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    The story behind the Coldplaying Live Stories hour on Absolute Radio

    absoluteradio.jpgLast Thursday saw a Coldplaying hour-long playlist (download) aired on Absolute Radio which featured tracks chosen by Coldplayers, as part of Coldplaying's victory in the final of the Live Stories competition which started in the summer. Coldplaying beat several fan forums over two stages on our way to winning the live radio show, including representatives of Bowling For Soup, The Cribs, Kaiser Chiefs, Muse and U2. During the show there was a frantic listening party as the playlist was unveiled live on air.


    As well as the Live Stories forum knockout, there was also a mini-competition featuring individual stories from all over the world - and several Coldplayers from Coldplaying.com featured as winners in this competition also: Jenny (Jenjie) won with 23% of all votes followed closely by Lucy (lucyb123 - 19%) in second place and also Julie (JulieJulle - 7%). In total, Coldplayers won £3000, of which £500 will be donated to the Coldplaying Awards 2009 as part of a prize pot draw between the category winners.

    The day before Thursday's show, Coldplayers were asked for their top three tracks on their 'wishlist', consisting of one Coldplay song and two non-Coldplay songs. The final playlist was made up of Coldplay songs that were popular choices, bands that have supported Coldplay or Coldplay have themselves supported, and the rest made up of some other popular requests, including choices from Chavi and Dave, our Live Stories entrants. Chavi's choice on the playlist was Fleet Foxes and Dave's was Radiohead.


    A few hours before the show, I was contacted by phone by Dan Thornton, Absolute Radio's Digital Marketing Manager to confirm which version of Moses we were requesting, which was an easy question to answer because there is only one quality version out there - Live 2003. He also wanted to know if I was willing to introduce the forum on air and some of the songs... of course I was! He said that Ben Jones would be contacting me between 5-6pm in order to record the sections...


    At 6.45pm, Ben rang, and asked whether I would be able to talk about my Live Story that won the competition. I said well I would do, but the story didn't belong to me, and then explained to him how there were two stories submitted on behalf of Coldplaying.com for the two stages, for Coldplay and U2. Ben said he would play the songs later anyway, and sounded like he was in a rush so we didn't have time to record anything on-air for the forum. I did email him afterwards in case they still wanted a voiceover and had time to do it, but by then it was probably too late.


    Note: during the conversation with Dan Thornton we discussed the possibility of more fan forum competitions, as well as Absolute's Song of the Decade (which could well feature several Coldplay tracks from the four albums released this decade), and also Dabbl, which is a new user-controlled radio station brought to you by the boffins at Absolute Radio.


    Fast forward to 11pm that night and the live show and the unveiling of the playlist which had been until then kept secret. The aired tracklisting, which you can download as a show podcast or a live mixtape was:


    Elbow - Grounds for Divorce

    Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head

    Coldplay: Politik

    U2 - Magnificent

    Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla

    Radiohead - Karma Police

    Coldplay - Shiver

    The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

    Fleet Foxes - Mykonos

    Coldplay - Lost+ (feat. Jay-Z)

    Coldplay - Amsterdam


    The full playlist that was submitted by Coldplaying to Absolute Radio is below. The only track Absolute were unable to feature was Jay-Z's 99 Problems, so this was replaced with Coldplay's Lost+ (feat. Jay-Z).


    Coldplay - Shiver

    Fleet Foxes - Mykonos

    White Lies - Farewell To The Fairground

    Elbow - Grounds for Divorce

    Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head

    Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow

    Jay-Z - 99 Problems (replaced by Coldplay feat. Jay-Z - Lost+)

    The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

    Coldplay - Moses

    Radiohead - Karma Police

    U2 - Magnificent

    Coldplay - Don't Panic

    Oasis - Masterplan

    Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla

    Coldplay: Politik

    The Killers - When You Were Young

    Muse - Supermassive Black Hole

    Coldplay - Amsterdam




    Coldplay - God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

    Coldplay - Warning Sign

    Coldplay - Lovers In Japan


    Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye

    Charmless Man - Blur

    Elbow: One Day Like This

    Arcade Fire - Wake Up

    Snow Patrol - Chocolate

    Massive Attack - Teardrop

    Stereophonics - Dakota

    U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday


    Here was the confirmation that Dave Sheppard and Coldplaying had won the final, and his story below:


    livestoriesgrandfinalresults.pngWelcome to my review of the show and my 50th gig, which for me is quite a landmark. At 6pm, The Hours came on. They’re an alright band; decent songs, decent band and they knew how to play. Glasvegas came onto the stage around 7pm, and did a decent 45 minutes set with songs from their first album, the Christmas EP they released last year and some covers.


