The Xcerts @ The Haunt

First off, a quick disclaimer. The Xcerts playing the Haunt was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a while. This is another glowing review about a band who I really like. After you read the following paragraphs you might be left with the impression that I’m getting back rubs and sexual favours from the band as I write this, but I can assure it’s just me sitting on my own remembering a set that kicked an incredible amount of arse.

This was one of those special evenings in the history of rock music. One that (metaphorically) grabs you by the balls and kicks you in the teeth to wake you up and show you what great music is all about. That description probably sounds a bit odd, and slightly masochistic, but its what I go to gigs for. I want the music to be too loud, the lights too bright and the band too energetic. In my mind, the secret to success is giving the audience an impression of excess on every level.

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Coldplay for Coldplay haters

I’m not going to be buying the latest Coldplay album Mylo Xyloto – people who know me are acutely aware that I have always hated the band. A simple mention of the name would fill my head with a flurry of negative thoughts and associated neural networks would ignite helping me develop my own imaginary “Coldplay” who neatly encompassed everything which was wrong with music, or anything else ever. This grew and festered until I realised that I was mentally filing almost every negative aspect I could attribute to a band in the drawer marked ‘Coldplay’ in my brain. After a quick argument with a fan, I decided it was time I challenged my impression via a listening session.

CD & a Keyboard

Was the real Coldplay anywhere near as bad as my mental one?

I’ve voluntarily subjected myself to the Coldplay albums that are available on Spotify and given a recommendation for haters on a track from each one, which is definitely worth your time, even if you never intend to listen to anything else by them again. Go on; challenge yourself, it’s quite fun even if it won’t change your mind.

To begin with however, I needed to find out how I’d created my interpretation of Coldplay. As I read this article on the Sun’s website, I tried to remember the times when I had come across the band’s music and it had been awful enough to deserve the sour taste it always gave me. I couldn’t think of a single one, and the fact that Brian Eno himself had blessed their acclaimed album “Viva La Vida or Death and All his Friends” (aka VLVODAAHF) with his magic touch was an incentive to give them a second chance. Looking at what was said about this album, you’d be forgiven for assuming it must be a preview to the second coming of a messiah.

The troubling thing in my mind was, despite my own opinion that almost everything I’d heard from them was bland pop garbage, their legions of fans, not to mention the chart success that rains down on them at every album release was giving me some unsettling thoughts. To me, it appeared as though they had been given a special license to release bland music to critical acclaim simply due to their commercial achievement and domination of their middle-of-the-road niche in the market. With the new album being released, I knew I had to either find a way to like Coldplay finally, or again endure the endless repetition of “that band” being shoved down my ear holes by music advertisers and radio DJs.

So it was with this in mind that I attempted to circumvent my own scruples and I settled in to give myself an enormous first dose of Chris martin and co.’s contribution to British popular culture. I’ll admit, I’m not enormously familiar with their work outside of the singles, is there anyone who can’t sing at least a chorus from “Yellow”?, but in my defence, my mental Coldplay block sapped me of any motivation to investigate their work further. Continue reading “Coldplay for Coldplay haters”