So here we are, then – bringing care [I]into [/I]the community. Taking the confidence built up from a supportive London scene out into a potentially indifferent world. Showing that this has been hype to be safely believed. That above all, these people mean it, man.
Well, [a]Coldplay[/a] and [a]Terris[/a] both mean it. There might be a massive gulf between these two bands (a divide principally comprising upbringing, clothes, record collections, accents, attitude, degree of self-confidence, or if you like, music and everything that goes with it) but what unites them is the overriding sense of their commitment. This is an evening in which to observe colours, and how they’re being nailed to masts.
[a]Coldplay[/a] are nice lads with nice colours, and in their perspiration is written the desire to work their acoustic shenanigan into greatness. If there’s a slight degree of mystification at why they’re opening the show (what with their ‘Shiver’ single having perched briefly at Number 35), then it is to their credit that they come with neither attitude nor axe to grind. Singer Chris Martin is instead a beaming man with a sore throat holding a mug of Lemsip. [a]Terris[/a] could murder his family, and he wouldn’t have an attitude about it. He’s not an attitude kind of a guy.
They have a song called ‘Yellow’, for goodness sake, and in that – naive, star-gazing, very much in debt to the classic singer-songwriting of the Buckleys, Tim and Jeff – is most of what you need to know. For [a]Coldplay[/a], it’s the business of making music itself that is their motivating force, and if it sometimes seems a little odd, then the way they go about it is terrier-like tenacity in the extreme.
The audience is maybe not quite so hardy. Maybe it’s the supremacy of attitude over musical reverence in their mix, but Gavin Goodwin begins to dance like a camp illusionist, and the crowd makes its excuses and leaves before [a]Terris[/a] can properly get into their post-Nirvana stride. It’s difficult to blame them at first: the group are ragged, difficult, possibly prone to vagrancy. But what develops as the people leave is extraordinary.
[a]Terris[/a] are playing possibly their best song, ‘Cannibal Kids’, to a virtually empty room. The song ends, and the group begin the closing ‘Deliverance’, and rather than slacken off or refuse to expend the energy on the absent crowd, Gavin gives it more. He’s laying on the ground, his hands up in the air, and he’s shaking, oblivious to anything else. He gets up slowly, and refuses to acknowledge the bleakness of the scene in front of him. He simply stares upwards. Up into the lights.