Coldplay’s Oracle on Reading/Leeds festival, Apparatjik, Xylobands, One Direction and more…

More questions answered by The Oracle… (circa. 3950 questions now answered – submit yours now!)

March 14, 2013 – submitted by Louise, Australia
Q. What animal makes you laugh the most? Mine’s a sloth.
The Oracle replies:
I love watching cats do funny things but penguins make me laugh the most without a doubt. Of course I hope they don’t hurt themselves but there’s something inherently funny about a penguin falling over. There are lots of brilliant web cams in penguin enclosures so if you have to time to watch, I’d highly recommend watching live. I’ve done it and it’s worth the wait for when they slide into the camera.

March 14, 2013 – submitted by Mark, United Kingdom
Q. Hello Oracle, Just thought I’d let you know about the last episode of Derek, Ricky Gervais’s comedy set in an old people’s home. Watched it yesterday. It was both incredibly sad, and hilarious. But the killer was the extended mix of Fix You. It makes me cry anyway, but with the video………..WAAAAAHHHHHHH!! Can thoroughly recommend it. It’s on 4OD. Cheers
The Oracle replies:
I watched every episode and Fix You made an appearance earlier in the series too. The finale was very moving and I agree, the use of Fix You was perfect.

March 14, 2013 – submitted by Linda , Italy
Q. Hi Oracle! Can you promise me one thing? That you will say to Chris not to cut his hair. His curls are lovely. Thanks :)
The Oracle replies:
A few years ago in The Bakery whilst discussing the next album (which was at that point almost 2 years in the future away), Chris said he had a very important question to ask me. I felt honoured that he was about to bestow such faith in my reply. “Do you think my hair should be short or long for the next campaign?” Anchorman was also present and said “short” – I reminded him that Chris was asking me, not him. “I think long. I prefer it long. Either way if you grow it now you can always cut it if you change your mind”. As you may have noticed, Chris’ hair was pretty long just before the official MX photos were taken. It seems he did indeed change his mind so I can’t promise you what you ask. See? Things like haircuts are a very important factor and decisions like that aren’t taken as lightly as you may think.

March 13, 2013 – submitted by Natalia, Mexico
Q. Hi dear Oracle: Ive been asking myself ALL DAY LONG, have One Direction copied the Xylobands of the Coldplay concerts? I have seen a photo that is a glow band that says One Direction . (I DO NOT like One Direction). Please answer me , thanks. Greeting From Mexico.
The Oracle replies:
I was a little taken aback by some of the venom towards One Direction for having flashing wristbands at their concerts. Poor lads are just trying to make a great show. I know the Xylobands made a huge impact on the touring scene but there are many effects that many artists use at their live shows; confetti, pyrotechnics and giant balloons – they were not a new invention. Glow bands, LED bracelets and flashing wristbands have been around for many years before Xylobands. However, what makes a Xyloband – Jason’s invention – unique is the fact you can control which wristbands flash and when. One Direction weren’t the first band to recently (post MX) use flashing wristbands by the way but I am quite sure that Coldplay paved the way to make for an exciting show using them.

March 13, 2013 – submitted by Michelle, Canada
Q. Hi Oracle, Where is the photo of Chris in the Lupus Awareness Campaign taken? Cheers, Michelle
The Oracle replies:
It was taken in Los Angeles.

March 12, 2013 – submitted by Alice, Brazil
Q. Hey Oracle! I’ve always wondered, how does Guy divide his time between Apparatjik and Coldplay? He works more on Coldplay, doesn’t he? And do Jonny, Will and Chris feel bad about him being also in another band? Thanks for answering.
The Oracle replies:
The thing with Apparatjik is that all the members have also been busy with primary jobs; Mags was still in A-ha until quite recently, Jonas from Mew has band commitments and Martin continues with his “day job”.
They make it work around their priorities. Guy’s priority is Coldplay but when the band aren’t in the studio or touring, he’s free to work elsewhere as he has done – not just with Apparatjik. It’s not just Guy though. Chris, Jonny & Will have all collaborated, performed, guested (or whatever) with other artists.

March 12, 2013 – submitted by Gabby, United States of America
Q. Hey Oracle, Just wondering if you knew of any groupies that followed the MX tour around for a while.
Thank you:)
The Oracle replies:
Ha! You know what groupies are, right? We don’t have ANY groupies! We do have some amazing fans who travel the world and see as many shows as they can. Some of them we recognize the faces of and some we know by name. One such fan is sadly no longer with us but we all knew her from crew to band. Her name was Jennifer John and she was a lovely sunbeam of a person. There is a photo of her outside the O2 Arena in London. I always think fondly of her when I pass it.

March 11, 2013 – submitted by Heloise, France
Q. Hi Dear Oracle ! How are you? And how is the band? I noticed that the band took photos for their last album MX: here and here. I saw that all the graffiti were painted on walls. So that’s my question : Where are these walls? Do they exist? I hope I’ll have a reply, take care Oracle!
The Oracle replies:
Yes, the walls exist but the graffiti does not. The walls are in London but once the video / photo shoot was over, the walls were painted over so they are no longer a physical piece of art – only the video and photos remain.

