Confusion and disorientation are rife in the COLDPLAY camp, but put themin the Barrowland with a few dirty dishes to wash and they couldn't be happier.

Words: Doug Johnstone

IT'S BEEN A SCARY YEAR FOR Coldplay. Back in wintry January. no one had heard of them and they were

playing the toilets of Britain as one of

four acts on the NME Carling Premier Tour. a showcase for up-and-coming bands. Their contemporaries on that tour (Shack. Campag Velocet and Les Rhythmes Digitales) have remained in relative obscurity. whereas Coldplay have rocketed to the top of the charts. been met by delirious receptions at T in the Park. Glastonbury and V2()()(). and received a Mercury Music Prize nomination all in a measly eight months. Not bad going for four quiet lads who only formed a band in 1998 when they met at college in London. ‘lt feels too good to be true sometimes,’ says singer Chris Martin, all fresh-faced schoolboy charm and self-effacing nieeness. ‘We haven’t really had time to reflect on it or think about it too much. You kind of expect it to end any time and you worry that everything else will be a let down now.’ And worrying is something that 22- year-old Martin likes to do. Having spent the whole year touring non-stop. confusion and disorientation are rife in the Coldplay camp. ‘I haven’t washed any dishes for about five months and I miss it.‘ says Martin with a sigh. ‘You get fed up with hotels. and [just want to stay in the flat and do some normal things. I dunno.‘ he continues with another world-weary exhalation. ‘confusing times.’ -. ~ Enough with the Radiohead- style ‘fame is rubbish' chat. there

thing? What about their hysterical ? reception at T in the Park this year'.’ ,3 ‘That was like being hit on the head with a hammer.‘ he says. ‘We‘d been going to all these countries where no one has the faintest idea about us and no one really gives a shit. Then we came on stage and there were all these people going mental; it was incredible. Things like that just blow your mind and go way beyond your expectations.’ Then there was their debut album. Parachutes. intelligent guitar music and honest

22 THE HST 5—‘9 Oct 2000

a cracking display of

emotion. entering the UK charts at number one (current sales are at well over 3()().()()() copies) and being nominated nine days later for the Mercury Music Prize. ‘We were both surprised and embarrassed by that.' Martin says honestly. ‘But we also thought “quite right. we should be on that list".‘

Naturally with such a whirlwind rise to fame. the backlash has already started. First on the bandwagon was Alan McGee who referred to the band in the press as both A ‘twats‘ and ‘bedwetters'. “I think he‘s confused.‘ says Martin diplomat- ically. "The whole Alan McGee thing annoys me.

Basically. he's got loads of publicity through us. and we couldn‘t really care less. It goes against everything we believe in; that you can get where you are just on soundbites.‘

Jealous jibes of a musical has-been aside. the band continue to go from strength to strength with their first major headline tour of the L'K. taking in both Edinburgh‘s Liquid Room and the Barrowland in Glasgow. a venue whose reputation for a party is renowned. ‘l‘ve heard all about it and we‘re very excited.‘ says Martin. 'We can‘t wait for it: that‘s what’s really charging us up.‘ And with all this success happening so quickly. where does Martin see his band in. say. five years time‘.’ ‘I can‘t even see a week ahead.‘ he says with a dry laugh. ‘But we'll either be dead or top of the charts. Or maybe both.‘

Coldplay play Barrowland, Glasgow, Tue 10 Oct; Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Wed 11 Oct.