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[31-Dec-11] Coldplay to headline New Year's Eve gig, Abu Dhabi, UAE


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What the fuck Coldplay?

 

I understand fans from that area should be able to go to one of their concerts. But why choose to play at an event with prices ordinary people can hardly afford? Are they really falling for the oil dollars? This is merely UAE rich man's propaganda, an event fueled by hubris (ύβρις) Coldplay are taking part in. I don't understand. I'm disappointed once again.

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Chris Martin and Coldplay return to Abu Dhabi for a New Year’s Eve concert that the singer hopes will bring more forgiving weather than their last visit in 2009, when their outdoor performance was joined by a shower of rain

 

Chris Martin talks about Coldplay's Abu Dhabi New Year's Eve concert

 

Chris Martin opens up in a rare one-on-one interview, as Coldplay returns to Abu Dhabi on New Year's Eve.

 

Being the lead singer of arguably the world's most popular band is hardly a suitable occupation for a man who cherishes his privacy, but Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin has never been one to conform to stereotypes.

 

Described by some as moody, by others as aloof and by a few as downright rude, Martin is a long way from being the self-promoting egotist revelling in the spotlight that comes with the global success his band has generated.

 

That he is married to the Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow makes the mystique surrounding the 33-year-old lyrical genius even more intriguing, yet he offers barely a hint of a bite when he grants The National this rare interview.

 

As Martin and Coldplay prepare to return to Abu Dhabi for a New Year's Eve gig that is certainly this season's hottest ticket, he has been persuaded to become a reluctant participant in the publicity bandwagon promoting Coldplay's addictive new record Mylo Xyloto.

 

It hardly bodes well when his advisers request that "certain questions" be avoided in our interview, before I am asked to remove my shoes to protect the newly polished wooden floors in Coldplay's rented recording studio in north London.

 

"I have been told there are certain questions I'm not allowed to ask," I inform Martin as we meet, to ascertain whether it is just his minders who are the protective ones, rather than the star himself.

 

"You can ask me what you want," he responds. "I might not answer everything, but whatever you want to know, go for it."

 

With that, the atmosphere in the room clears a little to allow room for a less formal chat. The character that emerges is one clearly concerned by his image as music's "Mr Bland", as he admits Coldplay's many critics have a persistent habit of getting under his skin.

 

"There have been times when it felt as if we had become people's worst enemies just for producing a song they don't like," says the singer, whose popularity in his own country is often shaded by a host of sceptics.

 

When your first five albums have topped the charts in the US, the UK and virtually every other music-buying nation in the western world, criticism should matter little. Yet Martin admits it unsettles him.

 

"It takes some getting used to, that kind of pressure, as well as the stories that our record company is relying on us to keep the share price up," he says. "Then you feel the pressure, but you have to get over it. The positives outweigh the negatives in this job big time."

 

Martin acknowledges that success does matter to him. "I worry about being successful, of course I do. I have two kids now who have made me more driven than ever to be successful, but then you get to the point where you have to give up worrying. There is enough in this world to be miserable about, so enjoy any success you can get."

 

His mention of his two children, Apple and her little brother Moses, offers an opportunity to probe a subject that we have been told is off limits. While some interviewers find Martin's evasiveness frustrating, his determination to keep his family life separate from his work could be viewed as admirable.

 

"I am famous for Coldplay and being married to someone who is more famous than I will ever be, but the truth is none of us in this band see ourselves as anything other than four guys trying to make music people might like," says the singer, who has used his fame to promote a range of charity projects over the past decade.

 

"We don't set our sights too high. It would be great if someone enjoyed our record while they are driving down the road. That is all we can ask for really, and if some people don't like what we do, then I guess they won't buy our record or come to watch us in concert."

 

Speaking of, his band's forthcoming return to Abu Dhabi prompts memories of their first appearance in 2009 at the Emirates Palace hotel, where the audience was drenched in a surprise downpour.

 

"I didn't think I'd be doing a version of Singin' in the Rain when we did a show in Abu Dhabi," adds Martin, a smile breaking out across his face. "It was weird to be in the desert and the rain lashing down. Weird, but kinda cool I guess. Yeah, Abu Dhabi was cool."

 

A dry sense of humour evident in quirky and nervy answers to the most polite of questions confirms Martin's status as an icon still struggling to come to terms with the worldwide phenomenon he has become.

 

Young men hailing from his native UK county of Devon tend not to have dreams that end in music-industry domination. Martin and his bandmates have beaten the odds to achieve that and much more.

