Coldplay’s Oracle on Hoppy and other roadies, the Olympics, ‘The Shine’ track, camera policies, Mexican candy and more…

More questions answered by The Oracle… (over 2700 questions now answered – submit yours now!)

August 2, 2012 – submitted by Emma, United States of America
Q. Hello Oracle, I came across some of Coldplay’s C-stage instrument cases (I don’t really know what to call them, they were black box things and one graffiti box thing) when I was walking to my seat at one of the Boston concerts. “Hoppy” was written on part of the tape on one of the boxes. I know Hoppy is part of the crew, but what does he/she do? Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
The “black box thing” is called a flight case. Hoppy is Chris’ guitar tech. He is also one of our most long-standing crew members and much-loved roadie.

August 2, 2012 – submitted by Chris, United States of America
Q. Hey Oracle. So I know that Will sings as back up most of the time. Jonny does back up in Don’t Panic, but what about Guy. Has he ever sung and if so where? If not, why? Does he sing bad or does he just not want to. Thanks, Chris.
The Oracle replies:
Guy can sing; he sings backing vocals on Fix You & Viva la Vida for example. He also sings with Apparatjik too.


August 2, 2012 – submitted by Michaela, United Kingdom
Q. Hi Oracle! Two weeks ago, certain Mr. Buckland came to have a lunch in the restaurant where I work. Since I am a big Coldplay fan, I was so distracted that I couldn’t even work for few minutes :-) I wanted to tell him how much I love their music, but at the end I decided not to bother him and give him some privacy. But of course I’d regretted my decision after he left. What do you think is better choice? Tell your idols how great you think they are or just respect their privacy and let them go?
The Oracle replies:
Personally I believe that it’s possible to remain professional at work and compliment your favourite artists without intruding to much on their private time. I’ve done it myself on two occasions that I can recall but there have been many I have decided the time and place wasn’t appropriate. One was in the very early 90s when I was on holiday and Bjork was sitting in the same bar. It was before her solo album had been released. I approached with “I’m sorry to disturb you, I just wanted to tell you that Hit is amazing”. She smiled, “oh thank you” and off I went. This year I was working and the second I clocked off I gushed at Ethan Johns how he was my favourite producer and it was honour to meet him. I think keeping it brief and polite is the key but don’t expect everyone to be as lovely as Bjork & Ethan were and Jonny would have been – some people simply like their privacy and go to dinner to escape and relax.

August 1, 2012 – submitted by Nicole, Canada
Q. Dearest Oracle, I attended the concert on Monday night and it was AMAZING. Truly unforgettable. I just had one question; I was excited to hear Princess of China and I was curious as to how they would fill the sections sung by Rihanna, but quite frankly I was disappointed that her section was filled by a recording. As much as I love Rihanna I would have liked that those parts be sung by one of the openers as they both featured female artists. Has Coldplay ever considered involving another female artist in the event Rihanna wasn’t present? Thanks for your time! Nicole
The Oracle replies:
The answer is rather like the one I gave on 26th July on a similar subject; no. The song was written with Rihanna in mind, recorded with her and released featuring her so it wouldn’t feel quite right to have anyone else perform it. It does seem like we’ve had a lot of talented ladies on tour with us this time but how would you pick between two? Marina vs. Rita vs. Robyn vs. The Pierces etc. See what I mean? That would be a tricky decision even if they wanted to make it.

August 1, 2012 – submitted by Michelle, Venezuela
Q. The Travis song Why Does it Always Rain on Me, was written by Coldplay? Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
I do recall it raining at T in the Park and Chris singing a line from that song but no other claim to make other than, it wasn’t. It was written by Travis.

