26 November 2014 / submitted by Jonathan, United States of America
Q.  What amp is it that Jonny is using on this Ghost Stories tour? It's different from his dual DeVilles.
Well spotted - we went a bit minimal on this run cos of the smaller venues. Jonny's onstage amp is a vintage Silvertone Twin Twelve but most of what you're hearing is a Kemper Amp Profiler, set to a custom patch. MMcG.

26 November 2014 / submitted by Peter, United Kingdom
Q.  Dear Almighty Oracle,
What effect pedals are used by Jonny while playing Life in Technicolor live? I've been trying to work this out for ages!
Don't confuse the intro riff with a guitar, it isn't! It's a Hammered Dulcimer which doesn't mean you can only play it after a few beers. The rest of it is done through a Homebrew Power Screamer pedal and a TC2290 Delay. MMcG.

25 November 2014 / submitted by Chris, United Kingdom
Q.  To my dearest, beloved Oracle,
What effect/amp settings are used on Strawberry Swing?

Thanks, Chris.
Matt: The main effect you can hear on this riff of Jonny's is a Boss DD5 Delay pedal on the reverse setting. A long Eventide reverb comes in for the big chords in the middle. It's a while back and my notes are buried but I'm pretty sure he recorded it on a Fender Jazzmaster then reverted to a Thinline Tele for gigs.
Amp wise, the recorded sound is most likely a Fender Pro Reverb on a fairly clean setting; live on the Viva tour we used two Fender 2x12 Hot Rod Devilles in stereo but the settings have changed a lot since. Plus we've had the amps modified (Celestion Vintage Speakers, less sensitive Volume pots).

25 November 2014 / submitted by Andrea, Peru
Q.  Could you please tell me all the names that Jonny have give to his guitars.
Matt: OK, er...right. Sunny, Blacky, Browny, Sunny B, Bluey, Old Gibby, Reddy, Punky, Starry, Foamy, Jazzy A, Jazzy long have you got?! Lots of them don't have a name too. It's a big list!

24 November 2014 / submitted by Luc, Netherlands
Q.  O mighty Oracle,
Do you know the settings that Jonny uses during Violet Hill? I'm in a band and were thinking about covering it.
My idea...
Basically you need a Les Paul Deluxe - or somethingsimilar withhumbuckers - and a ton of overdrive. We used a vintage Rat pedal, then put in some delay on the choruses. The tuning isimportant too - thebottom string goes right down to a C# so you'll need a big fat one - about a .058 - or it'll just flap in the breeze. The rest of the guitar goesdown a semitone from concert pitch. We had the whole thing set up specially just for the one song but you might not need to go to thoselengths! A lot of the recorded version was done with a Roland GR500 Guitar Synth from about 1978 which was so temperamental itonly worked about twice; we both refused to take it on the road as a result, and at gigs we just turned the Rat up really loud and used an Electro Harmonix Micro Pog pedal for the solo.

24 November 2014 / submitted by Nick, United States of America
Q.  Dear Oracle,

What is Jonny's setup to achieve the tone for Lovers In Japan? I also submitted this question on twitter. Jonny's guitar tone in this song is one of my favorites because it's so unique and beautiful!! It seems similar to the Life In Technicolor ii guitar part!

This week I have once again called upon the expertise of Matt McGinn to answer some questions asked about Jonny...

Fender Thinline Telecaster, Audio Kitchen Custom Combo, TC2290 delay, Eventide H7600.If you're talking about the album version I assume you mean the bits in the verses which are Jonny - Brian Eno did some of the guitar on this though and so did I! The live version - where JB puts all the best bits together - is my favourite though.

20 November 2014 / submitted by Madalina, Romania
Why is it so hard to find real friends? And when you think you found them, they were just testing you or something like that to see if you are good or not?
I may be wrong but it sounds as though you've been let down by someone but please don't worry that everyone will end up doing the same. Great friends are hard to come by & it would be a shame to let them pass you by because of past experiences. People can and do disappoint but not all of them so you need to work on your trust issues.
I think the best thing is to just take people at face value. If you like them and they like you, hang out with them and see what happens. Try not to overthink it. You'll probably gravitate towrds people who you share common interests with. Take your time getting to know them and only when you feel ready - open up.
If "friends" try to put you in situations you are uncomforatble with, stay strong and be your own person. Don't follow the crowd or get bullied into bad behaviour. Some people can take control and be very persuasive but stand firm. If you change your mind about someone, that's ok.
You don't need to be part of a group so even if there's only one person you'd call a real friend - that's better than lots that you don't.
You can usually tell by how someone treats you and how they make you feel as to what kind of person they are. Trust your gut feelings and you will work it out.
Over to you.

