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In 2006, we couldn’t give a Monkeys for anyone else – Snow Patrol’s Eyes Open was the top-selling album of the year, bigger even than Dire Straits in their prime.Throughout, they refused all major interviews – until Live invited them to headline our music special...Lightbody spent a decade fronting the band when they were an obscure, struggling, indie-rock outfit.Then, in 2004, the unassuming Ulsterman finally began to see some reward for his dedication when Snow Patrol's suitably titled third album - Final Straw - briefly topped the charts.Ask Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody to sum up his year and he responds by reeling off a string of superlatives.

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They're back: Snow Patrol's new album, A Hundred Million Suns, is out on Monday 'When we started selling millions, I was dumfounded,' says the softly spoken 32-year-old, who formed the five-piece band when he was studying English at the University Of Dundee, in 1994.

Their latest album, Eyes Open, sold a whopping 1.3 million copies at home, more than anyone else by a country mile.

To put this in perspective, this is more than Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms in 1985 and Madonna’s True Blue in 1986, both record sellers in the pre-digital age. By tonight, the year’s end, the band’s worldwide album sales will have topped five million.

"I always felt terribly sorry for the poor woman I thought it was about," says Martha.

"Then one time Loudon said to the crowd: 'I wrote this song about my daughter.' I had no idea.

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