 

"Will Coldplay ever be cool? I don't know," he says.

 

"We still have a long way to go before we can be called the best band in the world or be compared to some of the greats of this business. Getting better is a good motivation for us."

 

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/music/chris-martin-talks-about-coldplays-abu-dhabi-new-years-eve-concert?pageCount=0

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Chris Martin and the Coldplay lead guitarist Jonny Buckland onstage in Cologne last week.

 

Live performance puts life into Coldplay

 

It's not often the words "Coldplay" and "surprising" inhabit the same sentence. After all, even if some of the criticism they endure is unfair, Chris Martin's band is widely dismissed as being as safe and efficient as stadium rock gets, pushing the buttons of the masses in time-honoured but clichéd fashion. So it's a genuine pleasure to report that there is something so magical, so unexpected and so innovative about the opening minutes of their current world tour that it is almost a plot-spoiler to reveal it. So, I won't, save to say that it involves lighting and audience participation - and it will be fantastic if they repeat the trick on December 31 in Abu Dhabi.

 

If not, well, it won't be a serious issue. Perhaps Coldplay's main problem on record is a lack of personality - it is difficult to congratulate Martin on such insightful lyrics as "I turn my music up, I got my records on", as heard on their comeback single Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall. But played live, as the kick drum thuds around the arena, that particular song not only makes perfect sense, but everything Coldplay does is ramped up, energised and, with Martin's enthusiasm bordering on the tiring to watch, imbued with character and charisma.

 

In short, they pull off the not inconsiderable task of making their live show massive and intimate in almost the same instant. In Manchester recently, back-catalogue anthems such as Yellow and Fix You were blasted out in the manner of a band who perhaps are sick of the constant jibes that they are insipid and bland. But at the same time, Martin went well beyond asking the crowd if they were OK. He thanked them profusely for buying tickets, for giving up their evening to come, for joining in. He changed the lyrics of songs to speak directly to the audience. When he messed up a few chords, he stopped, apologised, and started again - as if he were performing in a tiny bar venue rather than an arena. Perhaps such antics are all part of the act, but they're hugely endearing. It means that even those who, quite bizarrely, watched proceedings from behind the open stage felt involved. I should know. I was one of them.

 

 

 

Of course, such stagecraft has been honed over a decade of filling arenas and headlining festivals. It means Coldplay is canny enough not to scare the audience with loads of new songs from the band's fifth album Mylo Xyloto - in Manchester they played roughly half of it. But what they do showcase reveals exactly why the record is so uneven. Live, the raucous Major Minus sounds unhinged and ragged - and is all the more interesting for that - but the tracks that display a hitherto undiscovered love for R&B and chart pop (specifically Paradise) are indistinguishable from a million other chart acts. There's the sense that, five albums in, Coldplay is not quite sure what kind of band it would like to be.

 

Undoubtedly, when Martin is hammering away behind a piano during fantastically epic versions of Politik and Clocks, Coldplay makes perfect sense. It is then that they make the job of being in a multimillion-selling pop band seem like both the most normal and the most amazing thing in the world. With Grammy nominations and sell-out tours in prospect for 2012, it's likely to be a happy new year for Coldplay - in more ways than one.

 

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/on-stage/live-performance-puts-life-into-coldplay

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Out of the cold

 

As Coldplay prepare to take on the elements in the UAE again, Chris Martin and Guy Berryman say not much has changed, apart from the thicker skins they've developed

 

By Kelly Crane Senior Reporter and Daisy Clarkson, Radio 2 Presenter

Published: 00:00 December 26, 2011

 

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You heard it here first.

 

More than 50 million records sold, tours selling out in seconds and stadiums full of adoring fans, it's hard to believe the only thing that's changed for the boys from Coldplay is what they eat backstage.

 

"We're getting older, so we can't eat as many Mars bars as we used to be able to," joked lead singer Chris Martin.

 

"Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hob Nobs was our main sustenance in those days," he continued, his voice with an edge of longing. "If you keep that up, you have to waddle or be rolled on stage. Now it's more like celery sticks," he said before immediately taking back the lie just told. "It's definitely less fried chicken."

 

Bassist Guy Berryman was in full agreement. "It used to be all burger, chips and lager to get us through a show," he said.

 

It was just 15 years ago Coldplay burst onto the scene with the single Shiver. Little did the boys know the rock 'n' roll world of the music industry would mean giving up the good stuff.

 

"You think it's what you need to sustain the high energy levels, but it doesn't last long. As you get older you have to look after yourself," said Berryman, who gave up alcohol three years ago.

