A number of years ago, someone asked me why Coldplay is so popular. “Simple,” I said. “No one really hates Coldplay. You either love them to death or they’re…innocuous, Tolerable.”
That may have been the case a decade okay, but it’s certainly not like that now. They’re not quite at Nickelback levels of hate, but they have managed to become major objects of derision and ridicule. Gwyneth has not helped, of course.
This puzzles me on many levels. I’ve met Chris Martin on several occasions and I’ve always found him to be friendly, charming and self-effacing. So how does he handle all the criticism that roles towards the band on an hourly basis? The Guardian takes a look.
In a 2002 interview, Chris Martin was asked whether he believed in himself. At the time, his band, Coldplay, were accelerating to escape velocity. He had just met Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he would have two children and a 10-year marriage. Jack Nicholson and Minnie Driver had begun to appear at the band’s gigs.
“I had this argument with a friend,” he replied. “This is going to sound really arrogant, but I was trying to say that I was really happy. I said that I don’t want to change places with any person in history, ever. I mean that. I’m petrified of reincarnation because, you know, I like being me.”
Being Chris Martin has continued to prove a successful policy. The Super Bowl turns 50 next year, the biggest show on Earth’s golden jubilee, and all eyes will be on the half-time show. Glastonbury might have more street cred, but for sheer numbers of eyeballs American football is unbeatable. Last year, 118.5 million people watched Katy Perry and Missy Elliott, and for many international viewers the final of the NFL season is little more than a pop concert with a tedious sports event tacked on either side.
Performers are invariably pop aristocracy and treat it with appropriate reverence. In 2013, Beyoncé reunited with Destiny’s Child for the crucial five minutes. In 2014, Red Hot Chili Peppers’s lacklustre set was saved by Bruno Mars. Other recent acts include Prince, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Paul McCartney.