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Houston Preview: Coldplay Rolls Into Town With A Grammy, Praise From Paul McCartney

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• When: • 8 p.m. Wednesday


• Where: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins


• Tickets: Sold out (:dance:)


Coldplay Rolls Into Town With A Grammy, Praise From Paul McCartney


Chris Martin is an extraordinarily talented and affable chap. Just don't ask the singer how Coldplay became the biggest band in the world.


“It makes my brain melt,” said Martin, who added that he really doesn't agree with the premise. Not to mention that a recent Bruce Springsteen concert blew him away and reminded him that pecking order is irrelevant.


“It really doesn't matter who's biggest today.”


OK, so maybe the Grammy-winning band didn't start out wanting to rule the world, but how does one handle it when it happens?


“I have a hard time believing it,” Martin said. “Maybe it's because I'm British or because I'm too religious. I feel lucky.”


But Martin's reasoning about why it happened is quite astute: “When Radiohead went less commercial.”


Coldplay, which makes a stop in The Woodlands on Wednesday, is known for epic-sounding albums and big hits Yellow, Clocks, The Hardest Part and Viva La Vida, as well as for Martin's marriage to Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow.


There was also that blip last year when rock guitarist Joe Satriani sued the band for copyright infringement, claiming that Viva La Vida was too close to his 2004 song If I Could Fly. Coldplay has denied the charge.


But Brian Eno's work on Viva La Vidaor Death and All His Friends — the Grammy's reigning album of the year — elevated an already award-winning band, which also includes guitarist Jon Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman.


“It's like going back to school and tearing up all the rules,” Martin said. “He guides you down the path. He doesn't care about Yellow.”


Martin acknowledged Eno's ways took some getting used to.


“He doesn't treat you like you're famous,” he said.


On record, Coldplay is all about Martin's angelic voice, which he says he's kept in shape for the last 10 years with the help of “a funny lady in England named Mary.”


But onstage, the band brings “a spectacle,” he says, that depends on a huge crew.


“What worries me is that I don't know how to plug anything in anymore,” Martin says. “I'm powerless.”


But he'll take the entourage over the old days. “I can play piano at home any time,” he said.


One thing you can't do at home is getting to hang around with Jay-Z and Paul McCartney.


“Jay-Z is one of my musical heroes. He's a personal hero the way he conducts himself,” said Martin.


About their musical association: “It's part of my education.”


McCartney is another kettle of fish. The two crossed paths at the Grammy Awards, where Coldplay performed in colorful outfits reminiscent of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper-era uniforms.


“He's almost a saintly figure in England,” Martin said. “It's hard to not think of him as a mythical figure.”


He joked that Sir Paul is a little stingy when doling out praise.


“He'll give you a nod and doesn't leave,” Martin said. “He called us a ‘good little band.' ”


Hey, isn't that how McCartney describes the Beatles?


“Yeah, I know,” he said.


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Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/6530281.html

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