Coldplay: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms

If they can win over (almost) an entire Edinburgh crowd, the rest of the world is surely theirs for the taking...

Coldplay bound onstage confidently – not that they were shy and retiring before, but there’s an increased self-belief that selling millions of records must surely instill. A rousing version of ‘Spies’ kicks off before Chris Martin chats to the audience about their encounter with Lionel Ritchie and Craig David on the Jools Holland Christmas show (revealing that this is filmed weeks in advance!) and how much they seem like father and son.

This disturbing image put aside, ‘Trouble’ serves as a somewhat unnecessary early crowd-pleaser, while oldie ‘Bigger Stronger’ – only known to “about 4 people” – is quite bland by comparison, showing if anything how much the band have progressed as songwriters. We’re also treated to a new, untitled song, which although being driven by a beat-box and propelled by some wailing organ sounds, carries what is Coldplay’s distinctive hallmark. However, it’s during a haunting version of ‘Sparks’ – cue cigarette lighters – that the downside to the band’s new-found status emerges, the quiet passages of the song somehow failing to keep the attention of certain elements of the audience, who chatter loudly about lager and cars.

Happily, the true fans present bring respectability to Edinburgh during the closing ‘Everything’s Not Lost’, needing no encouragement to sing along. Indeed, they continue to sing along long after the band have departed and only stop when they reappear to remark “that’s never happened before”. The crowd are rewarded with versions of ‘You Only Live Twice’ and ‘Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas’, which, apart from the two ‘lads’ who are by now noisily discussing the merits of U2’s albums, brings the audience to a reverential silence. And if they can win over (almost) an entire Edinburgh crowd, the rest of the world is surely theirs for the taking.

Stuart McHugh