They’re about to headline Glastonbury, and it’s been a long, joyous road for the multi-million-selling London group. Here’s Coldplay’s story so far in photographs, from 1999 to 2016.
Onstage at the Bull & Gate, 1999. The beloved north London venue closed in 2013 to become a gastropub. In an email to local paper The Camden New Journal, Chris Martin wrote: "In January 1999 promoter Simon Williams and the great people of the Bull let us bang out five songs in 20 minutes. It got us our first NME review and changed our lives forever. We’ll always be grateful."
NME cover, 2000. Coldplay were on the NME Awards tour in 2000 and graced the magazine’s cover that same year. Interviewed about the tour, a fidgety, slightly awkward Chris said: “We adopted a new philosophy for this tour… We used to apologise a lot on stage and be a bit humble or miserable or whatever, but we’ve gone at it with a bit of verve this time.”
Glastonbury, 2000. The band showed plenty of verve at Glastonbury that same year and there was no sign of awkwardness during their Other Stage set. Already seeming like a star, a more confident Chris introduced ‘Yellow’ with the words: “Hopefully this time next year you’ll be singing along with it because it’ll be a hit.”
The Brit Awards, 2001. The London group picked up the Best Album Award at the Brits in 2001, ushering them into the big time.
NME Awards, 2001: It was a bumper year for Coldplay at the NME Awards in 2001, as they scooped three gongs: Best New Act, Best Single (for ‘Yellow’) and Session of the Year (for a Radio One recording). Liam Gallagher also won Hero of the Year and refusing to leave his seat, had the award brought to him. The cheek!
Onstage at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, 2003. This performance, filled with songs from second album ‘A Rush of Blood To The Head’, was turned into a live CD/DVD. NME writer Mark Beaumont gave the CD/DVD a 9/10 review and said it found Coldplay at the “blinking pupae stage of emerging into the stadium league without the circus trappings of the stadium show”.
'Do They Know It's Christmas?' video, 2004. Chris Martin sang the opening line for the Band Aid 20 charity single. Just don't mention Dizzee Rascal's rap.
'Violet Hill' music video, 2008. 'Violet Hill' was the lead single from Coldplay’s fourth album, ‘Death And All His Friends’, and was something of a comeback for the band. The video saw them dressed in military-esque outfits that matched the song’s marching style.
Glastonbury, 2011: By this time the band had left the Other Stage way behind and were headlining the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night. U2 had headlined the previous night and guitarist Johnny Buckland had joked to NME: "We hope [they] do a B-sides set with no lights". He needn't have worried – BBC Radio later voted the London quartet’s show their top Glastonbury moment ever.
Onstage for ‘Mylo Xyloto’ tour, 2012: The band adopted a day-glo look as they toured their fifth album, ‘Mylo Xyloto’. Punters were given glowing wristbands that changed colour in time with the music – and apparently cost Coldplay 4.22 million quid. Ouch!
Performing at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony, 2012. The band played an upbeat set in-keeping with the jubilant atmosphere at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games. The Olympic Stadium was flooded with confetti, while high-wire performers writhed about on motorbikes and Rihanna turned up to perform ‘We Found Love’ with the band. If you hadn’t guessed, it was pretty awesome.
iHeartRadio Festival, 2015. Performing in Las Vegas this September, they readied themselves for the release of new album 'A Head Full of Dreams'. A long way since that 1999 Bull & Gate show, after which the NME review lamented that the band were due to take a break to finish their university exams but concluded: "The best things, it seems, comes to those who have no choice but to wait."