Simon‘s ‘Nobody Does it Better". At the time they could have comfortably filled the Barrowland a couple of times over but paid back the faithful with a joyous scrum of a show.

Skip to June 2002. with the quartet tnaking preparations for

what was. to date. the biggest gig yet: in front of l()().()()() at Glastonbury. Favourites with the (ilasters organiser Michael Eavis since day one. Chris Martin was brought up in the West Country. so liavis regarded him very much as a local boy made good. They brought their flashing lights and shiny big TVs to Edinburgh‘s Queen's Hall for a test run and premiered the fruits of the Rush of Blood recording sessions. But something wasn’t quite right. More complex newies comfortably stood shoulder- to-shoulder with a spray of familiar crowd pleasers. so that wasn‘t it. The multi-media. multi-camera. real time video extravaganza did seem a little silly when you could make out beads of sweat across the drummer's forehead. But it wasn’t just the pyrotechnics that were too big for the venue. (‘oldplay now felt like a big. huge. epic. barrage—balltmn si/ed behemoth of a band. They no longer belonged on such a titchy little stage.

The sense of anticipation among the band post—Queen‘s Hall show was palpable. Glastonbtiry‘s imminence was uttered about in hushed terms like over-excited kids on (‘hristmas Eve. barely able to contain themselves.

It was then that Coldplay were certified big league. The Glastonbury show was an event. a real spectacle. Headlining at such a young age could go to a boy‘s head. it didn‘t seem to.

One reason Panic/mics was so instantly appealing was that it was stripped of extraneous sonic baggage. allowing the quality of the songs to shine through. In Rush (i/‘B/um/ they‘ve continued with that principle and made a rounded. intelligent rock album with enough pomp to fill stadiums but also with sufficient sensitivity and intimacy to stop them transmogrifying into their condescending uncles. [72.

It's a four star album rather than a perfect live. While parts

of it delight. it is oddly derivative. their influences Teardrop lixplodes. mid-period [72. licho and the Bunnymen coming to the fore especially on '(‘locks‘ (L72) and ‘Daylight‘ (the Bunnymen). with it's glacial slide guitar and Chris Martin’s .\lc(‘ulloch-isms knowing no bounds.

The first single and most immediate of all the tracks is ‘In my Place‘. lt has most in common with the instantly adorable work on Parachutes. The lullaby guitar line is so bittersweet you can almost hear the rainbow forming in the sky above Martin. drenched but loved-up.

‘(iod Put a Smile upon your Face' is a touch of genius touched by the hand of Will Sergeant. Dedicated to the ( iallagher brothers (who were in the audience) during a New York show after Noel’s car crash earlier this month. Martin is ever the doubter declaring: ‘When you work out where to draw the line/ your guess is as good as mine‘.

Album opener ‘Politik‘ is akin to ‘Sing’, Blur’s contribution to the Trainspotting soundtrack: surging ’"” strings and a pulsing bassline push it to a gentle climax with Chris Martin pleading: ‘Open up your eyes.’

Whether a paean to pacifying a deposed lover or another oh-so simple refrain. ‘The Scientist’ has got the lighters going up already. This lovelom ballad follows in the comfy footsteps of Travis: ‘Nobody said it was easy‘ is the hook-line. Imagine if U2 were real people. Tremendous.

Rush (g/‘B/(md may not be as instant as Parachutes, but it is more compulsive and will be as successful, if not more so, than its predecessor. The sttn is well and truly shining on Coldplay.

Em w

A Rush of Blood to the Head is out on Mon 26 Aug (Parlophone); Coldplay play the SECC, Glasgow, Fri 4 Oct.

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