Gary Lightbody: 2005: This gives my generation the chance to stand up and be counted

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The Independent Online

When we were doing Band Aid last year, we were talking to Bob Geldof and he mentioned would we be free in the summertime? It was just a passing comment, but we said "yes" immediately.

When we were doing Band Aid last year, we were talking to Bob Geldof and he mentioned would we be free in the summertime? It was just a passing comment, but we said "yes" immediately.

I was 10 years old when the first Live Aid took place. It was the first time in my life I saw images from Africa. The pictures of people starving made a big impression on me.

That was the first political event in my life. We've been heavily involved in Make Poverty History for the past year. We were told about the poverty still happening - you can't believe that it's still the same situation 20 years later. The reason is these countries are being crushed under the weight of debt. There is a solution and it's a simple one. We have to take responsibility. Our governments have to say "no more". We can't go on like this. As a generation, we have to stand up and say "no more".

When our leaders go into the G8 summit, they have to know the whole world is demanding they pay attention to Africa and all the Third World countries.

Live8 is the most effective way of making them listen, because everyone will be standing together making the point. Music is good in that way because of its unifying qualities. That day we are playing in Hyde Park, the 150,000 people there will feel like one voice so, as a political statement, it's a pretty big one.

The first thing I'm doing when I get home from the States is going to Belfast where they're having a pre-G8 rally. It's something we're getting more and more involved in. I'll be speaking there and there will be a few bands playing.

It's events like those that are going to mean a lot more to young people than just statistics. It's a lot easier to relate to musicians and writers, and hopefully people will understand the weight of it. It's never happened before that people have had the power to make such a dramatic change. When is the last time people have been able to influence world governments at this level?

The more people that learn about the importance of their role, the better. At election time people think "what difference can I make. I'm just one person", but millions are made up of individuals.

Gary Lightbody is lead singer of Snow Patrol

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