MARTIN GOES ‘WILD…’

The Coldplay star performs solo then covers 'Walk On The Wild Side' with Ian McCulloch at an anti-war gig in London...

COLDPLAY’s CHRIS MARTIN was the surprise ‘secret guest’ at last night’s ‘ONE BIG NO’ anti-war show in LONDON, where he teamed up with IAN McCULLOCH for a cover of LOU REED’s ‘WALK ON THE WILD SIDE’.

Martin, who turned up backstage with girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow, performed two songs, ‘In My Place’ and ‘Yellow’, both reworked as slow ballads for piano. Before ‘Yellow’, Martin joked that the song almost turned them into “one hit wonders”, and cheekily blended Wigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ into the ending bars.

After a short break, he then got back on piano for a short performance by the Echo And The Bunnymen singer, who is a noted influence on Coldplay’s hugely successful second album ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’, even being present in some of the sessions. The pair dueted on ‘Walk On The Wild Side’, which got one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

The gig, at the London Shepherds Bush Empire, was put together by Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis, and aimed to raise funds for CND and the Stop The War Coalition, who have between them organised various demonstrations and events opposing any war on Iraq.

In addition to live performances from Evan Dando, Faithless, Beth Orton, Paul Weller and Fran Healy, video messages were also shown from the likes of Yoko Ono, Elton John and comedian / film maker Michael Moore. The video for System Of A Down’s ‘Boom!’ was also broadcast, directed by Moore himself and filmed on recent anti-war protests across the world.

“Let’s keep these demonstrations going, its the only hope we have.” Moore said. “George Bush, I don’t know what to say. On behalf of the majority of Americans who ever elected this guy I apologise. We’ll do our best to remove him from office as soon as possible. Thank you again for being there in London from all of us Americans. If it wasn’t for you out there demonstrating I don’t know what we would have done but it’s given great hope for all of us.”

Paul Weller, who was heavily involved in politics in the ‘80s, but recently said he wouldn’t get involved in political movements again, explained to NME.COM why the anti-war movement is different.

After coming offstage, where he performed songs including ‘Wild Wood’ and ‘That’s Entertainment’ to a standing ovation, he said: “We’re in such an extreme stage again. The politicians themselves are interchangable, but this is a different situation.”

Fran Healy ended the evening with two songs, ‘Turn’, and a brand new track titled ‘The Beautiful Occupation’. He told the crowd the song was written in October last year, and was about “the current situation”. The lyrics are likely influenced by the War On Terror, featuring the line ‘Don’t need an invitation / To drop it upon a nation’.

NME.COM caught up with the Travis singer just before he went on stage, who explained his thoughts on the forthcoming war. He commented: “This is a great night because it’s a statement. Everyone comes together and it represents something a lot bigger. I think the biggest point that’s been made is that the people know where they stand now. Which is no one fucking listens to us. No one gives a shit what we think. Something’s not right about this. If it doesn’t feel right, it shouldn’t be happening.”

Former Boyzone star Ronan Keating also performed live. He told NME.COM that although he doesn’t consider himself a political person, he does have strong views on this subject. “We all feel the same way,” he said. “Last week when I was in London I was asked and said I’d love to come along and play. It’s a very delicate matter and it’s our duty to stand up and say something. I think the people that have turned up to play, all really believe in this. And I’m here to support them as much as I’m here because I believe in it too.”

A second CND event takes place this week at Fabric in London. A club night (March 20) has been organised by DJ James Lavelle, and will see a rare live performance from Ian Brown and UNKLE. Tickets are on sale now.