If you think you know Snow Patrol, think again. Of course, there's the band who are capable of outselling the Arctic Monkeys, getting numerous nominations for Brits, and monopolising the upper reaches the charts with alarming regularity with their superior song theory and balladeering.
This Snow Patrol have enjoyed platinum sales of their 'Eyes Open' album (in both UK and USA) and musical appearances on everything from Spiderman 3 to Grey's Anatomy. This Snow Patrol has toured with U2, performed at Live Earth and appeared on Saturday Night Live. It doesn't get much bigger than that.
There's also another Snow Patrol about which you may know little. The Snow Patrol that concerns us here are the musical aesthetes with fathom-deep record collections, the broad knowledge of the record obsessive and the deft selection skills of seasoned DJs. They are, of course, all of these things and a few more besides.
The Snow Patrol pair assigned with the task here, Tom Simpson and Gary Lightbody, know their way round their collections and are old hands at that grubby DJing caper. And it shows. The mix is bookended by a pair of beauties, beginning with the unusually ethereal 'Obseravtory Crest' by Captain Beefheart with its chiming guitars and Rhodes-drenched backing track. The end is signalled by John Martyn's 'Sweet Little Mystery' from the big man's 1980 LP 'Grace & Danger'. A fitting tribute for a fallen comrade.
But this is not a mix about DJ trickery. There are naturally some grooves in there (A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Food and Holy Ghost! all make appearances along the way), but really this is about song appreciation. The songs are groovy, natch, but it's the feeling that's important here whether we're falling in love with Jim Noir's daffy lyrics or wondering from which planet Arthur Russell may have landed.
And, as this is Late Night Tales, they always but always have something special for you in the comely form of a newly recorded cover version, this time their own homage to Antiopdean heroes INXS with 'New Sensation'. As Gary himself queries of their remake: "Why bother if you're just palely imitating the true form?"
1. Captain Beefheart - Observatory Crest
2. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight
3. DJ Food - Dark Lady
4. King Biscuit Time - I Walk the Earth
5. Iain Archer - Canal Song
6. Terry Callier - Ordinary Joe
7. The Week That Was and Field Music - It's All Gone Quiet
8. Allen Toussaint - Last Train
9. Bobby Gentry - Fancy
10. Arthur Russell - That's Us/Wild Combination
11. Jim Noir - Eanie Meany
12. School of Seven Bells - Half Asleep
13. TV On the Radio - Family Tree
14. Holy Ghost! - Hold On
15. Super Furry Animals - Download
16. Snow Patrol - New Sensation (Exclusive Cover Version)
17. Miracle Fortress - Next Train
18. John Martyn - Sweet Little Mystery
Release: 12th of October 2009
Label: Late Night Tales
Following his spoken word appearance on Groove Armada's last Late Night Tales outing, Will Self returns with the second part of his story 'The Happy Detective'.
Adding to the literary bonuses, Gary Lightbody recalls the first time he and Tom Simpson (keyboards) met - via Marlena Shaw - in a short story within the CD booklet.
There is a frenzy that unhinges me and all is black and gold and neon for what could have been hours or minutes. The music fades down. The throng cheer and I, awoken now, join them. One more tune! One more tune! Then it happens. The single most incredible thing at the most perfect time. A woman sings: "It's like a sound you hear that lingers in your ear and you can't forget from sundown to sunset!" Sweet jesus it's celestial.
When it finishes and with the sweat from my top half in my shoes I go over to the tiny DJ booth and ask, "What the hell was that last track!?" The curly haired fella behind the decks replies "California Soul by Marlena Shaw." "It's amazing I say." He looks at me as if I've just proudly informed him that the sky is blue and simply gives me a few slow nods of the head. "I'm Gary" I say "Gary Lightbody." "How very formal" he says "I'm Tom Simpson, good to meet you."