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TERRIS may have been voted the 'NME's most promising newcomers recently but there's a band that are set to overtake them in the running. Devon's COLDPLAY are a sure-fire bet for stardom following in t
TERRIS may have been voted the 'NME's most promising newcomers recently but there's a band that are set to overtake them in the running. Devon's COLDPLAY are a sure-fire bet for stardom following in the footsteps of Radiohead who they have been compared with.
Amazingly, the four piece led by frontman vocalist Chris Martin signed to Parlophone just as they were finishing their exams last year and with that now out of the way, Coldplay can get down to shaking things up which is what the scene badly needs. "In the run up to the year 2000 we were bombarded with dance music with everyone celebrating but now it's time for people to wake up screaming for emotional guitar music again" states Martin.
Coldplay, who are made up of Martin, Jon Buckland (guitar), Guy Berryman (bass) and the brilliantly named drummer Will Champion, formed in January 1998 and spent moths honing their skills in pub back rooms, bars and London University before releasing their own self financed EP 'Safety' in April of that that year. All 500 copies were snapped up making it one of the most collectable indie singles to have at the moment. It gained them interest from the major labels who turned up in force at the ban d's most high profile gig to date, at Manchester's 'In The City' showcase later that year. This performance got them noticed too for the first time by the weekly British music press.
Coldplay decided to keep it low key for a while yet releasing their second single, 'Brothers & Sisters' in January 1999 on Fierce Panda which surprisingly scraped into the UK charts at no.92. This is still just about available and you're recommended to snap this up before it's gone forever. This was to be the band's final indie release as the majors' were back in March '99 and this time they brought their chequebooks!
The band played the tiny Bull & Gate pub in London's Kentish Town which was swamped with A&R men (and Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq!) and on the strength of that gig they signed to Parlophone through EMI. It wasn't just any old signing either as Chris explains. "That was fantastic. We signed smack in the middle of Trafalgar Square and had a taste of that so we signed our publishing deal on a boat in the Serpentine, Hyde Park. The trouble was we only had enough money for 15 minutes so we had to get on with it a bit sharpish!"
In between getting down to some recordings the band made two high profile festival appearances at Glastonbury and Reading before unleashing their first EP for their new label.
'The Blue Room' EP came out on October 25th 1999 which was the finest single released all year and constantly on my player for the rest of the year. It was simply awesome. It was a limited to 5,000 CD only single comprising five tracks and so making it ineligible for the charts. All five tracks were as good and as strong as each other though 'High Speed ' gained the most coverage. This track also featured on a recent CD give-away with the 'NME' for those that missed out on the EP. The record was chock full of epic, grandiose tracks that brought on all the Radiohead comparisons though this is proved way wide of the mark when seeing them live. This Radiohead/miserablist tag is a sure way to earn the wrath of Coldplay too. "All our songs have very simple emotions running through them, they're either happy or sad songs but never miserable. Oh, except for 'Such A Rush'. That's pretty damn depressing!" says Chris.
So, what of the future? Coldplay played as part of the 'NME' Premier Shows week at the London Astoria on January 30th where the photos on this page come from. They were first on stage before Shack and Campag Velocet and those Radiohead comparisons are so off beam it's untrue especially as they only play one track, 'Bigger Stronger', from their EP. Sadly, Chris announces that it's "the last time we'll ever play this song and we're only doing it tonight because it's being recorded for TV". Chris moves onto the piano for the closing 'Everything's Not Lost', the best song all night. A girl next to me faints though the band can't take the credit for that and I hope she was OK! Before they launch into new single 'Shiver', a person in the crowd asks who the band is? The charming and angelic Chris answers "Oh yes, I should've said. We're Coldplay, we're not Embrace or Asian Dub Foundation!"
There's a new single, 'Shiver' out around the time you are reading this with the debut album expected in May. There is a first full UK tour as well starting in March where they will be joined on the bill by the already mentioned Terris but the last word goes to DJ Steve Lamacq who knows more about picking out bands for the future better than anyone."You see new bands and you think, 'they'll be alright in six months time', but Coldplay were the finished article the first time I saw them. They can obviously play very well but they've resisted the temptation to start showing off so far". As we stop celebrating then, as they said, there's a crop of new bands ready to shake things up… Terris, Lupine Howl, Clearlake, Doves, JJ72 but Coldplay look like leading the charge.
APRIL 1998 'Safety' EP (Self-released 7", 500 copies only, sold out)
JANUARY 1999 'Brothers & Sisters' (Fierce Panda 7" & CD Single, Ning 68/CD, b/w 'Easy To Please' and 'Only Superstition').
OCTOBER 1999 'The Blue Room' EP (Parlophone CD Single, CDR 6528, 5,000 only, deleted. 'Bigger Stronger', 'Don't Panic', 'See You Soon', High Speed' and 'Such A Rush').
FEBRUARY 2000 'High Speed' (featured on 14-tk CD sampler given away with 'NME')
FEBRUARY 2000 'Shiver' (Parlophone CD Single, details to be confirmed)
Follow the fortunes and witness the legend that will be Coldplay by visiting their own website at www.coldplay.com
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