Coldplay @ Eventim Apollo 19th December 2013

Back in November Coldplay announced the 2nd Under 1 Roof gig. This was a charity concert consisting of talent such as Rizzle Kicks, David Brent & Forgone Conclusion, Lily Allen (who was performing for the first time in 3 years) and then you had magician Dynamo. The 1st U1R gig took place at O2 Arena and featured the likes of Tinie Tempah, Emeli Sande and comedians Rob Brydon and Alan Partridge. This evening was taking place at Hammersmith Apollo or Eventim Apollo which it is now know as.

My friend and I were debating on what time we wanted to leave to get to Hammersmith. Now I wanted to be at the barrier and the thought of foreign fans being there camping was fresh in my mind. In the end we came to the decision to get the last night bus then changeover at Wandsworth. So after 2 buses we finally arrived at the Apollo. It was 5.40am and it just so happened we were the first there. It was actually good thinking on my part because it wasn’t long till there were more people who obviously got the first tube. What I learnt is to never do gigs in December again which need early queuing. The weather was so bitter and the little bit of rain which we had did not help matters. It was around 6ish when the doors opened and people started to filter to the three doors. I then experienced my worst nightmare and this being the scanner had failed while other people were going in. When I did get inside most of the barrier was taken up. There was some space next to my friend but two French girls were so selfish to take up most of the room by spreading their legs out and having elbows out as well. Turns out that they had only got there and somehow managed to merge with the front of the queue. They were so unreasonable and did not care in the slightest when I said I had been there since 5.40 in the morning. During Dynamo my friend let me get on the barrier by just going into 2nd row. These French girls were trying to claim the space I was left with. It was hard to stand my ground but eventually they relented and my friend was able to get on and enjoy David Brent, Lily Allen and then Coldplay.

The evening kicked off with Rizzle Kicks who are a talented duo. Songs that were sung included Down With The Trumpets, Lost Generation and Mama Do The Hump. So much energy flowed from each tune. I could not fully enjoy the set though due to the fact I was 2nd row and I couldn’t really see. Well I could but there was a head in front of me which blocked my view of one half of the stage. By the time Dynamo was on things changed, I started to enjoy it more as I was were I wanted to be. Yes it was a struggle just not to get pushed out but I kept my grip on the barrier. The tricks Dynamo did blew my mind and left me thinking how did he do that. The first thing he did was by putting a mobile phone into a glass jar and ended by showing some Matrix style moves.

After Dynamo it was then onto something truly spectacular. This being David Brent & Foregone Conclusion. I was at The Bloomsbury Theatre for the first ever performance and I was blown away. Just seeing that Brent was on the bill for this greatly excited me.

“Hello. This first song is about my chosen profession of repping. I’m up and down the country every day selling all toiletry needs” Brent said before opening up with the quirky and infectious Life On The Road. This basically summed up David’s life on the road and the lyrics can easily get you laughing. “Life on the road, Don’t need no heavy load, Foot down to the floor, 70 miles per hour but no more”. You can picture David Brent’s journey from Sidcup to Ipswich then to Gloucester to get a Costa. Slough was the next number and this was about the best town in the world. “Everything in this song is factually accurate. So you will learn something as well” Brent then went onto say. Now for those who never saw the office David Brent was the manager of Slough based Wernham Hogg until he was made redundant in the last ever episode of series 2. This was very Bowie esque and superbly delivered. “This next song is a beautiful ballad about my first love. When I first did it” David said with a snigger. Now it was onto Lady Gypsy and this by far was the high light of the performance at The Bloomsbury Theatre. Now this was utterly hilarious with lyrics you just want to swoon along to. In it Brent described how he lost his heart to a Lady Gypsy, so long ago he forgot her name. Now this pulled in the laughs and I would say this was the most comedic tune of the short but sweet set. Straight after was Spaceman Came Down. This was another short tune which was rather mellowing. “Chris Martin he’s best mates with Jay Z. It’s not him. Frank Sinatra had Sammy Davies Junior. I’ve got one to please welcome Dom Johnson” David Brent then said before the mega racial but anti racist tune Equality Street which featured on the Comic Relief special. Now this was a song which I completely adored and I really liked the reggae vibes which oozed from it. Dom’s rap was impressive as well where he mentioned how he was a black John Lennon and how Dwarves aren’t babies. “Fearne warned us even if we go a second over. She’s going to come out here and pull us all off” Brent said after mentioning this was the final number of the set. This being Free Love Freeway. This featured on The Office and is well known compared to the others which were showcased. Free Love Freeway was a jolly tune which was faultlessly delivered and no she isn’t dead.

