Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody topped a bill of inspirational speakers at Stormont on Thursday with a special song performed along with top local music talent.
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.”
The frontman 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.
On approaching the bands twentieth year, he said the secret to their success was “brotherhood and belligerence”.
We love each other dearly, we’ve been together a long time, we’ve been through an awful lot but also never understanding the meaning of the word quit. There’s been many times when we’ve maybe been advised to by everybody we knew. -Gary Lightbody
“We never did, we always believed that it would happen and still believe that we have something to offer.”
Thursday’s event will be the singer’s only foray into the world of politics as work begins on a new Snow Patrol album in April.
Gary said: “There’s no political party or particular way of thinking that I could be aligned to. I would probably be a rather controversial politician in that I would want everybody to get along. You have to take a stand on things and I’m far too liberal for my own good.”
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.
Watch the interview at u.tv.