Live photoblog from Exeter, 19 December 2009
Good morning. Later today, Coldplay are playing a very special show in Chris's hometown of Exeter, in aid of Mencap. All 500 tickets have been snapped up, but we'll be offering a behind-the-scenes view of what's happening with another of our live photoblogs RIGHT HERE on Coldplay.com.
Join us on this very page from around 3pm this afternoon (well, assuming our train makes it to Exeter on time...).
We look forward to sharing a virtual mince pie with you...
2:31pm: Sigh. Our train is indeed running rather late. Looking like we're going to be a wee bit later than 3. Sorry folks.
3:31pm: We made it! We're in the castle. EJ, the band's assistant, is ironing shirts and we can hear the band sound-checking. We'd better scoot and get some pics before they finish...
3:50pm: Right, so here are some pictures of the soundcheck, which is still going on. Thanks to the power of dongle (albeit with a slow connection) we're typing this while we watch. Good ol' technology. Now, pictures...
3:51pm: Crikey, Coldplay's elusive fifth member, Mr Phil Harvey, is on stage shaking a tambourine. Could he be making his live debut tonight? Man's got rhythm.
3:56pm: The C-stage turns out to be right next to where we're typing. Which is nice. Billie Jean in extreme close-up. Quality.
4:00pm: Sadly, we can't have both the dongle and the camera plugged into our laptop at the same time (to paraphrase Huey Lewis, they're just too darn wide). So pictures of all this to follow. For now, Chris is practicing Til Kingdom Come, which sounds very lovely indeed.
4:03pm: The soundcheck is now officially over. And so to the pictures...
4:09pm: Here's a pic of the C-stage soundcheck (no zoom needed)
And here's how the train line looked this morning...
4:17pm: So, soundcheck over. Gig starts in just under 5 hours. Anything you'd like to know? firstname.lastname@example.org
4:29pm: "How's everyone keeping warm? It's summer here in Australia, so it's hard to imagine it being cold right now." Love, Ging
Well, it's certainly very chilly here, but the dressing room and marquee where the gig is happening are both nicely heated. So we're quite toasty, thanks Ging.
4:34pm: We've just been giving the band an update on the End of Decade Clearout Sale, which already has bids totally well over £30,000, despite only a quarter of the lots currently being on sale. It's fair to say that they're very chuffed indeed. Thanks for your generosity folks.
4:37pm: There we were saying how cosy it is, but it's actually starting to get quite chilly. Will is making cups of tea all round to warm everyone up. Meanwhile, Jonny is very pleased that Spurs are winning. And there's general amazement at the Fulham v Man Utd score (3-0?!).
4:40pm: "Hi Anchorman! Can we pretty please get a coldplaying shoutout? :)"
Of course you can Caitlyn. Big up the Coldplaying massive! And merry Christmas to you, one and all. In other news, Chris has gone off to spend time with his family (cos he's from around these parts).
Right, we're the only one with internet in this whole place (go dongle!) and Coldplay's manager wants to borrow it. So we're giving the laptop to him for a bit. Back soon...
4:55pm: OK, we're back. Hot food has arrived and has been greeted with considerable excitement. We're having a hog roast roll, which is extremely tasty (and seems oddly appropriate given we're in a castle). We're also pleased to report that the Will-made tea we're washing it down with is a very good cuppa indeed.
5:01pm: La Roux are currently sound-checking down in the marquee. Sounds good. Lily Allen, though has had to pull out of tonight's show, which is a pity.
5.13pm: A few of you have emailed email@example.com asking for a picture of the castle. This is the most castle-y view we can see from here...
5:21pm: Show us something Christmassy please, ask lots of you via the email. Your wish, etc...
A few of you have asked why Lily Allen pulled out, unfortunately she's poorly with a throat infection.
5:25pm: New Exhibit is up (and very nice it is too).
5:35pm: What are the band doing RIGHT NOW? Ask quite a lot of you (including Helen K)
Well, Guy is chilling in the dressing room. Will is reading the paper (he's much tickled by this article in today's Guardian). Jonny has gone for a stroll. And Chris is still with the rellies.
