Jump to content
  • Guest

    Media reviews: Coldplay @ iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London (22nd July)

    itunes11.jpgThree of the UK's broadsheet newspapers (as well as a couple of tabloids) have published online reviews of Coldplay's latest performance at the Roundhouse in London on 22nd July for the iTunes Festival. Generally the reviews have been positive, barring a couple of embarrasing errors. The Guardian made up a new Coldplay song entitled 'Fix It' but was later rectified, whilst the Telegraph still has Viva La Vida written as 'When I Ruled The World'.


    Meanwhile, The Sun were more interested in reporting on which celebrities were present during the gig, rather than the gig itself, saying: "His Liverpool team may have had a pre-season nightmare up north but Stevie Gerrard has been living it up down south. The crocked Premier League captain hit the ale watching Coldplay in London just hours before his Kop mates were pumped by Championship side Hull City. One onlooker said: 'Stevie was having a whale of a time. He was down there with a load of pals. They were loving it. They were knocking back the beers and singing at the top of their lungs. Stevie was loving letting off a bit of steam. He had a big grin plastered across his chops throughout.'"


    Read on for the full reviews...

    This one is from the Independent, giving the performance only 3/5 stars: "You have to jump to this," Chris Martin commands before "Viva La Vida". Only it's not really a jumping song, they're not really a jumping band. Although the rangy Martin, bless him, regularly bounces on the spot like a welterweight. For this free event the indie four-piece are armed with a generous amount of gimmicky pyrotechnics and bombast – the Back to the Future theme announces their arrival, there's a fluorescent light show towards the finale, giant balloons are everywhere and pretty multi-coloured paper is fired from a cannon. Coldplay are a pretty polished and slick act these days. In fact, there's something a bit Vegas about Martin and his outfit. These are not gnarled individuals or twisted souls. They don't do politics, although one of their best songs and a highlight tonight is "Politik". They're not perverse, kinky or strange. And strange, in pop, is good. Their sound is calculating and stadium-friendly. There's little menace, spite or soul about them. And you can't dance to their solemn anthems. Sway possibly, raise your arm maybe. But it barely matters when Martin can bang out so many gorgeous pop melodies, the likes of "Fix You" and "Yellow".


    Unfortunately, this freebie (As Martin jokes: "Twelve years ago we played up the road and had to give away all our tickets, turns out nothing's changed") in front of competition winners, well-heeled hipsters and celebs (Noel Gallagher and Jamie Oliver are here) is plagued by constant hubbub and chatter. "Everybody okay so far?" enquires a sweaty, slightly flustered Martin in a transatlantic twang. You almost feel sorry for this millionaire, with his Hollywood actress wife and hip-hop superstar pals (Jay-Z), as a section of the crowd don't feel engaged at such an intimate gig. Only on the rockier numbers, the Radiohead-like "Shiver" and "Violet Hill" in particular, where Coldplay look happiest, especially the imposing guitarist Jonny Buckland and ace drummer Will Champion, do the band manage to drown out the dinner-party hubbub. New songs, like the drone-heavy "Moving to Mars" and "Charlie Brown", are lost under the blather. However, they end impressively with the emotive "Clocks", the lovely "Fix You" and the new release, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall", their Big Country-style stomp. For all their effort, and Martin's swagger and strong vocals, this wasn't as stirring as it could have been. It feels a tad flat. [independent]


    This is from the Telegraph, giving Coldplay 4/5 stars: 'Twelve years ago we played 300 yards up the road and had to give away all the tickets,” Chris Martin, Coldplay’s singer, announced during the band’s free iTunes Festival show at the Roundhouse in Camden. “Turns out nothing’s changed.” Self-deprecating wit aside, to say that Coldplay have come a long way would be an understatement. The band have had four chart-topping albums in Britain, won six Brit Awards and seven Grammys and racked up record sales exceeding 50 million worldwide. Three years on from the album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, this sparkling performance suggests that Coldplay are ready to reclaim their crown as the biggest band in the world, and could be about to usher in their liveliest, most songful phase yet. Anyone who has seen the video to the recent single Every Teardrop is a Waterfall will know that their new thing is neon. Before they started playing, orb-like structures of varying sizes shot beams of fluorescent light out across the auditorium. It seemed like a statement of reinvention, an attempt to challenge those who have always found the band humdrum or dour. As it transpired, they had written some luminous tunes to match this gaudy new aesthetic. From the off, there was a vibrant swagger about the performance. The band opened with a new song, Hurts like Heaven, a pulsating rocker that belied its corny title. All driving drums and heartland hooks, it was unmistakably Springsteen-esque. What’s more, it really suited them. This apparent infatuation with the Boss reappeared in another new track, Charlie Brown, whose guitar lines smacked of Dancing in the Dark, while Martin emoted gruffly, “I took a car downtown where the lost boys meet”.