March 11, 2013 – submitted by Carol , Brazil
Q. Dear Oracle, Today I heard an interesting question on the radio….and I want to ask you: If you didn’t know your age, how old would you think you are? love, Carol.
The Oracle replies:
That is a very interesting question. How would one guage that? Tricky. I once met an old man in Peru who had no idea how old he was. He didn’t know how many children he had either. What I have worked out over the years is that I don’t know how I am supposed to feel at any particular age and am very aware that I don’t feel old in my mind. I think I’d be useless at working it out even though the ageing process has shown very physical signs. I may have intellectually progressed and matured in decision making but I suppose I still feel like I’m in my twenties when in fact I am in my… well, let’s just say that my twenties are a long way behind me now. I am rubbish at guessing ages and I never get it right probably because I just don’t notice. I concern myself not with the age but the person they are. I have many friends who are less than half my age and it doesn’t feel strange at all. If I didn’t know and had to guess my own age I would probably rely on other people to help me. Thankfully most people put me younger so I’d go with whatever they say.

March 7, 2013 – submitted by Jennifer, Australia
Q. Hey Oracle! I found a movie on IMDB called Slashed that will be released this year, 2013. The cast list states Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland will be playing Agent Sherbet Bones and Agent Datsun Ford. Is this true? Are the boys really the cast of this movie? It would honestly be spectacular!
The Oracle replies:
No, this is old news and an old film – over 10 years old in fact. You can see a clip that features Chris & Jonny here* plus I have previously answered this question but there is nothing new to add since I last mentioned it. Goodness knows if the film will ever see the light of day… *Not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. Remember, its fake blood.

March 7, 2013 – submitted by Raj, Canada
Q. Hi Oracle, In the acoustic version of In My Place being released for Oxfam’s video, I could swear that I hear Chris singing “How long must you wait for *him*”, and not “How long must you wait for *it*”. Is it true that perhaps on an older version of the song, it was “him” and not “it”? RK from Canada
The Oracle replies:
The lyrics have never been “him” in any early versions – always “it” but yeah, for whatever reason it either sounds like Chris is singing “him” or he very well may be!

March 6, 2013 – submitted by Marni, Switzerland
Q. Why didn’t the band have Xylobands at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony?
The Oracle replies:
The Olympic Stadium was fitted with individual LED lighting panels at every seat. It wouldn’t have worked if both the panels and Xylobands were used in full force so it was decided not to use Xylobands, though the athletes were wearing them.

March 6, 2013 – submitted by Justin, United States of America
Q. Speaking of, which one of the band members is the best cricket player? ( yourself included, of course) just wondering! =) Justin
The Oracle replies:
It’s definitely not me! I’d say Will & Chris.

March 6, 2013 – submitted by Lisa, Australia
Q. Have you ever answered a question with a question?
The Oracle replies:
Did you also just ask if people commenting “please answer my question” influence me to decide which questions make it onto the website?

March 5, 2013 – submitted by Robert, United Kingdom
Q. Dear Oracle, I’ve just recently got back from volunteering for Oxfam at Reading Festival. I had a great time, but it made me wonder why Coldplay haven’t played there since 1999? I know the guys have a closer connection with Glastonbury, but the way they’re performing live at the moment I think they could impress any crowd.
The Oracle replies:
Their first Reading appearance was brilliant and the tent was packed. The day after the same could not be said of their Leeds performance. The gates were late opening and as the band were first on, they were instructed to start playing on time which meant there was only myself & Phil watching until the gates opened. It was an anti-climax and certainly didn’t put anyone in the happiest of moods. It was really sad to have gone from the high of Reading to the low of Leeds. Travelling through the night to get there only to play a couple of songs to an empty tent. Once people started to arrive it was great but it really put them off appearing at the festival again. The next time they were asked they had a prior engagement anyway (a cricket match!) that clashed so they couldn’t perform.

March 5, 2013 – submitted by Naomi, United Kingdom
Q. Hey Oracle, While waiting in the queue outside the Emirates for the show on June 4th a person in an elephant suit was going round with a cardboard sign, rather like the elephant in the Paradise video. I would like to know whether it was Chris, it seems like something he would do after all, please post my question!!!
The Oracle replies:
I assure you once Chris was at that venue, there was far too much going on before the show to put on an elephant suit and walk around outside the venue. It definitely wasn’t him.

March 4, 2013 – submitted by Michelle, United States of America
Q. Hello. I went to see the movie Warm Bodies in the theater yesterday. In it they played a song with lyrics that were similar to the Viva era demo The Fall of Man…’I went out for a ride and I never came back’. Did Chris use those exact lyrics when he wrote The Fall of Man? Also, do you know the name of the song that was played in the movie?
The Oracle replies:
Well, you (may) know I don’t like to discuss demos that weren’t ever intended to be heard but yeah, it is the same lyric. The song in the film however, is Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen.

March 4, 2013 – submitted by Jackson, United States of America
Q. Hello, good Oracle. I’ve been leafing through old #42 blogs, and found blog 13, with the video covering the barbecue performance. In it, there is an acoustic song playing. Could you possibly identify the song for me, and any others that may have been curious about it? Thanks in advance.
The Oracle replies:
The band were performing Don’t Panic – you’ll find it on their debut album, Parachutes.

Photos of Will Champion and Jonny Buckland at the Brit Awards 2013 (20th February):