    A good sing-along to Daddy’s Gone was the highlight of Glasvegas’ set. 8:30 soon rolled around and to the sound of Space Oddity by David Bowie, U2 came on stage. The stadium went wild as people rushed to get back into the main area to watch the boys kick off into Breathe, then without a break into No Line in the Horizon and again into Get on Your Boots, which sounds so much better live than it does on the album.


    The sing-song from Magnificent was nothing compared to the singing for Beautiful Day, and it was a Beautiful day as the sun was setting on the beautiful Saturday, the roof was open on the stadium, allowing more sun to pour in. Without a break, the band went into “Until the End of the World” and straight into New Year’s Day, which I was very happy about because New Year’s Day is one of my favourite U2 songs and the staple of my New Year celebrations. Another highlight came from I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, where the audience sang the first verse of the song.


    Being in a crowd of eighty-eight thousand people or so singing along to one of the best anthems ever was pure amazing, and something I won’t forget for a while. Then, the band started City of Blinding Lights just as the lights came on outside the stadium, lighting up the arch. I watched as a wave of camera flashes lit up the stadium making it into a city of blinding lights.


    Sunday Bloody Sunday, which is so amazing live, also amazing live was Pride (In the name of love), which got the audience singing along including myself, so beautiful it was. For the encore, U2 got onto the stage though a trap-door, and went straight into One. The next song was Bad, and with another sing-song the stadium was rocking.


    Another encore break followed, and the boys came back onto the stage with Bono wearing a funky jacket which fired out red lasers, singing from a microphone hanging down from the claw to sing Ultraviolet (Light My Way), followed by With or Without You and the last song of the night, Moment of Surrender. The band said thank you and goodbye, and a mass cheer from the audience headed back into the depths of Wembley.


    Taking my seat on the coach home I was in a happy mood. What a way to celebrate my 50th concert; U2 have gatecrashed my top 5 concerts of all time list. Thank you and goodnight. Kite.


    Back in August, it was Chavi and her review of Coldplay in Antwerp and Rotterdam that got us into the final in the first place. Here were the results and her Live Story:


    October 3rd and 4th, 2008, Rotterdam and Antwerp. This is how a friendship is born thanks to Coldplaying.com ! This was really a last minute trip... I met this amazing friend, Carla, on the Coldplay forum Coldplaying.com last summer, and we always wanted to go to a concert together. We knew it would not be easy. She lives in The Netherlands, and I live in France. But we would do anything to make it happen. It was already late September, and the possibility for me to find tickets to the show she was attending in Rotterdam was inexistant. But she still posted a request on the forum asking if anyone had spare tickets for Rotterdam or Antwerp. Then on Tuesday, Sept, 30th, another member from Coldplaying.com, Frysk Famke, posted a link to that Extra video in which Chris Martin said the line "maybe I can help". Here, this is what we call Coldplay Karma! Frysk Famke said she had two tickets for Antwerp and that she would be more than happy to let us have them. Things went so fast. The show was in 4 days... What was I supposed to do ? As soon as Carla found out, she texted me, said she could also have a spare ticket for Rotterdam and we discussed about it. It was really hard to decide. I'm a student at university, would I be able to afford it, would it be okay to miss classes for a Coldplay concert ? Long hesitation, I couldn't think properly... but two hours later, my train tickets were booked ! It was so unexpected, the next thing I knew is that on Friday morning (Oct. 3rd) I was on my way to Holland.


    chaviwinner.jpgFriday, October 3rd.. early in the morning, I got a phone call from my sister's fiancé. She was in labor, and about to give birth. I was crying my eyes out and it was only the beginning of what was going to be one hell of a weekend ! 3:36pm I’m in Rotterdam ! Gotta find the subway to go the concert venue.. People are SO nice and helpful. Thanks to two very nice men I managed to get there safely. I can see Carla waving at me from far away. So we met for the first time and I felt like very close already ! I’m waiting in the line a little behind her, about 20 people between us. Later, I got a call from my sister who wanted to tell me to enjoy as much as possible and that she understood that I had to go and couldn’t be there with her ! Btw, it’s a girl (I know it’s not really Coldplay related but it made my day even better, so it’s important for me that this part’s included in the story !) I almost cried.. Still waiting, I met that group of women, they were crazy but in a nice way. I talked a lot to one of them and told her about the previous concerts I attended, and she recognized herself being the same way with her favorite band, I think it was Metalica. She nicely told me and kept repeating that she would definitely let me take her spot if she ended up being in front of me. HOW NICE ! Thanks Sally.


