Monday, September 10, 2012

Layer 545 . . . The Paralympics Closing Ceremony, or Death By Coldplay

The final event of the 2012 Paralympic Games  - the closing ceremony - apparently had a worldwide television audience of over a billion people, so it was something very significant which was worthy of some attention. The problem for me is that the more I reflect on it the angrier I get. Maybe it's because I'm a patriot that I actually care about the quality of what Britain offers the world. This country is full of inventive and talented people who are too often stifled and sidelined by fuckwits who have somehow moved themselves into positions of power and influence. And so we ended up last night with a situation where the Paralympics Closing Ceremony was little more than a Coldplay concert.

It seems the guy who had the power to determine the content of the Olympics ceremonies was determined to have a band called Coldplay at the very centre of this 'ceremony' - just as he was determined to have the Spice Girls and Dead Freddy at the centre of the appalling closing event (which wasn't really a ceremony) of the Olympic Games. This guy is a national disgrace. Take a bow, Kim Gavin.
["Gavin, who made his name overseeing Take That's spectacular stage shows, said he had turned down other groups that had wanted to get involved because he was convinced Chris Martin's band were the only ones for the job." - The Guardian.]

It may be the case that Coldplay are very popular with the sort of people who enjoy mawkish, sentimental ballady songs that are not too challenging and serve as adequate musical wallpaper in lonely suburban rooms where people sit updating their Facebook pages and making digital contact with their "friends". It may be the case that Coldplay give financial support to worthy causes. I don't really know, and I don't really care. All I know is that their music appeals to a few million people who apparently don't pay much attention to song lyrics because if they did they would surely realise they've been spending money on absolute bilge when they could be spending it on something of value.

Take away those few million Coldplay fans and what you have left is the best part of a billion people worldwide who are thinking, "Who the fuck are these boring idiots and what kind of dull, turgid shit are they playing?"

This would be in contrast to the billion people who appreciated the music in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics that Danny Boyle had commissioned Mike Oldfield to write - original and appropriate music with soul, melody and rhythm; music to fill a stadium with magnificent and magical sound as a backdrop to fabulous visual stimulation.

It's possible to ignore the words of certain pop songs and still enjoy the music. If you ignore the words of Coldplay you're just left with some incredibly dull and unoriginal rubbish. So let's have a look at some of their lyrics. It seems a song called "Yellow" is one of their greatest hits.

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
Yeah, they were all yellow

I came along
I wrote a song for you
And all the things you do
And it was called 'Yellow'

So then I took my time
Oh what a thing to've done
And it was all yellow

Your skin, oh yeah, your skin and bones
Turn into something beautiful
D'you know? You know I love you so
You know I love you so


Your BONES? Go ahead and read the rest of it. It gets worse.

OK - so maybe this song isn't typical. Let's try another greatest hit.

The Scientist

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions
Oh, let's go back to the start
Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on a science apart.

Poetry it ain't.

Try again. Another greatest hit.

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (????)

I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song

And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up, I'm on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight

I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don't want to see another generation drop
I'd rather be a comma than a full stop

Maybe I'm in the black, maybe I'm on my knees
Maybe I'm in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart

And we saw, oh, this light, I swear you, emerge blinking into
To tell me it's alright, as we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear's a waterfall, is a waterfall, oh, is a waterfall,
Oh, is a, is a waterfall, every tear is a waterfall

So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I'll raise the flag
It was a waaaterfall A waaaterfall

Every tear, every tear, every teardrop is a waterfall
Every tear, every tear, every teardrop is a waterfall

This one is a laugh out loud job.

I think I rest my case.


But for the record, here are some other descriptions of Coldplay I've picked up on the Internet:

You didn't have to be one of those people who thinks Coldplay are the cloven-hoofed musical emissaries of satan himself to have been slightly concerned about how appropriate a booking they were.

Thanks to their ubiquity on TV soundtracks – tinkling away as someone departs The X Factor or the DIY SOS tells their tragic back story – a lot of their songs have become musical shorthand for "oh, isn't it a pity", designed to elicit sympathy for whoever is on screen.

In the event that you felt bored by Coldplay, there was always something to distract your attention . . . There was interpretative dance, which was nowhere near as disheartening as interpretative dance to Coldplay looks on paper.

- Alexis Petridis in today's Guardian.

I loathe Coldplay for their pretentiousness and the level of self-pity that seeps into their songs.
- ZellHolland

Pyrotechnics are not enough to distract from the show's longueurs, those moments when Coldplay try to rock. Their rock gestures just don't convince, not even when Chris Martin hurls his guitar skyward at the end of God Put a Smile On Your Face. He's clearly more Manilow than Marilyn Manson, thanking us for waving our "beautiful arms", for giving him this "wonderful job", gushing showbiz gratitude that is probably genuine, but doesn't entirely feel like it.
Tonight's show works best when Coldplay lean upon their soppier, soft-rock instincts . . . As the soft-rock confections reach their crescendos, with the confetti cannons and fireworks at full blast, Emirates Stadium feels like the set of some twee, manipulative, "magical" mobile-phone ad – but then subtlety counts for little in venues like this.

- Stevie Chick reviewing Coldplay at the Emirates for the Guardian last June.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment