AN incredible 25 years after forming, Irish rock band Snow Patrol are back - and better than ever.

The foursome came back fighting at the Bournemouth International Centre after a six year absence from the music scene,

From the off, with Take Back the City, these Indie gods put in an energetic and passionate performance, jumping around the stage under the flashing lights.

Graphics of a ruined metropolis on the backing screen formed a stark contrast to the shiny, pristine set as the gig got underway with a great start.

Before the audience had chance to take a breath, the band marched straight into the pounding beats of their famous hit Final Straw - proving they were on the attack,

Lead singer Gary Lightbody then took a brief pause to address the massive crowd and mention a fan’s banner.

"We’re 25 years old this year - so thanks for reminding us all of the ravages of time.

"Seriously though, thank you all very much for showing up after such a long time.

"We’re going to have a fun night. That is not a command, it’s just a suggestion".

And from that typically polite order, the magic continued.

Whether he was playing new album tracks or old faithfuls dating back to the 90s, Lightbody looked genuinely thrilled to be on stage and grateful for the crowd’s attention.

As they chanted back the lyrics to Run, it was as if they were welcoming a triumphant hero home.

The euphoria seemed tinged with significance after Lightbody recalled having a "full and mental shutdown" while introducing Life on Earth.

"This song took five years to write and is one of the reasons I went into a full and mental shutdown," he said.

"But it’s also the song that brought me, all of us, back to life, back to normal and feeling happy again, so performing it every night is a magnificent experience."

No one could fail to be moved by this, the tune itself or the stunning satellite imagery that accompanied it.

After Chasing Cars, You Could Be Happy and a string of newer work, the audience were all set to go home satisfied, pleased to see the boys back on form.

But no: for an extra special encore lay in store. In a completely unpredictable twist, Lightbody welcomed ‘one of our good friends’ comedian James Corden on stage.

"The two men then performed what Corden described as "one of the most beautiful songs Gary’s ever written", the moving What if This is All the Love You Ever Get.

Mad and magic. Welcome back lads, it’s certainly been a blast.