There is a proverb:
"Remember, anyone can love you when the sun is shining. In the storms is where you learn who truly cares for you".
Who is beside you when the storm is swirling, these are your true friends. I can tell from myself experience that you will learn it during your life ( well I don't know your age) there will only be 3-5 people left. They will tell you the truth, even when it hurts, they stand beside you when everyone else has left, you can call them every time of the day, they have a shoulder to lean on and open ears to listen to you. But these few friends, they are true. It's all a matter of give and take in a friendship.
Love from Germany, Maren.

I don't think it's hard to find real friends. You do have some bad experiences along the way. But if you stay true to yourself and treat others as you wish to be treated, People will like you. They then want to be your friend. If they don't like you they are not worth bothering about.
Of course you will only find out their true worth when you go through tough times, I have been going through a very difficult divorce after 20 years of marriage, and also had to deal with the stress of watching my father being terminally ill and the dying. I would not have got through this without my truly amazing friends. I am so grateful for them.
Oh and just one more tip. Keep smiling. Michele.

You don't say how old you are, but if you are at school, it can be difficult because you are thrown together with people you might not necessarily naturally get on with. It's been said that children need playmates, but young people (and adults!) need friends. What's the difference? A playmate (or schoolmate) is someone who keeps you company, but a friend is someone who also shares your values. Not everyone who claims to be a friend has what it takes to live up to the label and this can shatter your trust. Always remember that quality is better than quantity. It is possible to find real friends who will really be there for you and have a positive influence on you. Choose friends who have qualities you admire, and that you have things in common with. Also try to be the kind of friend you would want for yourself, for example, being a good listener. If this is not possible at the moment, you may find circumstances in life will change at some point and open up new options for you. At any rate, no friendship is perfect and it may take time to build it up but keep trying as it will be worth it in the end! Best wishes, Dx

Because people usually choose friends that they consider cool, or interesting, but most of the time never becuase the way they actually are, but by the way they look like they are, were blind at first by the desire of being able to call them friend, but never really notice that they might not see you the same way. You should be a friend who is a friend to you, never look for one, just let them come to you and appriciate it, becuase you mean somthing to them. But never tell someone something that you don't want the world to know.
Bye, Paulina.

Based on my own experience, I can tell you that finding real friends is hard, but not because there are not people like you or people that will love you and accept you for who you are. It's very often a matter of location. I found my best friends when I was finishing high school and I got to meet them because I was assigned to a different classroom. And until last year I was pretty sure that I wouldn't find more friends like them. Then I started doing activities that I enjoy and I got to know many great people that share interests with me.
People like you are out there. You just have to keep looking. And what will help you finding them, if they are not at school or work, is pursuing your hobbies/interests. When you know new people, it takes some time for a relationship to develop; for people to open up and start trusting each other (even if you really connected and got along from the first moment). But that doesn't mean they are testing you all the time. If someone is testing you all the time to see if you are good, they probable are not genuinely interested in you.
Wish you the best. Noelia, Argentina.

Real friends are hard to find that's why when you found them it is somehow hard to let them go.
And if they were just testing you or something, maybe you did not find real friends. Real friends dont test. They somehow just accept you the way you really are without seeing negative in you cause what matter is the positive in you.
Real friends are hard to find and get, so there's only a few. You dont have to search and find real friends. They come to you by themselves . Hope this helping. Kevin.

I guess you're very young, so it's part of growing up and learning. Friendships are like relationships: you rise and fall, search and find, love and cry. Some friendships are very intense and deep, some pale and superficial. You've got to go through all of it to find your way. Every relationship, problem and situation is message about you. If you look for meanings and reasons, you'll find them and explore how you can turn it into something good for you. If you often got betrayed or tested, may be you're too good and naive or may be you have such characteristics as your friends. Just be honest to yourself and don't be scared of facing yourself inside. Finding true yourself leads to finding true friends and true love; meaning that you're aware and realistic. Think about being surrounded by wrong people and not paying attention on some persons who want to meet you and hang out. Have wise, wide and high look on the world, give a chance to many persons but with respect and loyalty. What goes around, comes around, for good or bad, so if you try, wish and give your love and help,you'll be rewarded. Oh, and if you have siblings, build and keep good relationships with them as much as you can. No matter what, they'll probably be your true friends through life more then anyone. "Brothers and sisters unite, gotta spread love around..."
With love, Kamili from Croatia.