    Although attired in military chic, Martin cut a colourful figure, coming across as an animated student speaker at a Sixties peace rally, but without the politics. Spending less time seated soberly at the piano, and more bouncing up and down with an acoustic guitar in hand, he cut a reinvigorated figure. The encouraging new tracks were punctuated with reminders of Coldplay’s knack for anthems. Past singles Yellow, In My Place, and When I Ruled the World inspired huge singalongs. Long after the conclusion of the last-named, its “whoa whoa” refrain was given a spine-tingling reprise by the crowd. A glance up at the gallery showed one and all on their feet joining in. Meanwhile, a supercharged Clocks, until now synonymous with the closing credits of weepy documentaries, was reclaimed with unlikely aggression by the band, another indication of a readiness to shake off their ponderous reputation. They closed with Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, a joyous update of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For framed in chiming guitar figures and off-beat rhythms — and displaying a jaunty melodicism some might have doubted was in them. Based on this alone, the best may be yet to come from Coldplay. [Telegraph]


    Here's the Guardian, with a review of 4/5 stars: It is telling that Coldplay headlining Glastonbury last month passed by almost entirely without comment. Among coverage dominated by anticipation of Beyoncé's Vegas spectacle and U2's questionable tax arrangements, Coldplay took to the main stage on Saturday night and proved yet again that they are the world's most efficient stadium rock band. Tonight's iTunes festival show seems intimate by comparison, until you learn that it is being streamed live to 23 countries. It's a point Chris Martin acknowledges throughout the evening, delivering earnest thank yous to "those people who have bothered to make the effort to watch us on the internet". He also wryly acknowledges this show is a free gig for competition winners. "Twelve years ago, we played 100 yards from here, and we had to give all the tickets away," he says, gesturing towards the Bull and Gate just down the road. "I guess nothing has changed."


    Tonight's freeloading audience, both actual and virtual, bear witness to Coldplay at their most propulsive and sentimental. It's barely fathomable that a band able to unleash glorious torrents of sound such as The Scientist or God Put a Smile Upon Your Face then choose to weigh them down with sub-Adrian Mole doggerel, of which the nadir remains Politik's: "Look at the earth from outer space/ Everyone must find a place." However, nobody here could care less. The band unveil tracks from their imminent fifth album with their traditional self-effacement. "We've never played this song live before and, depending on the next five minutes, may never play it again," deadpans Martin, before Moving to Mars. As it turns out to be a sumptuous epic ballad with choruses that hang in the air like sighs, you suspect this will not prove its sole airing. The secret of Coldplay's world domination is simple: the songs. They encore with the gorgeous Clocks and the Samaritans-of-a-song that is Fix You, then surpass both with the new tune Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall. Those aching for their demise may have a long wait. • This article was amended on 25 July 2011. The original referred to the song Fix You as Fix It. This has been corrected. [Guardian]


    This is the Evening Standard review - a perfect 5/5 stars from the journalist and 4.5/5 from the readers: As attitudes go, "we're going to give it everything we've got" is as good as it gets. Especially when it came as an early declaration from Chris Martin, whose Coldplay can and do sell out Wembley Stadium. This year's iTunes Festival highlight saw Coldplay playing their smallest show in years, somehow displaying the hunger which took them from the Barfly across the road. "We had to give tickets away when we played there a decade ago," Martin quipped to the audience of competition winners. "Looks like nothing's changed." Oh, but it has. Regrettably, they no longer dress as Bastille-storming French Revolutionaries (I do love a band in uniform) and, scandalously, they still omit Talk. But they had giant balloons, that extraordinary drummer Will Champion, a bucketful of hits (live music surely gets no better and no more heart-stopping than the timpani-infused Viva La Vida) and the live debut of Moving To Mars, which suggested that the game is far from up. Martin was crafty enough to thank the television audience and human enough to ask of guitarist Jonny Buckland "does anybody love him as much as we do?" The crowd were still singing as they left: it was that sort of night. [Evening Standard]


    New photos of Coldplay - iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London, UK (22nd July, 2011):














    Images courtesy of Laura84 from the messageboard - click here for more photos!


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    This is now closed for further comments

  • Create New...