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    New Zealand Preview: Charting the rise of... Coldplay

    coldplay2008a.jpgColdplay and Kings of Leon will be playing in Auckland within a week of each other and while they've been here before, having them in town is the noughties equivalent of hosting the Beatles and the Rolling Stones back to back.


    Or at least seeing the contenders in the race to be "the next U2" – that is, if U2 ever give up being the next U2. To mark the double header, here's a recap of how the British outfit has gone from left-field beginnings to mainstream heavyweight…


    2000 – In the beginning

    Friends from university in London, Coldplay (who dallied with the band names "Pectoralz" and "Starfish" before pinching the title from another varsity mate) burst into the new millennium with debut album Parachutes in 2000. Though their first single Shiver only made small ripples, its follow up Yellow became an international hit, soaring the British charts (where it peaked at #4) and making the album an instant best-seller. Parachutes went seven times platinum in Britain, earned rave reviews and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.

    2001 – Local introductions

    Coldplay made their first New Zealand appearance at the 2001 Big Day out, playing a mid-afternoon slot, following a preview showcase at Galatos the night before, when their sound suited the intimate surrounds. But their BDO set didn't impress quite as much, as Herald reviewers noted: "The not-quite act of the day: Pleasant though Coldplay were in their sunstruck afternoon slot, the act was not one to make you go home and play their splendid album again."


    The band returned to New Zealand just seven months later to play a bold and confident show at the St James Theatre in Auckland on August 11, 2001. The set included new songs from the yet-to-be-recorded second album.


    2002 – The follow up

    With one hit album behind them, Coldplay cemented their golden reputation in 2002 with the release of A Rush of Blood to the Head, which debuted at number one on the UK charts. The record spawned four hit singles, including The Scientist and Clocks, and sold 83,000 copies in New Zealand. It remains their highest selling album here.


    2003 – Celebrity

    Many may struggle to name the full band line up, but frontman Christ Martin became a household name when he married Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow. The couple married in a private ceremony in 2003 and have since had two children, Apple and Moses.


    2005 – Backlash

    With two multi-platinum albums, four Grammy Awards and their first Rolling Stone cover (August 2005), it seemed Coldplay could do no wrong. But their third album X&Y saw a backlash. The album still sold more than 8 million copies worldwide – including 75,000 copies in New Zealand – but critics felt the record was over-produced and fell short of its predecessors. The world also seemed to be growing tired of Martin's wholesome image and bitching about Coldplay became a new industry pastime. Among the most notable examples was a piece by Richard Perry in the New York Times in which he labelled them: "The most insufferable band of the decade."


    Source: nzherald.co.nz

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