It's sad but true, our Facebook friends don't equal our real, actual friends. A lot of people seem to forget that these days. Real friends are hard to find, they are the ones that stick with you no matter what, they are the people that don't judge you for who you are or what you do. It's highly likely you'll never have more than two or three actual best friends in your life, but that's okay. Be happy with all the friends you have but cherish the ones that in time turn out to meet your best friend qualifications. and don't forget: Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.Good luck! Amanda.

True friendship is far and few between. Don't fault yourself for finding a true friend. You should be picky as you deserve good friends. However, friendship is not always perfect. It can be difficult and heartbreaking. Remember to accept that true friendship is about accepting people for who they truly are. One of my best friends has a tendency to drink too much and often behaves poorly. Some of my other friends won't even tolerate him. But, I do because I love him and he loves me. Once I was terribly depressed and stuck in my apartment during a snow storm. I began to panic at the thought that I was going to be snowed in for a long time and realized that I couldn't be alone. I called my friend and said, "I don't think I can be alone right now." He said, "I will be there in 15 minutes to pick you up." He then drove through a Minnesota snow storm and picked me up. We got stuck a few different times, but we made it to his place. He did not complain nor did he mind when I sat down on the couch and immediately feel asleep. The next morning I woke up and found myself lying in his bed and wrapped with a blanket. He can drive me crazy, but he gets me (weird quirks & all) and he is the one that would drive through a snowstorm for me just because. Marcia.

This question is one that I've been asking for a while (though never out loud), because friendship is tricky. They test you, and if you don't fit the bill, they can do whatever they want, and let you hold onto them by a thread. I see my friends - I have those friends who read as much as me, or like the same music as me, or the friends who are just easy to talk to - and I wonder why they all have real friends that don't include myself. Through experience, I have found it very hard to find all of the above in just one person. When I talk about it to them, how I only have pieces of friends, they reassure me that they are not just pieces. I know this might not be the answer you are looking for, but I think that if you just allow yourself to be patient enough to find someone who really cares about you enough to accept you without any tests, you'll find that it might actually be worth the wait. At least, this is what I tell myself. Victoria.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

20 November 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 27 November.

I have just graduated and moved back home but one big mystery still remained unsolved. It's about my so-called best friend with whom I spent 5 years of everyday life being "just friends", but being "more than friends". Nothing ever happened but everyone around us considered us as a couple, specially those who didn't know us. There's been many situations that almost led to something more clearly, but being a woman I thought that it was up to man to do something. Neither of us have ever had relationship during that time. He has some unsolved problems in his family which affected his childhood and it maybe a reason for being blocked to do something. He is partially aware of the problems and trying to solve them.
Although now, after my graduation we live in different towns, he keeps calling, and when I come to visit, we spend most of the time together and it is his initiative. I tried to talk about it directly and he has told that he wasn't able to do anything about us because of his problems. His father killed himself in his early childhood and his mother had never talked about it. He has pretty much normal life, a lot of friends and job, everything's ok but there are troubles with love and may be with me. I don't know what to do.
I feel like I'm trapped in this relationship not knowing who we are and what's going to happen. Please write your opinion and advice, any word will be helpful. Thank you.
Margarette, France.

Look forward to reading your replies.

The Oracle.
Please email your replies with TEAM ORACLE in the subject line to
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.

20 November 2014 / submitted by Sunil Mistry, United Kingdom
Q.  Hi there! Do you think it is likely that the band will a Christmas concert this year?
I know previous years have included Crisis and Under 1 Roof.

Great news if they have one this year too!

As part of Crisis at Christmas, in 2010 Coldplay performed two benefit shows for the charity in Liverpool & Newcastle.
Under 1 Roof raises much needed funds for Kids Company. As you may know the End of Decade Sale auction held in 2009 raised money for the cause but the 1st show happened on the back of the MX Tour at the O2 Arena in 2011. The second, last year, was a one-off at the Hammersmith (now known as Eventim but I still call it Hammersmith) Apollo.
There are no plans for a Christmas concert this year but as with the graffiti artwork from MX, there is an exhibition of Mila's artwork and proceeds from that will go to Kids Company.

20 November 2014 / submitted by Miles, United Kingdom
Q.  I'm just out of school and I work in a sports shop and have done since I was 16. I didn't get great A-level's but they weren't terrible (CDD). I rejected university places because I wanted to work, however I'm finding it difficult to find a "proper" 9-5 Monday - Friday job.

What should I do?
You didn't define "proper job" but working in a sports shop IS a proper job.
There are many jobs you can't do without qualifications and / or experience so I'm afraid you'll have to go and get one or both - depending on what you want to do.