August 1, 2012 – submitted by Brian, United States of America
Q. Hellooo Oraclooo, Has it hit the band that the Olympics are going on in their home country while they’re out on tour in America? Not that I would want them anywhere else, the show was incredible. Just wondering if they’re getting to watch at all. And if you don’t mind, who, once and for all, is the greatest swimmer in the world, according to your greatest wisdom. Thank you for your all knowing insight
The Oracle replies:
Chris tweeted that he’d watched the Opening Ceremony and on Sunday got the words wrong whilst performing Warning Sign. He blamed the Olympics saying “I was thinking about the Olympics. I was distracted. I was not in the break-up frame of mind I needed to be in. I’m gonna get back into it; I’m gonna stop thinking about pole vaulting and things like that. It’s a big deal. You can’t blame a guy for thinking about it every once in a while…” As for greatest swimmer in the world (right now) Brian, I’d say that excluding anyone not in competition that we may not know about then your Michael Phelps is without a doubt the champion of champions. Since you sent this question he’s won another two medals and become the most successful Olympian of all time. Impressive.

August 1, 2012 – submitted by Jorge, Peru
Q. Dear Oracle I heard many rumours that Coldplay will perform for the closing ceremony of the Olympics. So this is my question: the guys will only perform for the Paralympics or also they will perform on August 12th (Olympics)?
The Oracle replies:
They are only playing the closing ceremony of the Paralympicsin September; they will be travelling home from the States on the 12th August.

July 31, 2012 – submitted by Naomi, United Kingdom
Q. Hey Oracle, I went to see Coldplay at the Emirates stadium in London on June 4th and outside before the show when everyone was queuing there was a man in an elephant suit with a sign, much like the one from the Paradise video, who was taking pictures with people. I’d like to know whether that was Chris (or any other member of Coldplay for that matter), it just seems like something he would do. I would just like to add that that was the best night of my life, even though it was such a blur I can’t remember much of it! Many thanks if you can answer my question :D
The Oracle replies:
I’m sorry to disappoint you Naomi but no, that elephant costume didn’t have any of the band members inside; they weren’t at the stadium until not long before the show.

July 31, 2012 – submitted by Iris, United States of America
Q. Hi Oracle, After Coldplay’s tour is over in November what happens to the roadies? Thank You :)
The Oracle replies:
They get to rest, go on holiday, return home to their families and then start all over again – with another band. There is a handful of our roadies who remain with the boys even when they’re not touring but most other crew members will go on the road again. It’s a hard life – really hard work but most of them wouldn’t have it any other way.

July 31, 2012 – submitted by Mitchell, United Kingdom
Q. Hi Oracle, Just asking about the Paralympic concert. Will the band be performing just a few songs or will they be doing the MX set? I only really have a interest to see Coldplay so don’t want to pay all that money if they sing 5 songs. How long will they be on stage? Also it is £100 in category C but where is that in the stadium? Thank you
The Oracle replies:
This is NOT a Coldplay show so no, they will certainly not be performing the MX set! There’s a saying that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This show is the closing ceremony so to be honest if you’re only going for Coldplay, I think maybe you should give it a miss. That’s not meant to sound as snooty as I am sure it does but I think feeling the spirit of the Paralympics is just as important as being a fan of one band asked to play the event, if you see what I mean? They may play one, two, three or more songs but it’s not their gig. I have no idea where seats in category C are either but as £100 is a lot of money, I’d suggest only paying that if you really want to experience the whole thing rather than a tiny segment of it.

July 30, 2012 – submitted by Karynna, United States of America
Q. Oh omniscient oracle, Guy produced an album with a band I think it was a male/female duo, but I can’t remember the name. I know he’s done work with Apparatjik and The Pierces and Hudson Hank but for some reason, I can’t think of what band it might be. Do you think you could help me out? Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
Allison Pierce also features in the male/female duo you’re thinking of: James Levy & The Blood Red Rose – as well as The Pierces.

July 30, 2012 – submitted by Michael, New Zealand
Q. So… someone posted a link of this over at the Coldplaying forums. Is it one of Coldplay’s? Because of the filters on the vocals, it’s made it hard to tell for me whether or not it’s Chris! Half of me says it could be him, half says not :P
The Oracle replies:
I can see why people could think it’s Chris but it doesn’t sound like Jonny’s inimitable guitar sound. I don’t know the song or who it is and although he has certain similarities, if you listen closely there are parts you can hear that it isn’t Chris. I don’t recall ever seeing that song title knocking around either.

