Back in 2002, I did my first ever day’s work for a band called Coldplay. They were doing Production Rehearsals at The Forum in Kentish Town.
For those who have never been there, The Forum is a theatre sized rock venue, with a stage almost exactly the same size as the one in the Christmas Lights video. It also happens to be right next door to the Bull & Gate pub, where on their fourth ever show, Coldplay met up with a young sound-man called Dan Green who has been with them ever since. Dan has recently been co-producing their new album.
The Coldplay I met in 2002 were getting ready to do a run of festivals, including their first shot at headlining Glastonbury. They had a bunch of new songs, but nobody had heard them yet. They were nervous and excited. They were about to emerge from the studio and see whether the world shared their enthusiasm for this music they’d worked so hard on.
My role during those first days carried so little responsibility that I spent those four days of rehearsals almost entirely in the pub. Indeed the first time I met the band was when they were about to go onstage for their final run through before heading out on tour.
I nipped in the back door of the venue and into the tiny corridor that leads up onto the stage. I was hoping to sneak in unnoticed, as though I’d been there all day. When I opened the stage door, I bumped into the four friends in a team huddle before hitting that stage for one last run through before the festivals.
Today, almost ten years later and after weeks of rehearsal, we moved all the band’s gear once again into The Forum in Kentish Town, to do exactly the same again. One last run through before hitting the festivals. Today there was an invited audience of “Family and Friends” to give just enough pressure to make it real.
My role has changed greatly, to the point where the chances of getting a pint in amidst the chaos are now slim to none. The band have changed a great deal too – stronger, more experienced and confident, but still the same four (well, five) fellas.
But here they are again, standing in that very same little corridor, emerging from the studio and onto the live stage. About to start a new adventure. Nervous, excited and hoping that the world shares their enthusiasm for what they’ve created.
I reckon they’ll be just fine…