When I talk about Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol, as a middle aging woman, most people just assume it’s all sexual and I want a romp in the sack with the front man. Nothing could be further from the truth, okay maybe it’s a little true ;-) But most of my love for the man and this band can be summed up by his TedXStormont appearance today. Gary was asked to come and speak, and it was clear though out the event, that the other speakers were very excited about his appearance. Gary, in his true form, did not steal the spotlight for himself. Instead, he chose to bring along other musical influences from Northern Ireland to share the stage. He chose to put the spotlight on the music scene, influences and how the musical culture in Ireland has grown in last 15 years.
He didn’t take the spotlight for himself or snow patrol, he shown the spotlight on all musicians in Northern Ireland. Maybe it because I didn’t grow up in a particular loving environment, as a matter of fact, the my environment was quite violent. But the thing I love most about this man is his generosity towards others and helping other people in his industry become just as successful, if not more successful than himself and Snow Patrol. He is always willing to put on a smile for and with others around him. He has been able to give my technical left brained mind a voice to speak to others when I can’t find the words myself.
As you watch Gary speak, you can tell he is nervous. Even after 20+ years singing and playing to an audience, there is no arrogance to his nature. The moderator and other speakers boosted Gary to a pedestal. As he came on stage, he knocked his self off of that pedestal and put others up there in his place.
All the guys in the bands are physically attractive, but it’s the inside of Gary and the guys that really brought me around as a Patroller. I’m drawn to the positive nature of this man and hope than in some way it can rub off on me to be a better person. I did not have many personal positive influences as a child, so I desperately look for them as an adult.
As someone who has been officially diagnosed as bipolar, when I can’t get out of bed I listen to Lifeboats and these lyrics help me get up, get dressed and participate in real life, you know that life we have outside of the internet, with people we can laugh, drink and eat with in person.
He was one of 20 high profile individuals and performers taking to the stage on Thursday for the local version of the internationally-renowned TED live speaker event.
The theme was imagining the kind of future people in NI and beyond could have together as a society, almost 15 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
“I was terrified, but I’ve been a massive fan of the website for years. It’s awesome watching really intelligent people speaking about subjects that are very dear to them,” Gary told UTV.
“I wasn’t quite sure what I could add to the mix so I decided the best thing we could do was to write a song with a bunch of bright Northern Ireland talent. I was very happy to get my dream team of Soak, David C Clements and the Wonder Villains and Silhouette.”
He added: “I wanted to highlight the great depth of talent in Northern Ireland, the music scene here means so much to me and I’ve been involved in it playing in bands, working with other bands for many years. I know the scene and I know how extraordinary it is and I want to use every opportunity to show the rest of the world that that’s the case.”
He quipped that as the song, ‘This is all I ask of you’, was written for the event at the Northern Ireland Parliament buildings, the artists would be performing under the guise of 'Gary Lightbody and the Assembly’.
The song will be released on the band’s website on Wednesday will all proceeds going to the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.
Some of the other speakers included Kate Carroll, the widow of murdered Constable Stephen Carroll, The Apprentice finalist Jim Eastwood, local actor and comedian Tim McGarry and the First and deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.
TED is described as “a non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”
It started as a four-day conference in California over 25 years ago, but has since grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.
No stranger to being an ambassador for all things Northern Irish, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody does it again. And in TedxStormont style. Absorbing understandable nerves, speaking in such a prestigious venue as the NI Parliament building, he ably addresses a topic close to my heart. That of the NI music scene and its ability to bring light and hope to a place so commonly associated with negative report and despair. Ending with a demonstration of just what this musical scene has to be proud of currently, Gary Lightbody and The Assembly (comprising members of The Wonder Villains, SOAK, Shona (Silhouette) and the wonderful wonderful David C Clements) played their new single ‘This is All That I Ask of You’ out on snowpatrol.com on 3rd April, all proceeds going to Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.
With the theme ‘Imagine’ the speakers were to discuss the kind of future Northern Ireland could have together as a society.
Some great audio captured by Slugger O’Toole here with talks from First Minister and Deputy First Minister and my old classmate Simon Hamilton MLA, (yes, we took rather different paths after sitting beside each other in 4th year History)..plus many more tackling subjects such as integrated education, child poverty and even organ donation.
I believe in a great glittery future for NI and I love to hear the many talented talented musicians echo these thoughts. Many moons ago, I missed another rather superb event in the Hoedown in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, 1st November 2011. Here’s a lovely little Bandwidth Film of Foy Vance and ‘Belfast is Born Again’.
Back to the County of Down in just over a week for me though, let me know of anything not to be missed so for once I can write a first hand blog report on all that’s great in #nimusic
Gary Lightbody is the singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the alternative rock band Snow Patrol. His band was nominated for two MTV music awards in 2007 and to date have released six albums that have sold in excess of 13 million copies. @garysnowpatrol
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)