You wouldn’t need to be Mystic Meg to have predicted that COLDPLAY were destined for big things. But as they come to take their rightful place atop the T in the Park bill, we look at the
pivotal moments that have made them Britain’s biggest band. twins: Mark Robertson
1 First rehearsal, Jonny Buckland’s bedroom, 6 January 1998
When in 2()()(). (‘hris Martin of ('oldplay was asked about where he saw his band in five years. he told The List: ‘Vy'e'll either be dead or top of the charts. Or maybe both.’ IIe thankfully hasn't fulfilled the former but managed the latter with apparent ease. (‘oldplay' enjoying two multi-million selling albums in five years.
(iuy Berryman. Jonny Buckland. (‘hris Martin and Will (‘hampion first met in late WW). Attending I'niyersity (‘ollege London. they had casually batted around masical ideas as pairs and trios until they finally gelled as a quartet with ex-guitarist (‘hampion moving into position behind the drums. They may haye only had six songs written in time
for their first gig at the (‘amden Laurel Tree at the end of January 98 bill that was enough to gain the attention of I’ierce Panda. the uber-indie label that has always had an ear
for quality. They went on to release their single ‘Brothers and Sisters‘ which led to Parlophone signing them tip.
2 ‘Yellow’, 26 June 2000
An atispiciotis date for many in indie rock this one. Both Badly Drawn Boy"s The Hour ofBen'ilt/t'rln'us‘t and Richard Ashcroft's post-\f'erye debut .-I/(m(' with Iz'i't'ry/imly were
launched that yery same day. But more significantly for
Messrs Buckland. Champion. Berryman and Martin. it marked the release of their fifth single. .\'ot only did it reach number four in the charts. it became the soundtrack of the summer. Select rightfully made it their single of the year. saying that ‘while the rest of YZK's jukebox bulged with ra/or-sharp R& B and 'I‘echnicolor disco. this testament to the simple pleasures of life and low sounds refreshingly timeless‘.
One thing that cemented the song in the public's conscience was the video. (‘hris Martin. windswept. rain- Iashed and frail. staggers down a beach towards a lone camera. The tragic subtext to this plaintiye scene is that on the day of filming. the rest of the band were attending the funeral of Will's mother.
()ne sure-fire indication of musical ubiquity is when your song graces a national institution at an incidental leyel: ‘I heard ‘Yellow' in the background in the Queen Vic while I was watching 1;}ts'rlint/crs.‘ said Buckland. ‘I was thinking:
14 Tue Lisr :-
"Hey. I recognise that . . (‘oldplay's world was ncy er the same again.
3 T in the Park, Balado, 9 July 2000 Oasis did it one year. Basement Iaxx another by the time T in the Park comes around. the band become way too big
for their modest tented enyirons and cause all manner of
hysteria. In 2()()() it was ('oldplay's turn.
‘That was like being hit by a hammer.‘ (‘hris Martin admitted. ‘:\t the time we'd been going to all these countries where no one had the faintest idea about us and no one really game a shit. Then we caine on stage there and there were all these people going mental; it was incredible. Things like that just blow your mind and go way beyond your expectations'
4 Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 14 December 2000 With their star rising and commitments growing daily. this show enjoy-ed tnore postponements than a Highland League cup tie in darkest January. By the time they finally made it here. they could haye sold out the ('orn Iixchange and Barras twice oyer and still had space for a handful of nights at King Tut's. but chose to reward the patience of their Iidinburgh faithful. They turned tip yisibly' bewildered. ‘\\'e’ye just recorded .lon/s lIn/luml's New lloott'mm/rr'. (‘hris Martin told a fey‘ered Liquid Room. ‘but it's only December? We hayen't eyen had ('hristmas yet. Tonight can be ('Iii'istinas.'
for those present it nearly was. the band yisibly shaking from excitement and Martin constantly gibbering to the audience like a sulphed-up budgie. An untidy. if inspired performance was ht‘otlght to a close with a ragged reading of (‘Ltt‘ly' Simon's ‘Ntibody does it Better' rounding off if year with their first Brit nomination in the bag.
‘We were both surprised and embarrassed by that Martin says of the nomination. ‘But we also thought: "Quite right. we should be on that list.”
5 Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 19 June 2002
.-\fter some time away this gig was peculiar. not only from replicating the stifled atmosphere of a dress rehearsal - which it was. for (ilastonbury a little more than a week later — but it illtistrated how the ('oldplay sound had
‘SHE'S A BIG HOLLYWOOD STAR AND I'M JUST THE BLOKE FROM COLDPLAY' CHRIS MARTIN 2002