23 May 2013 / submitted by Martin, Australia
Q.  Hello Oracle, did Chris have anyone in particular on his mind while writing Shiver? Sort of going through the same thing right at this moment. Do you reckon I should move on or keep trying?
Yes he did. I think the only way to answer this question is to imagine your best mate has asked you the same. What would you advise them to do?
Sometimes when it's happening to you, you're too close to see what the right thing to do is. I personally think you know in your gut whether you're wasting your time. Life's too short for both losing a love that could be and wasting time on a love that will never be.

22 May 2013 / submitted by Lucia, Uruguay
Q.  Hi Oracle, I had seen a live performance of God Put a Smile Upon your Face (2006) and Chris said: "This is a song about what it feels like to be the biggest band in the world in the biggest city in the world".
It is really about that?
I wasn't aware of that, no and I doubt he was being serious. I remember at the time the album came out Chris said: "That came out of playing live and wanting to have something with a bit more bounce. We were really getting into things like P.J Harvey and Muse - things with a bit more energy."

22 May 2013 / submitted by Aranzazu, Chile
Q.  Lovely Oracle, since Coldplay's first message in Spanish appear on Facebook, and some people here asking in Spanish... I was wondering, have you ever thought about learning spanish? But I mean, really, Spanish without translator help! There is a lot of people here asking in English, but their mother language are others, (like me! I'm Chilean) So why can't you?
Cheers, Arie.
As the band are British - like you - it's usual for us to speak in our mother tongue.
That said, we are obviously looking into having Spanish translations - as you saw on Facebook.
I did study languages at school - French, Spanish & German and am at the moment learning a little Italian, but I'm not fluent enough to offer to reply in any other languages. Plus not all our readers would understand. English is practically the universal language (after love), well, it is the most widely used so it makes sense for us to stick with it.

21 May 2013 / submitted by S, Netherlands
Q.  Hi Oracle!

I hope you, the rest of the crew and the band are doing really well. I have two questions, and I'm hoping you could answer them for me:

1. On Amsterdam, is it Will or Jonny providing the backing vocals? I know that Will provides the most backing vocals, and that Jonny doesn't always like to sing... But the backing vocals in Amsterdam are quite low, and when Jonny sings, he has a very distinct low voice.
I've asked some fans, and most are really convinced it's Will (singing low), but... I'm just not sure.

2. Why is the small Mylo Xyloto title on the Mylo Xyloto CD case printed upside down? I noticed it when I wanted to arrange all of my Coldplay CDs into a neat stack. First I thought it was a printing mistake, but then I mentioned it to other fans and their MX CDs have the exact same thing. Is it a mistake? Or is it just a choice in design?

Thanks so much for reading these questions and helping out so many Coldplayers! And, if you answer these ones (or one of them), thanks in advance for that too!


Will sings the bvs on Amsterdam live but on the album version I can hear more than one back-up vocal. I can hear Jonny (low) and Will (higher & same as live) and am pretty sure I can hear Chris (over dubs) too.
I'm not sure where you heard Jonny doesn't like to sing much. Jonny sang most of the backing vocals before AROBTTH. You can hear him clearly take lead on the second verse of Don't Panic on Parachutes too.

I have a quite a few other albums where when the title spine is facing the right way, it means the CD is upside down on my shelf:
Primal Scream - Screamadelica, Ben Christophers - My Beautiful Demon, Cocteau Twins - Victorialand & Associates - Silk to name a few.
Who knows why... maybe the creators were left handed.

21 May 2013 / submitted by Sandy, Brazil
Q.  So... is this the new haircut Chris?
Yes this video shows his current style. It was filmed last Thursday (16th May) in fact.

20 May 2013 / submitted by Josh, United Kingdom
Q.  Dear Oracle,

I have no faith that this ridiculous question will be answered but here we go. The band's previous name was Trombolese for a short period.. Freed from Desire just came on shuffle, and it sounds very much like they keep saying Trombolese! Plus this was released in 1996... could this have been the inspiration behind Coldplay's early (and terrible) band name!?

Ha ha ha! Josh I swear that I thought the exact same thing. Before I met Coldplay I thought they said trombolese in the lyrics to that song. I had no idea what trombolese meant of course - that's because the lyrics are actually "he's got his strong beliefs". It seems we weren't alone in thinking that by the way.
The timing would suggest there could be a link as it was only a short time before Coldplay formed. To be honest if like me they thought it was an exotic music instrument, I can see why they would chose that as their early (and terrible) band name.

20 May 2013 / submitted by Loreto, Chile
Q.  Hi Oracle!, I found this cover of Life Is For Living and I swear this man sounds almost identical to Chris! What do you think?.
If they ever bring back Stars In Their Eyes*, this guy has to mimic Chris. That is uncanny.
I would have thought it was Chris if not for the odd phrasing and pronunciation. He could have a great career as a tribute act.

*There was another Neil Diamond impersonator on the show who was brilliant - Gary Ryan.