July 26, 2012 – submitted by Lauren, United Kingdom
Q. Who would Coldplay’s choice have been for Princess of China with if it was not Rihanna?
The Oracle replies:
If Rihanna hadn’t wanted to be involved there wouldn’t have been a second choice. It was her or nobody as they had her in mind when writing it.

July 26, 2012 – submitted by Katy, Brazil
Q. Hey! I’ve heard two versions of the music Talk. Which one is correct or official? One of them starts with “Oh brother I can’t, I can’t get through I’ve been trying hard to reach you” and the other one starts like “Under the great north star, try to work out where you are”. Kisses
The Oracle replies:
The one that features on the album X&Y (& the single version) is the approved, official version that the band want you to hear. There were 3 different recordings that the band did so none are incorrect but they chose their favourite of the 3 to release*. *(The “Oh brother” one).

July 26, 2012 – submitted by Liz, United States of America
Q. Dearest Oracle, I was wondering if there was any way that Coldplay’s performance at the Paralympic Games are going to be televised or shown via live webcast. I’d love to watch the show as I know it’s going to be massive! Thanks
The Oracle replies:
At this stage we haven’t got any television TX times but I do know Channel 4 in the UK are showing the games so they may also be showing the opening & closing ceremonies. I don’t know if you’d be able to watch that channel where you are but if we find out information nearer the time, we’ll let you know. Maybe your local listing will have info the week before?

July 25, 2012 – submitted by Timothy, United States of America
Q. Dear Oracle, I know that Coldplay is playing at the Paralympics, but does this still ring true?
The Oracle replies:
That news piece was written 15 months ago – in April 2011 – and while the band were on the wish list, they were in all probability not going to be able to attend due to the touring schedules. It’s 2 days to go and the band will indeed be playing Montreal on Friday night. Olympic plans seem quite similar to Coldplay album plans. We may start with one thing but end up somewhere else completely! There are quite a few Olympic songs being released in the next few weeks and Muse have the official song while Elbow have written the official theme. Funny that because Muse, Elbow and Coldplay all played as unsigned bands at the In The City music convention in 1998. As a result of that, all got record deals and here they are representing their country in one way or another at the London 2012 Olympics. As you know, Coldplay are going to close the Paralympic games which will be amazing.

July 25, 2012 – submitted by David, Germany
Q. Dear Oracle! I’m getting my first own car in a few weeks and in Germany we can choose which letters or numbers we would like to have on our license plate. As many of the people around here have their initials and their birthday, I wanted to choose something more special and nothing is more special to me than anything coldplay-related. I can either choose two letters and three numbers or one letter and four numbers – but I have no idea what to choose! Maybe MX would be a great choice for the letters, but have you got any idea which numbers would fit? Thank you so much for your answer! Sincerely, David
The Oracle replies:
MX – 042 is the obvious one or you could go for the more obscure 136. 1.36 was the b-side to The Scientist. I prefer the first idea myself but of course, it’s up to you.

July 25, 2012 – submitted by Breanna, United States of America
Q. Hello dearest Oracle!:] I am attending the August 7th show in Chicago and I was wondering if I could get a second xyloband for a friend of mine that couldn’t attend the show. Would that be possible? And if so, does it cost anything? Thank you:]
The Oracle replies:
The Xylobands are for fans who attend the shows and whilst everyone is free to take one home as a souvenir, we do encourage people to deposit them on the way out for recycling. If everyone took a spare for a friend, it would run into a very high cost as well as deplete resources – that wouldn’t be fair on future concert goers so please, just take one for yourself. Sorry!

July 25, 2012 – submitted by Cristina, United States of America
Q. Hi Oracle! I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE to find Coldplay in the SNL skit but I haven’t found it yet! I couldn’t find it on YouTube, and I tried googling it but no success. Would you happen to know where I can see it? Thanks! -Cristina :)
The Oracle replies:
Yes, there are a few websites that have the clip, including this one.