SET LIST

Life On The Road
Slough
Lady Gypsy
Spaceman Came Down
Equality Street
Free Love Freeway

“I haven’t done a live gig for a long time” Allen then mentioned revealed when Chris asked her she was like I haven’t prepared. Even though I was super stoked to see Coldplay, it was Lily Allen I was most excited to see. Things opened with #1 single The Fear which featured on the sophomore LP It’s Not Me, It’s You. Now Allen was joined by a special guest and this being Chris Martin who played the acoustic guitar whilst harmonising. This was sung to perfection and Lily breezed through it. This was a super catchy song and the chorus was extremely beautiful/ gentle. The crowd went wild when Lily introduced Mr Robbie Willams for the 2nd number of the set. “Hello London” Williams said before launching into their duet of Dream A Little Dream which features on the Robbie’s current #1 album Swings Both Ways. Now this song was utterly sweet and both set of vocals combined to create something amazing. Just seeing Williams up close was really surreal. They both did the original version justice and I liked Robbie and Lily’s slow dance. Dream A Little Dream was so lovely and the melody was really hypnotic. Allen then went Back To The Start and sang something from debut album Alright, Still. In fact it was the first Lily Allen single and this being Smile. Now this was a basic revenge song about an ex partner. Smile was an infectious number aided by a reggae tinged melody. “I’m sorry about the lack of band” Lily said before saying she is not in tour mode. It was then onto a new song which was #65 in the charts and this being Hard Out Here. Prior to the evening there was some debate whether if this would feature due to the fact there were kids in the audience and then you have the line “It’s hard out here for a bitch”. Lily had removed her Leopard printed coat to reveal something sparky. Hard Out Hear was pure synthpop and the performance definitely raised the temperature as Allen was joined by dancers who were dressed in red. This was pure perfection, the lyrics were sheer brilliance and the melody in parts resembled Marina & The Diamonds Oh No. “This guy is earning a lot of money off me” Lily Allen said before introducing Tim Rice Oxley from Keane. Basically the money Tim was getting was from royalties as Lily had covered Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know which was featured in the 2013 John Lewis advert. If I could pick what achieved Christmas #1 it would be this over X Factor any day. Allen’s take on this was extremely beautiful and mellowing. It came as no surprise that everyone sang along to this.

SET LIST

The Fear (w/ Chris Martin)
Dream A Little Dream (w/ Robbie Williams)
Smile
Hard Out Here
Somewhere Only We Know

After an introduction by Fearne Cotton it was then onto the band everyone wanted to see and this being Coldplay. I hadn’t seen them since the Emirates show last year and I was pretty hyped about the set I was just going to witness. Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion took to the stage. “Thanks so much everybody” Martin said whilst on the piano for A Rush Of Blood To The Head tune Clocks. Now this was a crowd pleaser and plenty of people were singing to every single lyric Chris Martin was singing. As much as I like this, I do occasionally get it mixed up with Speed Of Sound because the melody is so similar. Now Clocks was infectious and plenty of energy oozed from this sparkling performance. “We have the best fans in the world. I assume we have the loudest fans in the world” Chris said whilst on the acoustic guitar for something from the new album. Now this was Charlie Brown and this is one of my many favourites from that album (the other songs I like from MX are Hurts Like Heaven, Paradise and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall). Now this track was played at a fast pace, it was contagious and at the same time it was packed with a punch. Also it saw the use of the XyloBands (they were special KidsCo ones) and just seeing the whole of Hammersmith Apollo flashing different coloured lights was extremely surreal. Charlie Brown was a song which you just want to jump up and down to. “We’ll run wild, We’ll be glowing in the dark” and those lyrics were true because everyone was glowing in the dark. “Thank you so much for giving us your Thursday night” Martin said whilst back on the piano for the next number of the evening and this being Fix You. This A Rush Of Blood To The Head was a beautiful sombre ballad which had everyone singing along to its contagious lyrics. Fix You was faultlessly delivered and it was extremely soothing/ hypnotic. “Lights will guide you home, And ignite your bones, And I will try to fix you” was the ending of this terrific tune and just having the whole crowd singing this (without Chris) was spine tingling.

