Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Coldplay cover Viola Beach as they close “muddiest ever” Glastonbury

By | Published on Monday 27 June 2016


Coldplay covered Viola Beach’s ‘Boys That Sing’ during their Glastonbury headline set last night, offering the band who, along with their manager, were killed in a car accident earlier this year an “alternative future” as Glastonbury headliners.

Noting that they had reached the point in their set where they would normally play a cover of ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, Chris Martin told the crowd that their first appearance at the festival had been in the New Bands tent (now the John Peel Stage) in the late 90s. Saying that he hoped people had gone to see “the next Adeles or the next Radioheads” on that stage over the weekend, he then told the audience that the up and coming Viola Beach had “reminded us of ourselves in our early days”.

“We’re going to create Viola Beach’s alternate future for them and let them headline Glastonbury for one song”, he said. “So Kris and Jack and River and Tomas and their manager Craig, this is what would have maybe been you in 20 years or so and I hope we do this song justice”.

As previously reported, Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and their manager Craig Tarry all died when their car failed to stop at a barrier and fell in to a canal in Sweden in February. A posthumous album is due to be released next month, and ‘Boys That Sing’ was recently re-released as a single.

Elsewhere in Coldplay’s headline set, an out of tune piano meant that Martin had to perform ‘Everglow’ solo. Bringing the band together for an intimate performance of the song at the front of the stage, he halted them just after beginning, noting that his piano was out of tune with the rest of the band. Saying that this was a “terrible problem”, he suggested skipping straight to the next song, to boos from the crowd, so instead performed it alone.

“OK, so having introduced the best band of my lifetime, now they’re going to leave me on my own”, he said. “But we can muster through”.

And muster through he did. Though more mustering through was not necessary for the band’s encore, after reports that plans to perform with Barry Gibb had fallen through turned out to be incorrect. The Bee Gees’ frontman performed an acoustic version of ‘You Don’t Know What It’s Like’ with Martin before being joined by the rest of the band for ‘Stayin Alive’. He can still hit all those high notes (ie every note in the song), which is quite something.

Coldplay closed their fourth Glastonbury headline set with a performance of ‘My Way’, sung by Michael Eavis. The festival’s founder earlier gave a debrief on this year’s event to The Guardian, proclaiming it to be the muddiest in its 46 year history. He blamed this on climate change, but said the event would not move to dates less likely to be affected by rain.

He also said that the festival would not be making any permanent move to a new site, saying that Worthy Farm “is the home of the festival as far as I’m concerned forever”. Previously revealed plans to hold an event at Longleat Safari Park in the festival’s next fallow year in 2019 may also be off. Eavis said that representatives of the park “came this weekend to look [at the festival] and they are not that impressed”.

Read the full interview here.