Coldplay make live return with free London show

Band showcase new material, then plot career playing ferries

Coldplay made their live return tonight (June 16) playing tracks from new album ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’ at London‘s Brixton Academy.

The show, which was broadcast live on Radio 1 (and highlights can heard there now), is the first of three free shows the band are playing to celebrate their fourth album’s release last week (June 12).

Taking to the stage at 8.45pm (BST), (footage from the show can be seen below and on the NME Office Blog) the band kicked off with the new album’s instrumental opener ‘Life In Technicolor’, before launching into former NME covermount track and single ‘Violet Hill’.

Without pausing to talk, the band, wearing the French revolutionary-inspired jackets they wore on NME‘s recent cover, then dipped into their back catalogue playing the likes of ‘Clocks’ and ‘In My Place’.

Finally, before ‘Viva La Vida’, frontman Chris Martin addressed the crowd as timpani drums were being set up.

“We were in Germany the other day and an interviewer said to us ‘what does an English person do when they’ve won the World Cup and the European Championships? Turn off their Playstation?’,” recounted the singer. “We said ‘that’s true, but we’ve written this song which you sing when you know you’re going to lose, or maybe ‘We Are The Champions’, to get yourself through’.”

Ahead of fellow new track ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’ the singer joked about the fact the band’s live return had been a free ticket giveaway.

“I know there have been complaints about the ticket price,” he dead panned. “What can I say we’re money grabbing whores!”

‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’ followed, with Martin suggesting the intro sounded like Radiohead‘s ‘2+2=5’.

“Sorry you shouldn’t talk about plagiarism when you’re live on Radio 1,” he joked. “Ignore that!”

Later on, Martin paused ‘Trouble’ mid-song to ponder his future.

“Wasn’t that a seamless crossover?” he asked the crowd of the switch between songs. “In years to come when the band split up and I’m doing a piano turn on a cross-channel ferry you can say to me ‘Chris, I remember when you used to be a pop star, you used to do great crossovers between songs’ and I’ll say ‘thank you’! What a ferry journey that will be!”

Wrapping up their set with ‘Strawberry Swing’, Martin declared: “You’re the most intelligent crowd in the world, thank you, see you in 35 seconds!”

Coldplay duly returned for their encore performing from the venue’s balcony, playing an acoustic version of ‘Yellow’.

Next Martin declared: “We’re going to do something super-extra-double special which I’ve been looking forward to – please welcome to sing lead vocals, our drummer Will Champion.”

After the sticksman fronted an acoustic version of ‘Death Will Never Conquer’, the band returned to Brixton‘s stage to play ‘Fix You’.

They then wrapped up the show firing red, white and blue confetti into the crowd during ‘Lovers In Japan’.

Coldplay played:

‘Life In Technicolor’

‘Violet Hill’


‘In My Place’

‘Viva La Vida’

‘Chinese Sleep Chant’

‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’


‘Square One’



‘Strawberry Swing’


‘Death Will Never Conquer’

‘Fix You’

‘Lovers In Japan’

Some fans have sent footage of the gig to NME.COM, some of which can be watched below. Meanwhile watch more Coldplay live footage on the NME Office Blog.

The free gigs continue in Barcelona on June 17 and New York on June 23.