Time to make my Mark

Ex-Snow Patrol star unveils new band

AFTER two years away from the lime light, ex-Snow Patrol bassist Mark McClelland is back with a new band of his own.

Called Little Doses, it's the Irishman's first attempt at writing and performing new music since he was forced out of Snow Patrol by singer Gary Lightbody over alleged creative differences back on March 16, 2005.

Mark founded the band with Gary when they met at Dundee University, but he was kicked out after Final Straw and before the follow-up, Eyes Open, became last year's biggest selling album.

He admits the fall-out is "still on-going" and comes down to what he feels is his fair share of song-writing credits.

Mark was awarded an Ivor Novello Award for his part in writing Final Straw, but added: "I co-wrote some of the songs and wasn't getting recognition."

Tonight Mark's new band - with girlfriend Kirsten Ross on vocals, and former Degrassi drummer, Michael Branagh - play Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh and Mark knows critics will want to see if he can match Snow Patrol's success.

He said: "At first, reviewers will draw comparisons and take the Snow Patrol angle - and I can't help that.

"But once you've seen us play, you'll see we're a different proposition, we're a band in our own right. This is a new era; this is Led Zeppelin after The Yardbirds.

"However, I guess I should be proud for starting one of Britain's biggest-selling bands of the moment... maybe one day I will be proud for starting two of them."

It's been almost two years to the day sinceMark was kicked out of Snow Patrol and Gary recently claimed the split was like a "divorce".

While the singer went on to pen tunes like Chasing Cars, Mark also healed his wounds by writing.

He said: "I threw myself into writing music and it felt good. I quickly realised I had an album's worth of material I liked and wanted to play live.

"It's threem inute tunes we'd love to hear on the radio." Formed more than a year ago, the Edinburgh-based band also includes former F.O.

Machete guitar ist Paul Mellon, after he answered an X-Factor-style audition-spoof Mark set up via the internet. Now they're ready to rock.

Mark said: "Many times when you go to see the 'next big thing' they can't cut it live because they've not had the touring experience, they're thrust out before they can handle it.

"So we spent six months rehearsing and another six months playing without leaning on the projects we'd been involved in.

"We'd rather people went away thinking Little Doses are an awesome local band than arrive expecting a style of music we've no interest in supplying."

Rick Fulton