I’m not an angry fan. Anger isn’t possible when the band you’re ranting about seems to always be in super happy mode.
Yes, we get it. You guys are suddenly a happy band. Great. The world needs ‘happy’. But amidst all the confetti concerts you guys throw, there’s this nagging itch at the back of my head and I can’t help but feel that you guys are alienating a lot of your older fans while trying to rope in new ones. No, you’re not the only band to do so. I mean, we’ve all seen how the later albums of Metallica (St. Anger, never forget) and U2 don’t have anything on their classics. I get it. Musicians get tired of playing the same thing over and over again. And experimenting is not a bad thing.
But let me tell you something more about this fan. He’s slightly older than your paintball gig crowd. To him, Coldplay was a band that could get you hooked even with a 46 second song!
He’s someone who used to visit your website in the early 2000s despite having a shitty 128kbps connection through some local internet cafe. He remembers how you guys had a small audio streaming player on the top right corner of the site called ‘Coldplayer’, which played songs that you guys loved. Classics like Comfort in Sound (Feeder), A Forest (The Cure) and Sweet Song (Blur).
Tracks from Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head , (and occasionally X&Y; ) always shuffle through his playlists because that’s the Coldplay he knew – a band that could take the saddest feeling and turn it into something beautiful through music. When Chris Martin called Richard Ashcroft ‘ the best singer in the world ‘, or when he referred to himself as ‘ a poor man’s Fran Healy ‘, this fan got super psyched to know his favourite musicians were Martin’s favourites too. Yes, up until this point, this post does seem like the rant of an old man (and it is a rant) unable to “change with the times”, but here’s something more.
He’s from India, and that changes EVERYTHING!
You see, we Indians have accepted that most of our favourite bands and artists will hardly include this part of the world when planning their world tours. We read about our favourite bands breaking up and/or going through “phases”; we’ve waited our whole lives only to discover that there’ll never be a Pink Floyd concert in India, or anywhere else anymore for that matter (Rest in peace, Richard Wright). We don’t know if Oasis will ever re-unite and if they’ll ever play in India. Even REM disbanded. We often look towards Eddie Vedder’s charitable eyes and hope he’ll get Pearl Jam to play once, JUST ONCE, here.
(Mark Knopfler played in India many years after Dire Straits disbanded.)
The point is, the sight of a popular international pop/rock/mainstream band is so rare in India, anytime it happens, we expect the classics that made us fall in love with them. I mean, you don’t expect The Proclaimers to play and concert and not include 500 miles in the list, do you?
The only time you come to India, you sneakily entertain 50 people in a pub without any warning. And now, we hear you’re in Mumbai, to shoot some music video for a song in an upcoming album.