Next it was onto Atlas which was taken from The Hunger Games soundtrack. This was the first time that they had played it like and it was no surprise Chris Martin made a mistake. This was simply extraordinary. Atlas was a piano led ballad with a haunting melody and was flawlessly delivered. Now I haven’t seen Catching Fire but I have read that the lyrics touch upon main characters Katniss and Peeta’s mutual reliance. Now this was the first new Coldplay track in almost two years. It is extremely different compared to any other material by the band but I loved it and I am so pleased I was there to witness the birth of it played live. A massive bell and a drum was wheeled to the centre of the stage and everyone knew what was coming. Everyone chanted the Viva La Vida chant which then lead onto the full blown version of this song which was taken from the album of the same name. The crowd participation was simply breathtaking. Definitely a crowd pleasing tune. They completely blitzed through this number. It was very energetic plus everyone sang along to this infectious song “I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman Cavalry choirs are singing, Be my mirror, my sword and shield, My missionaries in a foreign field”. It was then onto the second single to be lifted from Mylo Xyloto and this being the #1 hit Paradise. This was a super catchy number which everyone sang along to. Chris Martin was back on the piano for this after having delivered Viva La Vida with plenty of gusto before this tune. For some reason, I can’t explain but whenever I hear this the Paralympics come to mind. It is due to the line “Para Para Paradise”. It was very upbeat and its video details an elephants escape from a Zoo to its home Africa. Again like Charlie Brown the XyloBands came into play again. Following on was a song which had just that moment been added to the setlist and this being The Scientist. This was a lovely mellowing piano driven ballad. Everyone sang along to this song. How could you not sing along? The lyrics were so delicate and gelled to the melody perfectly. “Thank you so for coming and giving us the best fucking job in history” Chris Martin said after he came off his piano. What ended the phenomenal evening was the first single to be taken from Mylo Xyloto and this being Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall. The XyloBands came into play once again and the whole of Hammersmith Apollo was flashing red, yellow, blue and green which made it a surreal site. This was very upbeat and I really liked the cheesy lyrics “I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on”. Everyone sang along to every single line and it was plain to see Martin put every ounce of energy into this to make sure everybody got there moneys worth (he put his all into every single number that was played). Every Teardrop made the crowds atmosphere rather electric and the confetti cannons which showed the audience with white confetti was simply epic.

Chris, Will, Jonny and Guy left the stage. Moments later Chris Martin took to the stage and went to the piano for the first song of the encore. “Now it’s time to get ready for Christmas. Fuck Coldplay songs. We’re going to sing some old classics” Martin said before tackling the Christmas classic White Christmas along with the Royal Academy of Music whom were the choir. Everyone sang along to this Bing Crosby tune. Even though it is always hard to pull off songs as well known as this Chris Martin pulled it off. This was simply superb and the fake snow was an added bonus. Will we get a White Christmas? Who knows? Will, Jonny and Guy then took to the stage with fake snow still falling. Chris Martin jokingly said it looked like he had dandruff. Coldplay sent every one into the night delivering their very own Christmas song Christmas Lights to perfection. This was beautifully delivered, it was infectious with people singing along plus the lyrics were extremely quirky. “Still waiting for the snow to fall, It doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all”. I then left the Hammersmith Apollo feeling all Christmassy and hoping that we will get that White Christmas that some people dream of.

SET LIST

Clocks
Charlie Brown
Fix You
Atlas
Viva La Vida
Paradise
The Scientist
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

ENCORE

White Christmas
Christmas Lights

OVERALL: Despite the whole barrier escapade I rather enjoyed the evening. You had some top talent in Rizzle Kicks, mind blowing magic by Dynamo, you had a combination of Comedy and Song by David Brent & Foregone Conclusion, you had an epic set by Lily Allen who pulled out all the stops by sharing the same stage as Robbie Williams for Dream  Little Dream and finally you had Coldplay who were phenomenal. This was the 4th time I have seen them play live and I always said I’m closing the book on them but after a performance like that how can I?. The set was well and truly spectacular and there’s nothing better than hearing Christmas songs to get you in the mood for the festivities coming.

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