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Snow Patrol Back On Duty After Setback

Of the Oakland Press

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Scotland’s Snow Patrol has had a hard time getting some open ground this year to promote its fourth album, “Eyes Open.”

The group had to scratch most of a North American tour this summer because of singer Gary Lightbody’s chronic laryngitis, which was eventually diagnosed as polyps on the throat. And last month, the group had to cancel some of the rescheduled dates when terrorist alerts grounded two of the band members across the pond.

“It kind of hurts your momentum a bit,” guitarist Nathan Connolly notes. “It’s frustrating not to actually do the shows. I’m in kind of a tour mood, so I’m eager to be playing, you know?”

A hot new album also has Connolly and his four bandmates primed to play for live audiences. Accompanied by strong reviews, “Eyes Open” bowed at No. 1 in the U.K. and at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 chart, launching the anthemic singles “Hands Open” and “Chasing Cars.”

“I think the main idea of this record was really to make a more confident record,” says Connolly, 25, who joined Snow Patrol in 2001. “We have more confidence as musicians, more confidence as songwriters, just confidence as a band, generally. We wanted to make a bolder record as well.

“I think as proud as we were of (2004’s) ‘The Final Straw,’ I think we were a bit timid in places. We just didn’t go with it as much as maybe we should have to just make a bit more of a rock, record, really. That’s what I think we’ve managed to do with ‘Eyes Open.’ We’re very proud of this album.”

Snow Patrol and Augustana perform Thursday at Clutch Cargos, 65 E. Huron, Pontiac. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $17; tickets from the original June 9 date will be honored. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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