 

That, a love of "true music" and the fact they play side by side in the same band is about all the two band mates and friends first appear to have in common.

 

Spotlight

 

But while they lead different lives — Martin constantly in the spotlight, partly due to his marriage to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and Berryman still able to walk the streets relatively undetected — the boys are more alike then even they know.

 

Berryman lives the life Martin wishes he could. He gets to express himself creatively, take home a hefty pay cheque — split equally four ways — but rarely has his life dissected by media outlets the world over.

 

Scheduling interviews for Coldplay's management first means a day of negotiation to find houses willing to interview anyone other than Martin. "Chris acts as a shield for us," said Berryman, gloating a little. "The three other members of Coldplay are quite private and that's the way we like it. Chris gets 90 per cent of the attention but he also has to deal with horrible s**t that it brings too."

 

"It's only because I'm friends with people who are much more talented than me," pipes up Martin. "Life keeps you humble. The internet keeps you humble. No matter how big your head gets, you just have to look on the internet and someone makes it small again for you."

 

Martin is often described as a slippery fish when it comes to the media, avoiding questions, storming out of interviews are just a few of the incidents reported over the years. Yet a conversation with the Brit boy reveals more an unexpected shy side rather than attitude.

 

He says his energetic antics on stage are down to "no confidence in your songs", and five albums which have all topped the US and UK charts credited to "a lot of luck and good marketing".

 

Tension

 

Coldplay seem to winningly fuse the tension between not wanting to be one of the best bands in the world and having to settle for being one of the biggest, almost perfectly.

 

"Everything has changed and nothing all at the same time," said Martin. "We're just people having just as much fun, maybe more."

 

It's true they love what they do, even if they don't love the attention. In 15 years the group has enjoyed just four weeks off in total.

 

"We've never really stopped to look back," said Berryman. "It would be great to take some time soon and live a little. We're always looking ahead at what we're recording, but it just comes. We carry on while we're all happy. I think we're in the best place we've ever been in. Everyone is very happy and content. Maybe soon we'll stop to look back and see what we've achieved."

 

From the start, Coldplay have been very much a foursome. Martin, the main songwriter, calls it "musical democracy" with each member taking home a 25 per cent share of earnings.

 

Martin, Berryman, 33, from Fife via Canterbury; Buckland, 33, from London via north Wales; and Champion, 33, from Southampton, met in their first year at University College London, in 1996. The current line-up was formalised in late 1997, and in February 1998 they played their first gig in a Camden pub, pausing briefly to take their degrees — Martin, ancient history; Champion, anthropology; and Buckland, maths and astronomy. Berryman had dropped out of engineering.

 

Clearly a match made on long nights over essays and dissertations, but one which has resulted in one of the strongest collections of songs of the past decades.

 

Martin's insecurity is a funny thing. He simply can't fathom a band with him in it currently outsells Radiohead, U2, REM and Oasis. He still seems almost embarrassed by his status as one of the planet's most recognisable rock stars saying, "If anyone's there we'll definitely be greeting people," talking about his upcoming gig in Abu Dhabi on New Year's Eve.

 

‘Shattered'

 

"The UAE is a gig we'll never forget," said Berryman. "I got lost a few times in that Emirates Palace. It was the longest walk back to my room I've ever had. I was shattered," he laughed.

 

Promised sun, sea and sand, Coldplay went down as one of the most memorable concerts in UAE history with sheet lightning, rain and bursts of thunder as the guys belted out Viva la Vida.

 

"They said, ‘If there's one place in the world you don't have to worry about rain, it's Abu Dhabi,'" Martin recalled. "We weren't prepared for it, but I'll also never forget it."

 

Berryman is a busy boy, always in need of entertaining. Running marathons, restoring First World War aircraft — namely a Tigermoth and Spitfire — he is also learning to fly.

 

"Maybe one day you'll see me buzzing over the UK skies," he laughs.

 

Rounding off another successful year and after much deliberation Coldplay performed live on the final of this year's UK X Factor, a live final at Wembley Stadium, London.

 

"We ummed and ahhhed about it actually," admitted Berryman. "We couldn't decide if it was cool or not," he continued. "We eventually remembered we lost the ‘cool police' an awful long time ago and went for it. Many of the people who watch X Factor think guitars are some kind of mythical instrument. It was great to show our music to a completely new generation of people."

