30 August 2012 / submitted by Jacqueline B , United States of America
Q.  Hello Oracle!
Could you confirm for me whether or not part of the Lovers in Japan music video was shot at 33 Portland Place in Marylebone, the same place used in The King's Speech as Lionel's office?
Wow, it's always very impressive when fans spot things that aren't necessarily well-known facts.
Yes, some shots were filmed there as well as some at Alexandra Palace and some at Abbey Mills Pumping Station.

30 August 2012 / submitted by Annie, United States of America
Q.  Hello Oracle, I was wondering if Chris played in any other bands like Guy does. That's all!
Chris has collaborated with and written / co-written for other artists but he isn't a member of any other band outside of Coldplay, no.

30 August 2012 / submitted by Megan, United States of America
Q.  Hello Oracle!
This is my first question, as I hadn't seen very many about the song The Goldrush. I came across this gem, and was wondering if the boys had ever played it live anywhere, or if there was any footage of them singing it. I didn't seem to find any, I was just wanting to see who sings where. It really is quite the masterpiece.

Have a great day,
I love The Goldrush - it just sounds like they're having fun. You can hear everyone joining in. Will & Jonny are very distinctive - and Chris of course but I'm not sure if Guy is singing on this track. I've never heard of it being performed live anywhere so there's no footage to point you towards - sorry.
It reminds me of a cassette I have of The Beatles studio sessions where they are laughing and talking throughout.

29 August 2012 / submitted by Jezz, United Kingdom
Q.  Dear Oracle,

I am really excited about the Paralympic Games, especially the closing ceremony being a huge Coldplay fan. I love the video that is on the main page of this website and was wondering what the music track is in the background? It sounds very Coldplay-esque to me but this may be me getting overexcited! Thanks.
It is very exciting - although this rain is a nuisance!
I can see why you think the song is similar to Coldplay in the video but it's actually Take Over The World by The Courteeners.

29 August 2012 / submitted by Millie, United Kingdom
Q.  Dear Oracle.
Do you know how many albums Coldplay actually has? Because I looked on iTunes and they have all their EP albums on there too!
EPs are not albums; they are Extended Plays. Live 2003 was eventually released as a live album and they gave away another live long player in the form of LRLRL but Coldplay have released 5 studio albums.

29 August 2012 / submitted by Alessandro, Italy
Q.  Dearest Oracle,
Today, watching again the video of Life In Technicolor ii, I saw a character that looked very similar to Colplay's beloved secret member Phil Harvey.
I am referring to the guy who is holding a camera and making a video of the "concert".
Is that guy actually Mister Phil Harvey or mine was just an impression?

Thanks in advance
It is indeed Phil (today also known as the Birthday Boy) in a nice little cameo role. He was also in the Christmas Lights & Paradise videos.

28 August 2012 / submitted by Dona, United States of America
Q.  Hello Oracle :)

I was just wondering if the boys ever pick out their own MX clothes to wear on stage or on tv shows? Or does someone else (like Phil) tell them what to wear? Because I remember Chris saying that Phil tells them what to wear, etc. Is that true?
It's not strictly true, no.
From the start of an album & tour's conception Phil is there during all the decision making so does have a say in the style and overall creative feel etc. of the outfits but it's very much a team effort.
They all choose their look together and have a hand in colours, designs and ideas - along with Phil and a designer.
They do discuss costumes - for want of a better word - for TV / award appearances.
When it comes to the shows, they have choices of what to wear within their travelling wardrobe so mix it up a bit.

28 August 2012 / submitted by Anne, Netherlands
Q.  Dear Oracle,
I'm looking forward to Coldplay's concert in The Hague, but I wondered why they have chosen to do an outdoor concert in the Netherlands? I saw that most other concerts in Europe are given indoors. And does the fact that the concert is outdoors have any consequence for the Xylobands? They are so awesome!
Thanks in advance
I don't know where you're looking Anne but all the European dates are (and have been) at outdoor venues - mostly stadiums in fact.
It doesn't effect whether Xylobands are used or not so you will get them at Malieveld too.

28 August 2012 / submitted by Maddie, United States of America
Q.  Today is my 16th birthday and I received a total of $115 from all of my relatives and my moms birthday is in a couple of days so I need to get her a gift but I also need to buy myself school clothes, what do you think would be a good amount of money to set aside to get her a gift?
Happy birthday! How lovely that you are thinking about your Mother's impending birthday on your own special day.
I believe it's not the amount of money you spend on the gift but the time you spend choosing the right thing.
Presents don't have to cost a lot to mean the world to the recipient so I'd say pick something she'd love that still leaves you with enough left over for school clothes.

