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Snow Patrol, Motorpoint Arena

MUSIC, like comedy, is so often about timing. And with this return to Sheffield falling between two blasts of the white stuff it seems the Irish/Scottish chart botherers got it just right.

Lively ‘newbie’ I’ll Never Let Go opened the night and, together with older stompers Take Back The City and Hands Open, swiftly banished icy numbness from legs and arms both sides of the barrier.

“I’m a lot less fit than I thought,” revealed Gary Lightbody after an incursion into the front of the near sold-out venue, adding: “You’re a lot less grabby than some crowds.”

Early slow ones This Isn’t Everything You Are and Run let him get his breath back, but in new album Fallen Empires Snow Patrol have added depth and breadth, not least in the title track, a throbbing electro folk gem that proved a contrasting and welcome black sheep in this set, not least against stirring duet Set The Fire To The Third Bar.

Gary gained around 11,000 other backing singers for pulse raisers In The End, Chocolate and the career-enhancing Chasing Cars, although Spitting Games was shamefully omitted.

Some concert memories are made by an encore, however, and after the rousing chugger You’re All I Have the gentle Lifening threatened a downer of a return. Mercifully, Open Your Eyes and new bounder Just Say Yes had remaining seat-huggers on their feet and bouncing again before facing the chilling night air.

David Dunn