 

Being married to Paltrow and somehow becoming a member of the Hollywood super league — Steven Spielberg is now his godfather-in-law — Martin has come a long way in developing a thicker skin.

 

"Eventually, whatever you do you become comfortable with the fact that someone will hate your guts," he said. "That's okay with me now."

 

Don't miss it

Coldplay perform at the Volvo Ocean Race on New Year's Eve at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater. Fan pit early access tickets are Dh995; fan pit regular is Dh695; grandstand reserved seating, Dh495; general admission standing, Dh325. There are also VIP tables with varying packages available, starting at Dh15,000. Call 800-FLASH. There is a park-and-ride service from Abu Dhabi Corniche, and a bus service from Dubai to the venue, Dh85 return. Organisers Flash recommend wearing sensible shoes and dressing up warm.

 

 

source: http://gulfnews.com/arts-entertainment/music/out-of-the-cold-1.956726

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Jonny Buckland: Coldplay likes to make people feel good

 

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Jonny Buckland: Coldplay likes to make people feel good

 

It's not only the UAE that remembers Coldplay's 2009 performance at the Emirates Palace hotel.

 

The guitarist Jonny Buckland says the group still holds vivid memories of the rain-soaked show, which was punctuated by a thunderstorm that short-circuited some of the stage lights.

 

While the band took it all in good spirit - they even broke into impromptu renditions of Singing in the Rain and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head - Buckland says his onstage grin masked some serious concerns.

 

"I remember the Abu Dhabi show very strongly," he remarks drily. "It was scarily rainy and there was lightning. I could feel the metal in my belt pack - on stage you wear one - and I could feel it rumbling as the static was going off it."

 

Despite the unexpected fireworks from above the stage, Buckland describes the group's two-day stay in Abu Dhabi as "a wonderful time", in which they spent their downtime sampling the opulence of the Emirates Palace hotel. "It was just simply unbelievable. I never stayed anywhere like that and probably never will again," he says. "It made Buckingham Palace look like a two-bed semi."

 

While their last UAE show was at the tail end of their wildly successful Viva la Vida world tour, this time they return at the beginning of a new global jaunt performing songs from their number one-selling fifth album, Mylo Xyloto.

 

With a bunch of American and European shows under its belt, Buckland says the band is satisfied with the performances thus far - although there is always room to fine-tune certain parts. "We are always tweaking the show, even today we're discussing what the songs will look like," he says. "But of course, this time the songs are very different, there are more new ones but there are also some old ones that we're going back to."

 

Buckland is speaking from Belgium during the first leg of their European tour, which saw them revive the old Coldplay classics Shiver and Daylight (from the albums Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head respectively) among a healthy smattering from Mylo Xyloto.

 

The group also retained the two-stage set up from its previous tour, with a small "B Stage" placed deep in the auditorium where the group would play a handful of songs for the benefit of those sitting in the back-rows.

 

Buckland says that while each tour retains its own vibe, the deeper changes had been among the band's members, who must now juggle their careers with raising families. "As we go along, we enjoy ourselves even more. The older you get, you realise how lucky you are," he says. "We all have kids now, so everything is more arranged … It's not the same as back when we were 22, when we would be on a tour bus for four months."

 

While the shows are now bigger and the group is travelling and staying in more plush surroundings, Buckland is proud the group has never lost the euphoric element of their live shows. Making people happy is something Coldplay takes seriously, he says. "We want people to go away from our gigs feeling good. Because sometimes it's quite an effort coming to a show with all that traffic and queuing up, we just want people to feel like it's worth it."

 

The Abu Dhabi show also marks the second time Coldplay is performing on New Year's Eve after closing off 2010 in Las Vegas. Buckland hints that a Coldplay New Year's Eve show could become a regular feature, with the setlist reflecting the celebratory nature of the evening.

 

With Coldplay set for a fully fledged American and European tour in April, Buckland says he will be going straight back to the UK to spend time with his family, as opposed to prolonging his visit to Abu Dhabi.

 

However, he wouldn't discount the possibility of frontman Chris Martin's spending some time in the capital, given his love of the beach and watersports. "Chris loves surfing but I am a bit of landlubber myself," he says. "Actually, to be honest, the ocean kind of terrifies me."

 

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/on-stage/jonny-buckland-coldplay-likes-to-make-people-feel-good

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General Admissions, eh.

 

My family's in the UAE, while I left to study in Bangalore. Thank god for the winter break, I came back just for this.

 

Saw them when they came in 2009 too, so incredibly stoked! :lol:

 

Ooh I hope I can get a setlist.

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