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Coldplay biography

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Chris Martin grew up in Devon, Will Champion in Southampton, Guy Berryman in Scotland and later Kent, Jonny Buckland in North Wales.

Singer Chris Martin says:

"That you can try to be catchy without being slick, poppy without being pop, and you can be uplifting without being pompous. Because we're sometimes playing quieter stuff, it's hard to sound like we're trying to change things, but we wanted to be a reaction against soulless rubbish."

Why we know them at present?

" Coldplay's sound is a mixture of shimmering guitars, keyboards, and Chris Martin's incredible voice. His voice is probably the cause of the many Thom Yorke, Fran Healy and Jeff Buckley comparisons–like those three singers, he makes very effective use of his falsetto. His voice just crackles with real emotion. They have a great tendency to pair rhythm acoustic and lead electric guitars, which produces a very specificly textured and meshed sound.
Music doesn't come more touching than this. With their debut single alone, the emotion-fortified "Shiver," Coldplay prove they can shift between elated and crushed in a breath, as singer Chris Martin pours out music's oldest chestnut (unconditional yet unrequited love) with the shakiest of voices and a backdrop of epic guitars. For 10 tracks on "Parachutes", he adds newfound meaning to the most tired and overused rock sentiments--love found, love lost, love unrequited--over acoustic guitars and emotionally fraught rock. And for once, all the cliche's ring true because Chris Martin genuinely sounds like a man picking over the bones of his life, coming up with just as many reasons to be cheerful as seriously depressed."
Reviewer: Dan Gennoe, Joy Kim (New Haven, CT USA)

It all began

when the members of Coldplay met in 1996 at University College of London. Jonny and Chris had been working on songs since they met. They never imagined taking reign of the U.K.'s ever-changing rock scene. Each member had come from solid households of working-class parents that encouraged music. Martin, the eldest of five, began playing the piano as a young child. He started playing in bands around age 15 and sought solace in the words of Tom Waits. Buckland, on the other hand, was into the heavy guitar work of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix and was playing guitar by age 11. Scotland native Berryman was into funk instead of indie rock, therefore leaving him to play bass. The multi-instrumentalist, Champion, didn't plan to be a drummer until he joined Coldplay. He favored playing guitar, bass, and the tin whistle, but caught on to playing percussion when the band became official.
Their full-length debut, "Parachutes," earned the band a Mercury Music Prize in the U.K. It saw a U.S. release in November 2000, and a month later "Yellow" was chosen as the theme song for all promo spots for ABC.
Sours: Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Why fans love him?

In "Parachutes" Coldplay has produced an album that is both simple and elegant at the same time. The guitars are stripped down, and largely acoustic. When electric guitars are used, they act as a nice counterpoint to Chris Martin's superb vocals. At the same time there is heavy used of keyboards, and the drums and bass actually act as a rhythm section instead of acting as rock and roll heavy artillery. The lyrics are as straightforward as the music, without being any less sophisticated for it. Martin sings of timeless themes like love, alienation and hope, but never seems trite or derivative. The end result is an album by a band that clearly recognizes that passion and talent are what make a band, not gimmicks and grinding guitars and morose wailing.
J. N. Mohlman (Barrington, RI USA)

Nitty-gritty details

In February this year during a break in recording, Chris went to Haiti and the Dominican Republic with Oxfam in support of their campaign to change the world trade rules. It was a gruelling, intense trip, with long journeys over rough rural roads to meet the hard-working but impoverished farming communities whose lives are being devastated by fluctuations in the world coffee market and cheap US rice imports. Since then, Chris has performed at the launch of the Fair Trade campaign in Trafalgar Square. It's a cause the whole band supports.
"Anyone in our position has a certain responsibility," explains Guy. "Odd though it may seem to us, a lot of people are read what we're saying, see us on TV, buy our records and read the sleeves, and that can be a great platform. You can make people aware of issues. It isn't very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it."
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