24 August 2012 / submitted by Nathalie, India
I need to learn to manage my money and I'm wondering if there is some sort of rule to go by so that I'm not going from paycheck to paycheck. I'm in college and it isn't wise to live like I were still at home. Do you have any recommendations?
Yes, there is some sort of rule: budget, budget and budget.
There are two questions to ask yourself when you are trying not to overspend -
Do I need it? Can I afford it? If you answer "no", don't get it.
If you list all your income against all your outgoings, work out what you can afford to spend.
I also suggest you plan and keep records of everything you spend and on what. Aside from bills, money can seemingly disappear. If you are spending more than you earn (or have) you need to make changes.
Accommodation, travel, food are the obvious expenditures to prioritise but obviously you want to go out and have fun and buy things for yourself.
College is often the first time young adults have to learn about the real costs of living and trust me, you don't want to spiral into debt so I'm glad you asked for help.
If you learn a few key practices, you'll get into the habit and routine of looking where to shop for bargains, what time of day your local food shops reduce prices, where there are offers, who accepts discount vouchers, 2 for 1 deals - there are many ways to reduce your spend but do try to stick to the essentials for a while to get yourself straight.
I do NOT recommend any sort of loan or credit; start as you mean to go on - it will prepare you for post-college life too. If you already do have a credit card, look at whether there are options to transfer to a 0% interest one and then cut all cards in half.
If you do already have any debts, work the repayments into your budget plan. Also allow for the unexpected so don't spend everything that's left - if there is anything left.
Obviously taking on extra work will help the situation but if that's not a possible option, just remember, don't panic - BUDGET!
Over to you.

Nathalie, here is a simple rule that has worked for me for many, many years. First of all, add up all your expenses for a month. That includes the basic necessities like cost of lodging, utilities, food, payments for anything like a car or on credit cards - the money you have to spend each month in order not to fall into trouble. Next look at how much money you have coming in each month from your job or other sources. Subtract the first amount from the second and hopefully you have some left over. (If your outgo exceeds your income, you need to figure out how to cut expenses so you can cover the necessities.) Now, divide what's left over into thirds. The first third you save. The second third you donate to charity or church. The last third is yours to spend as you wish. NEVER go without saving something; if money is tight you can reduce the give-away money and cut extra spending, but always save! If you follow this rule, adjusting as your income grows over the years, you will be managing your money wisely. I wish you the best. Jill, United States.

I had the same problem too, I wasted a lot of money. The thing is to have an exact amount of money for a week or a day and based on that, spend your money daily. Perhaps, you should start to put some limits. You can also have different amounts of money for each thing (clothes, food, etc). It's true that maybe when you see something that you really like, you forget about price tags and take it. But you can save money, and have a special day when you can buy everything you want with a budget. It's difficult at the beginning, but with the time you can get used to it, like I did.
Have a great day, Lyssete.

I too found money management a challenge when living on my own. One mechanism I learned about was "pay yourself first".
In short, what "pay yourself first" means is paying "yourself" a certain committed amount of money every month as if it were a utility bill, and set it aside in an investment vehicle that you can't touch. If you're short one month, make up for it in the amount set aside in subsequent months. Only after this amount is set aside should you pay your other obligations like utility bills, food, and money for recreation/entertainment etc. Obviously commit yourself to an amount of money that you can handle depending on your income/allowance. Start off with small amounts and as your income increases, increase the amount set aside. This way, you can feel free to spend more of your earnings for that month knowing that you've already set aside your savings by "paying yourself first". Hope that helps, Raj.

It's very useful to make a list of all the money you spend in a month. This way you can see where all of your money is going! First, write down your bills, groceries, and other necessary expenses. This amount should only be used for these necessities, nothing else. If you have any money left over, take a percentage of that (maybe half or more) and put it in savings, and use the rest for anything you would like to buy. Unexpected things in life can pop up and have you reaching for your wallet, so always be mindful! Best of luck,

Its tough to see how good you had it at home isn't it? I remember leaving home and the shock of how expensive things are - wow! It blew my mind. Anyway, I always buy the cheapest food and do without luxuries when I can't afford to spend much. There are a lot of bargains out there. Certain foodstuff like pasta is cheap and filling so you can but things like that in larger quantities to save costs. Second hand shops are great to grab a bargain - especially clothes. My friends and I did a clothes swap party so everyone brings something they no longer want and other people can take it if they like it. It really worked! Good luck. Samantha.

I don't know if you live in a house share or on your own. Maybe you could club together with a group of friends to buy certain things in bulk and share the cost. Don't forget to be aware of utilities - it's easy to rack up huge bills when you're acting as if (as you said) you're still at home.
Look at any existing bills you have and look into reducing them - things like payment plans or subscriptions you can do without. If you smoke or drink, look at giving up / cutting down. Dave.

If you don't have a job, get one! That will help. There are plenty fun things you can do for free with your friends so maybe go out less to save a few quid. I know it's hard especially at college as most people want to go and party - but I'm sure you can strike a balance as you've asked for help so it sounds like you're the sort of person who CAN do it! Pippa.

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