How To Stop A Concert Nicely, By Chris Martin (Aged 34)


It’s got to be frustrating, being the sensitive lead singer in a bookish rock ‘n’ roll band, and having a nice quiet ballad to play, only to discover that someone in the audience has decided to bring along their own percussion.

So, what to do, do you call them out and humiliate them in front of the entire audience? Do you press on regardless? Well, what Chris Martin out of Coldplay decided to do, when faced with this exact situation at a low-key fundraising gig for Mencap, in a London church, was bring his song “The Scientist” to a halt, and say this, in a very friendly tone of voice:

“This is not a tambourine song – I don’t mean to be rude.

“Let me be honest with you, we tried tambourine on the recording and had to scrap it – so we have been playing it for ten years with no tambourine. It probably sounds great, but I’m just too used to it without tambourine. Please don’t take it personally.

“I can’t see what you look like, but you look lovely and sound fantastic. Don’t take this to be some kind of anti-tambourine rally or rant against the tambourine. It’s really not. I love the tambourine, it’s one of my favourite percussion instruments.”

And as the crowd applauded his impeccable manners, Chris urged his new musical mate to “go crazy” on the next song, as it was a “tambourine frenzy” sort of a thing.

And of course, someone was there filming the whole thing for YouTube:

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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