July 24, 2012 – submitted by Luca, Canada
Q. Hello! What time will the band take the stage at the July 24th Show in Toronto?
The Oracle replies:
Ooh another question that has been answered on our Twitter: 7pm Emeli Sande, 7.45pm Marina & the Diamonds, 9pm Coldplay. Twitter is the best place to find out up to date info about the tour as it happens.

July 24, 2012 – submitted by Haya, Canada
Q. Dear Oracle, Tonight I attended the show in Toronto, which was ECSTATIC; the lights, the confetti, balloons, it was all truly amazing. Anyways, I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3 and upon arriving, security told me that I would have to check in my camera because we weren’t allowed to have professional cameras inside the stadium. When I went to check it in, I asked them why that was, and they told me that it was Coldplay’s request to not have any audience members with professional cameras. Is this true? And if so, why? Has that always been the case, and why just professional cameras? I went to their concert in 2009 as well and I don’t remember them saying no professional cameras allowed. Thanks! curious Haya
The Oracle replies:
The ACC were saying no cameras at all by request of the tour. This wasn’t accurate so we let them know. They tweeted the correct info as did we (on 20th July): “Re a few folks asking – you’re welcome to bring your camera to a Coldplay show (as long as it’s not a professional / removable lens one). A” This is standard for ALL shows by ALL artists. Coldplay obviously actively encourage fans to take photos and upload them to our site but the security were right to check yours in as it’s always been small cameras only. The message they relayed to you wasn’t quite right so hopefully I’ve explained. I’m old enough to remember the days when phones weren’t cameras and it was a strict NO camera policy right across the board.

July 23, 2012 – submitted by Lydia, United States of America
Q. Hey Oracle. Ive seen a gif of all four Coldplay members crying. Was it genuine? I noticed that they were in their MX era clothes, so it had to have been recently. Thanks (:
The Oracle replies:
I assume you mean this? It is taken from their appearance on SNL back in November 2011. There was a skit featuring Adele’s Someone Like You and in the sketch everyone is moved to tears by it – including the band. This photo is a still of them pretending to cry so… genuine photo but not genuine tears.

July 23, 2012 – submitted by Cassandra, Mexico
Q. If Coldplay is mailed some food, do they eat it or distrust and throw it away? Because I was thinking about sending some traditional Mexican candies, hoping they taste and fall in love with them so they run and visit the country… Supposing that they would try them… At what address do I send them? :)
The Oracle replies:
It’s very kind of you to offer but please don’t mail us food – I’m not even sure that’s legal. I for one wouldn’t eat anything that was mailed to me – how do I know someone is not sending me a love potion or something? Anyway, mail isn’t opened immediately and not by the band so it might be sitting around for a while. They have been to Mexico – as I’m sure you know – but I don’t think the taste of candies will influence when / if the band next tour there.

New photos of Coldplay performing at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI (1st August 2012):

Photos courtesy of Detroit News

Thumb by jorgefg @ Flickr

Don’t forget to check out your tour discussion thread if you are getting Coldplay tickets or just getting excited for the European & North American 2012 shows and other forthcoming appearances:

FEBRUARY 2012
8 Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia (iHeartRadio) [discussion]
9 Los Angeles, CA @ Jimmy Kimmel Live [discussion]
10 Los Angeles, CA @ GRAMMY Week MusiCares Person of the Year tribute [discussion]
12 Los Angeles, CA @ 54th Grammy Awards, Staples Center [discussion]
16 Sydney, Australia @ 2DayFM, Mobile Live Set (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]
17 Sydney, Australia @ Sunrise (intimate show) [discussion] [CANCELLED]
21 London @ Brit Awards 2012, O2 Arena [discussion]

MARCH 2012
2 New York, NY @ Good Morning America [discussion]
4 New York, NY @ The Secret Policeman’s Ball, Radio City Music Hall (Amnesty International) [discussion]

