Coldplay - Kokos - Monday 6th June
Here's an interesting experiment in delerium. Is it possible for a sleep deprived Londonista to pen a hasty review and make any sense at all? 20 hours ago Noisy Londonist dragged their sorry arse out of bed and headed off to Camden to obtain one of the 601 tickets for sale for the Coldplay Kokos gig so that we could bring you the skinny on the skinnies.
Actually in the words of one Eric Cartman: screw you guys. We were going to this come what may but since we were there and you weren't (you were all sensibly tucked up in bed), it would only be fair to pen a few words for you dear readers.
A quick note before we start. There were no pens and paper tonight, no notes, no balcony seats. Nothing but a head full of JD and as close to the front as we could get. Tonight Londonist is reporting to you directly from the front line. We've probably forgotten a couple of tracks and we're pretty sure that the ones we do remember are in the wrong order. So if you'll forgive us any misleading details it's over the jump and into the fray...
Arriving slightly late in a swirl of shadows and mist it's pretty clear that Coldplay have left the ghost of acoustic past behind. Square One opens with a shimmer before kicking off into a sprawling vista of sounds and somewhere Thom Yorke shivers. Politik could give a dead man epilepsy, leaving a crowd shaped hole in the back wall of Kokos. And that's just for starters.
So meet the new Coldplay, not the same as the old Coldplay. Acoustic drivel is out, expansive planet conquering arrangements are in. Political sloganeering is out, laughing and joking is in. Fun is the order of the day and surprises are constantly around the corner. This is a launch party and we ARE going to party. We will dance and sing until our legs ache and our voices crack.
Yellow arrives only a few songs in new improved electric form and for the first of many times tonight Chris will let the audience carry the song for him into the heavens. He's on amazing form throwing himself around the room, making mistakes, changing the words to The Scientist to include a verse about losing the number one slot to the Crazy Frog. He chats happily with the crowd, firing back one liners at the hecklers, describing Johnny as his one gay love. He thanks just about every one in the room, from those who've helped tham along the way to those who queued to be at one of the most amazing gigs in recent memory. He's still the passionate student who can't believe his luck and he's incredibly proud of the three guys he shares the band with. Indeed he's the first to point out that this is a band, and NOT just the guy in the papers with the Hollywood wife.
There's a version of Warning Sign that lays the cynics to waste. So simple and honest and yet as with almost all the songs tonight, bigger, badder and bolder. Johnny's relaxed, tossing off effects laden hooks with the greatest of ease, less Edge more Buckland. Guy Berryman drives a solid bassline and it's not without reason that Dave Grohl calls Will Champion the best drummer in rock today, filling the beats with driving force. And they still taught him to play the piano.
Clocks drops in so unexpectedly that it takes the audience a moment to catch up and then proceeds to be so damn good that it's probably being listened to on the far side of the galaxy. There's a low key alt.country Don't Panic and a rousing sing-a-long Everything's Not Lost that refuses to die. Speed Of Sound sees the band fall out of time with a new arrangement again. It's not a flaw by any means and it's going to be enormous once they've sorted out who comes in when. There are epic takes on White Shadows and What If, with pretty much everyone singing along to songs that are not even a day old
But it's the final double whammmy of In My Place and Fix you that leave you in no doubt as to why this band is so damn special. Why they are one of the biggest bands on the planet and why they deserve to be. In My Place is phenomenal. Chris sings it to the missus, up in the balcony with his folks. And they must be weeping with pride to see the moshpit madness, voices at breaking point; 1200 people knowing how damn lucky they are to be witnessing this show tonight, grinning like the proverbials and dancing their arses off to an utterly perfect slice of pop beauty. Fix You ends the night on a rising tide of wondrousness, the hairs standing up on the backs of our necks, drawing every last drop of emotion from it's simple message.
We leave exhausted under a roof of lasers beaming over Camden, unable to contain our joy. We have seen four pretty ordinary looking blokes who just happen to be four extremely talented musicians rewrite the rule book in one night. They have invested new life into the old, they have grown in ways that the album just doesn't show and they are without a doubt utterly fucking brillaint.