.
With 2008's A Hundred Million Suns, Snow Patrol aimed to keep the fires burning. "Take Back the City" led the charge as Snow Patrol went back on tour with U2 for their 2009 summer stadium tours of the U.S. and Europe.
A career retrospective, Up to Now, followed and documented the band's 15 years of work. The LateNightTales remix album came next, and included Snow Patrol's reworking of the INXS hit “New Sensation.” Thoses projects could well have been bridges to cover the writer's block Lightbody admitted to battling.
Finally, Snow Patrol rallied with Fallen Empires in 2011, branching out their artistic style. "Called Out in the Dark" served as the lead track, with "This Isn't Everything You Are" stepping out second. They supported the set with a 2012 tour of the UK, including their Irish homeland.