APRIL 2012
17 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place [discussion]
18 Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome [discussion]
20 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]
21 Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena [discussion]
24 Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena [discussion]
25 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena [discussion]
27 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]
28 San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose [discussion]

MAY 2012
1 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
2 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
3 Los Angeles, CA @ American Idol show [discussion] [NEW!]
4 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl [discussion]
5 Los Angeles, CA @ KROQ’s Weenie Roast y Fiesta [discussion] [NEW!]
18 Porto, Portugal @ Dragao Stadium [discussion]
20 Madrid, Spain @ Estadio Vicente Calderón [discussion]
22 Nice, France @ Stade Charles Herman / Nikaia [discussion]
24 Turin, Italy @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]
26 Zurich, Switzerland @ Letzigrund [discussion]
29 Coventry, UK @ Ricoh Stadium [discussion]

JUNE 2012
1 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
2 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
4 London, UK @ the Emirates Stadium [discussion]
7 Sunderland, UK @ the Stadium of Light [discussion]
9 London, UK @ Wembley Stadium (Capital FM’s Summertime Ball 2012) [discussion] [NEW!]
9 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]
10 Manchester, UK @ the Etihad Stadium [discussion]
22 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]
23 Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center [discussion]
25 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]
26 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center [discussion]
28 Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum [discussion]
29 Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena [discussion]

JULY 2012
2 Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena [discussion]
3 Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Arena [discussion]
5 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]
6 Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center [discussion]
8 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]
9 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center [discussion]
23 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]
24 Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre [discussion]
26 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]
27 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre [discussion]
29 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]
30 Boston, MA @ TD Garden [discussion]

AUGUST 2012
1 Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills [discussion]
3 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]
4 East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center [discussion]
7 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]
8 Chicago, IL @ United Center [discussion]
10 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center [discussion]
11 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center [discussion]
28 Copenhagen, Denmark @ Parken Stadium [discussion]
30 Stockholm, Sweden @ Olympic Stadium [discussion]

SEPTEMBER 2012
2 Paris, France @ Stade de France [discussion]
4 Cologne, Germany @ Rheinenergie Stadium [discussion]
6 The Hague, Netherlands @ Malieveld [discussion]
9 London, UK @ Paralympics Closing Ceremony [discussion]
12 Munich, Germany @ Olympiastadion [discussion]
14 Leipzig, Germany @ Red Bull Stadium [discussion]
16 Prague, Czech Republic @ Slavia Eden Stadium [discussion]
19 Warsaw, Poland @ National Stadium [discussion]
22 Hannover, Germany @ AWD Arena [discussion]

NOVEMBER 2012
10 Auckland, New Zealand @ Mt Smart Stadium [discussion]
13 Melbourne, Australia @ Etihad Stadium [discussion]
17 Sydney, Australia @ Allianz Stadium [discussion]
18 Sydney, Australia @ Allianz Stadium [discussion] [NEW!]
21 Brisbane, Australia @ Suncorp Stadium [discussion]

Read also: European Stadium Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the Europe tour)
Read also: North America Tour announced! (general discussion thread for the US/Canada tour)
Read also: 2012: Live Appearances – Easy Thread Finder (last updated – 12th January 2012)
Read also: 2012 tour date rumours (please post dates for ALL countries in here)

Kit yourself up for the forthcoming MX tour and get spotted with Coldplaying’s new range of merchandise! [click on the items for the full shop]

The new range of Coldplaying merchanise (unofficial of course to the official shop) has hit our stores, with our biggest range of goods so far. Prices are as low as they can be for a Cafepress shop so more people will be able to afford them. We don’t take any profits for the sale of the merchandise as a result. Take a browse in one of the online stores nearest to you: UK | US | Canada | Australia | European (shipping is worldwide, but you can choose what currency to pay in) – simply alter the country dropdown menu at the top of the shop page. [thanks to TracieMorgan and zzz]