20 May 2013 / submitted by Christine D, United States of America
Q.  Dear Oracle... there's an open mic in my town and I'm wondering if I should perform. I have a song I can play but I'm scared of being judged or messing up! What do I do? Should I do it?
It's good to push & challenge yourself. There's nothing wrong with making a mistake either so don't let that put you off. So what if you mess up? Just carry on as if nothing went wrong. Ok, I know Chris usually stops and starts again if he's messed up but whatever you'd be happier with. You could make a joke out of it.
This is hypothetical of course because you may not make any mistakes.
There are times we are judged by others but hopefully everyone will be willing you to do well. Take some close friends to support & cheer you on.
If you learn the song well, you can only do your best. You're bound to feel nervous but that's natural. Once you've performed you'll probably feel an incredible buzz but that doesn't mean the nerves will go the next time. I think nerves are good - it shows you care. Go for it!

17 May 2013 / submitted by Duncan, Australia
My mum is looking to have surgery on her shoulder, and wonders what she can do for 6-8 weeks with only one arm. Do you have any suggestions for an activity she can do?
I shall steer away from ridiculous suggestions like bowling because though it's a one-handed pastime, it wouldn't be advisable when recovering from surgery.
Your mum is going to needs lots of rest and probably needs to do something gentle.
Maybe she could listen to audiobooks - not just fiction, perhaps she could attempt to learn a new language.
It's almost too easy to say she can spend time on a computer but I can't see anyone getting bored of the world wide web.
Walking would be good to get some exercise and fresh air to break the monotony. Or rent a cycling machine - it's best to keep active as long as it's not hurting her.
If it was me, I'd opt for reading and watching films. I'd write letters, play Scrabble, Solitaire & Sudoku. I'd do crosswords, write blogs, surf the net and probably Skype people I can't visit.
I suppose it also depends on which shoulder is out of action. If she is right handed and the right shoulder is being operated on, it might be interesting to see if she can learn to use her left to do things.
If she's looking for the bizarre, maybe one handed juggling is worth a try. Or there's always Tiddlywinks. Joking aside, support her as much as possible and help if necessary but - frustrating as it could be for your Mum - encourage her to try new things.
Over to you.

Personally I would teach myself to become ambidextrous, unless the one arm that she is having surgery on is the one she doesn't usually write with. Anyway, she could learn to write in calligraphy (which looks pretty classy when you use real ink and quill to send an invitation or something). She may want to use a clipboard to have the paper steady, but its worth a try.
Another suggestion would be to start up painting. It's beautiful and fun! Hope this helps! Deanna.

You could always do puzzles, read books, call your friends, see a movie, listen to music [Coldplay, of course!], go for a walk, write letters or a story.
If you want to exercise, you could work on tennis forearm or just bounce a ball, use a treadmill with great care, or go for a jog.
If you want a challenge, learn ASL, or American Sign Language. Hope I could help! Claire, USA.

I guess there were several light activity can be done with a single arm left. Such as painting or taking care of plants/garden. For a further satisfaction, I guess planting some short aged vegetable in container could be chosen. in 6-8 weeks, she could develop an almost fully grown leeks or shallot. for that time, cayenne pepper are starting to flower, and bok choy even getting ready to be harvested. Hope this help. Andra.

My mom had the same thing. She did super hard puzzles, like 10000 pieces. She set up a card table to keep it on. That way she could do a piece either every time she walked by, or sit down and work at it for awhile! Then she bought puzzle glue(which can be found at almost any craft store, very inexpensive) , put a puzzle glue layer on the front, one on the back, and framed them! They now hang around the house and look FANTASTIC! Hope I helped, if not, you'll come up with something! Best of luck to her and your family! You will be in my family's prayers! Sincerely, Katherine, United States.

Well I think she could do plenty of things but really depends on how much effort she wants to put into it. I don't want to seem like people that permanently don't have a hand are helpless. It also depends on which hand as I could do a lot more with my right than my left. If you really want to pamper her, though, have her do puzzles and things. Maybe shopping. I don't really know what she does for fun but there's almost always an alternative. Have her listen to some Coldplay. Hope she feels better soon. Love, Darem.

Walking. Maybe take a camera - obviously a small handy one - and take photos. There are plenty of games and quizzes online too. Maybe you could go to a local quiz - do they have pub quizzes in Australia I wonder... Abby.

This could be the perfect to watch that box-set of a series that your Mum has missed or loved in the past. I like to listen to the radio, it feels like I have company. There are some great podcasts too: some radio serials would be good to follow or comedy to cheer her up. Luke.

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.

17 May 2013 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
When I answer questions of a personal nature, readers often get in touch with their own thoughts. So, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday (with the question asker's permission) we open up a question to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I'll 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 23rd May.

I'll be graduating from high school next year and must choose a quote for placement in the yearbook, any suggestions? The quote can be absolutely anything, from funny, to inspiring, to sad. Ryan, USA.

Look forward to seeing your replies.
The Oracle
Please email your replies to