    6:35pm they finally opened the doors. No security to stop me, no one checked my bag so I ran and tried to find Carla calling my name. At first, that lady between us wouldn’t let me go with her. But later, she understood that we had to be together and let me go in front of her. So I was second row, just behind Carla ! I cant remember the time, but then Albert Hammond Jr came on stage. Oh it was still pretty good after seeing them 4 times supporting for Coldplay already! But I couldn’t wait to see Coldplay for the 5th time in 33 days ! And then COLDPLAY were on ! Always as intense as the first time you see them. You’re excited, scared, happy, thrilled, worried but overall overwhelmed with joy ! And it’s even better because you share the same feeling with 10 000 people at the same time ! Highlights of the show :


    -Life in Technicolor : the crowd go nuts ! and you’re full of energy, even after a long trip by train, or very long hours of waiting outside the venue !

    -Clocks : awesome live, I’m sure you’ll all agree !

    -Speed of sound : The cameraman wants to film my banner ‘Nothing matters except life and the music Coldplay make’ and put it on the screens at each side of venue ! THANKS A LOT FOR DOING THAT !

    -Chinese Sleep Chant : I can't get over this song, especially live !

    -B-stage part, always nice! And it’s the right to time to just lean on the fences or someone and just breathe, because you know you’re gonna need ALL your energy for Viva which is coming next !

    -Guy and Jonny having a laugh on the main stage while Chris is doing his thing on the B-stage. It's always nice to see the non rockstar side of a band.

    -Viva la vida and Lost! How can they not be highlights !?!

    -Politik : time to give everything you have left ! it really really is one of the best thing live !

    -Lovers in Japan : OF COURSE ! the butterflies are simply fantastic. Even if you don't like Coldplay, I swear you'd still walked out thinking "damn that was pretty amazing, wasn'it?"

    -Yellow : all four of them laughing at something, they always crack up ! it’s priceless to see !

    -The cameraman coming right to us and giving his setlist to Carla. Carla’s brother in law getting Will’s drumstick. AND Matt giving me Jonny’s setlist.


    Again, AMAZING CONCERT ! The band’s always GREAT and really into it even though they’re extremely exhausted ! They’re giving us so much when on stage. You have to love them for that !


    After the show, we (Carla, Lauren, another member from Coldplaying and myself) went to the backstage entrance and waited a LONG TIME ! People were coming in and out and a lot wondered what the heck we were waiting for... Most of them were really nice and answered when we said Good evening and everything. And then, Pete from Oxfam showed up. I HAD TO say something, so I came up with a casual ‘Hey thanks for the blogs, they’re great!’ .. smooth, right ? He was soooo surprised and wondered if we were really talking to him. Carla said his name and he felt even more embarrassed ! That was cute. He really is a nice guy and kind enough to take some of his time (it was pretty late) to stop and chat with us. Take a photo as well ! So, we talked about a lot of things and we said we would see him the day after in Antwerp. Afterwards, we met Reno Bo (Albert Hammond Jr’s bass player), and he was very kind too. We took a picture, we talked and later he came back to see us to give us some setlists and the sheet of their schedule, and he signed them ! It was lovely ! I was really really impressed by how people had been SO amazing to us all day long ! It was that security guard’s turn to be helpful and kind. He kept looking at me through the window. I thought he wanted us to leave but he was smiling. And then he came out and told us Chris was still there ! I cant believe he just told us OMG ! and gave us updates about when Chris was supposed to leave and everything !


    AND AND AND, IT HAPPENED !!!! CHRIS MARTIN was coming right to us ! OMG OMG OMG ! I cant described how it feels, really cant ! it’s just so impressive, you’ve been dreaming about that day for sooo long and you imagined that scene in all the different scenarios possible BUT you never think it’d be that perfect ! Chris seemed so shy, I mean after all these successful years and all the great things that happened to him, he’s still amazed when he sees three desperate girls waiting in the rain after a concert for him to just sign something. I bet it’s like part of his everyday life but still, he’s not used to it ! He was so sweet and kind, and he just took his time and was in no rush even though people were waiting for him to get inside that car. It didn’t last long but more than I would’ve ever expected ! and then after we took a pic and talked a bit, we told him we would see him in Antwerp to which he replied : ‘okay see you tomorrow!’. And then when he was inside the car, as we were waving at him to say bye and just knocked a few times on the tinted windows as a reply to our waving !


    Was it like the best night ever ? HELL YEAH DEFINITELY !!! what could make it even better ? maybe, if he’d recognized us the next day… oh wait, HE DID!


    October 4th : Didnt get much sleep.. but it’ll be alright ! it’s gonna be the 6th time I see Coldplay live in 34 days for the Viva la vida Tour ! we’re on a OMG-we-met-Chris-Martin-last-night high, and nothing can bring us down ! We’re leaving for Antwerp early in the morning, because WE NEED our front row spots again ! Carla and I are the 4th and 5th person to be at the venue. The doors are wide open, the roadies are setting up the stage, we can see it from outside.. So we’re sitting here against the glass windows making new banners for the band and Reno Bo. Fryske Famke joins us and gives us our tickets. We have a pizza for lunch which was a very nice idea I must say as it probably was the only real meal we had for two days. They open the door at 6:35pm, the security is being ANNOYING but eventually we get through, and so we run ! We struggled through security who was telling us to slow down but GOT OUR FRONT ROW RESERVED SPOTS ! Highlights :


    - Reno Bo from Albert Hammond Jr's band saw us from the stage and laughed. We got two setlists of the band which were directly given to us by a roadie ! SWEET ! and also one of the guitar picks Reno threw in our direction !

    -LIFE IN TECHNICOLOR : I keep repeating myself in each review, but the beginning is always AMAZING! That’s when the fun starts and you cant get tired of it ! Never ever !

    -Violet hill : Chris said HEY TO US ! He saw and recognized the ‘you make me shiver’ banner he signed me the night before in Rotterdam !

    -In my place : the yeahs were pretty awesome ! so much energy and that’s when the guys gather. AWESOME ! and the drums always kick ass in that song !

    -Just before Cemeteries of London : ‘We hope you have a great time, Please sing with us, THANKS TO PEOPLE WHO’VE BEEN TO OTHER SHOWS BEFORE THIS ONE!’ WAIT, is he talking about us and pointing in OUR direction at the same time ? OH YEAH HE IS !

    -Chinese sleep chant : I love it ! I love it ! I love it ! oh and I love it !

    -Fix you : Tears almost streamed down my face !

    -Viva la vida and Lost! Such a great combination ! it rocks live !

    -Politik !! I was dead tired after that one ! it was so great and powerful ! -Lovers in Japan, again the tears.. I enjoyed as much as I could because it was the last show I was supposed to see in a while !

    -Chris waving back at us when he goes off stage before the last encore ! -GLASS OF WATER ! The song rocks live, I cant wait to hear the studio version. It really is something to discover a song for the first time when it’s played live. You just enjoy and you cannot not fall for it ! I thought it’d be more a slow song, but I was gladly surprised !

    -They took their time to say bye to Europe.. that was nice and emotional. And that was it !

    -Got a setlist from the other cameraman who came to us, although he was far and could’ve given it to someone closer .. THANK YOU! We knew, or had the feeling that the band left already but we still went to the back entrance. But no German vans this time.. bummer! We met the famous ping pong table, after sneaking in backstage when we saw a door open ! we went upstairs, went into the lounge bar, but no Coldplay.. so we left. And we went back home.. that was the end .. of this tour leg I mean ! Now, I saw them ten times live, and will see them again soon... I don't think I would be such a great fan if it wasn't for Coldplaying, and the good friends I met there. Seeing Coldplay live is a way of life !


    Thankyou to everyone who voted for Chavi and Dave's live stories during the two stages of the competition, and for all your submissions to our playlist. Thanks to everyone who wrote a story either for Coldplaying or as part of your individual entries affiliated to us. If you missed the playlist, or just want to relive it don't forget to download while it is still available. We hope you enjoyed the virtual festival... we must do it again sometime!


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