5.40pm: Several of you (including Kaitie and Karen) have asked for a picture of Phil. This is the best we've got...
5.45pm: What do you want for christmas, Anchorman? Emily P
Good question Emily. Um... we'd like.... a snowmobile and some snow to whizz up and down on. (First thing that came to mind.) And you?
6:11pm: Sorry we got caught up talking to Coldplay's manager (a king of anecdotes).
Anyway, here's Jonny! Back from his walk. Has he finished his Christmas shopping? "Nearly"
6.25pm: Jonny just asked to look at the Premier League table on our laptop (we're still the only ones with internet). We bargained, and demanded a photo in return...
6:26pm: Dan Green is here, Coldplay's legendary soundman. Does anyone have a question for him? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org quick smartish...
6:28pm: Can you ask Dan what it was like to be in the Nappies? :D Brooke
"It was fun. And I enjoyed the wig!"
6:30pm: Do you brag about your job to everyone?- Emily S.
(Dan laughs) "No!"
6:31pm: Hey Dan. Are you ever teased about having the same name as a famous boxer? Kaitie
From the baffled look on Dan's face, we'll take that as a no.
Jonny has, though, just pointed out that Dan used to play basketball for Enfield U17s.
6:33pm: What is your favourite Coldplay song? Vera
"Um... Strawberry Swing"
6:38pm: To Dan Green: How many instruments do you play, if any? Christina F
"Five. And a laptop."
The five are - guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and clarinet. (Jonny is amazed by this last revelation)
6.40pm: Has Dan Green ever messed up doing his soundman job?! asks Amy
"Not that I'm going to admit with Jonny listening"
6.41pm: Dan, which stadium sounded the best at the last tour?
Tour Manager Franksy has chipped in with "Paris".
"Oh yes, that too."
6.43pm: Right, who's got a question for Tour Manager Franksy? email@example.com
6:44pm: Franksy, how long have you known the band? Christina F
"I've worked with them for five years. I met them a few years before that at some festivals and TV shows"
6:46pm: Franksy, what's YOUR favorite Coldplay song? -Zoe
"Um... um... probably Viva, I think. Cos it just has unique reaction at a live concert, unlike anything I've seen or heard before"
6:48pm: hey where do you get your hats???thanks ..Laurie
"From my hat cupboard, by the kitchen. There are over 40 hats in there. But only in three or four styles."
6:48pm: Franksie, do you ever get tired of moving around constantly? Emily P
"Yes, that's why I stand still regularly. I am looking forward to standing in one place all over Christmas (next to the turkey)"
6.50pm: Franksy - How many butterflies were blown on the Viva tour? From Phil
"2,437,212. It should have been 2,437,213. But Geoff security stole one for his cousin."
6.52pm: Fransky, are you excited about the Latin America Tour?
"Yes, I love Latin America. It's my favourite place in South America. I can't wait to get there."
6:54pm: Franksy, how was the downtime since Wembley? Are you well-rested or still stiff from all that touring? -Michael R.
"There hasn't been any. It never stops in Coldplay world. (I've been counting butterflies.)"
6:56pm: What's your favorite country to visit? Thanks :) Laura L
"Argentina. I just think it's great. Actually, it's good to have visited as many countries as your age. I've done that."
6.58pm: Franksy, do you prefer Chris with or without the afro?
"Actually, I've never had an afro, so I couldn't say"
7:00pm: Right, we've persuaded Jonny to answer a few. Email firstname.lastname@example.org now - with your question in the subject...
7.02pm: Hey Jonny! What's your favorite food! Christina
"That's a really tough question. I like all food apart from Turkish Delight."
7.04pm: JONNY, how are you feeling about todays gig? Nervous? Emily P
"I'm not really nervous about playing the gig, but I am a little nervous that I'll have forgotten to play the songs. But I'm sure it'll be a forgiving crowd."
7.05pm: Jonny, how is the new material coming along???? Zoe
"Very well. We have a strong idea of what we want to do in the new year. Thanks for asking."
7:08pm: "How do you feel about your stuff going in the eBay auction?
"Well I did feel genuine pangs of regret about the black and white telecaster as I played it for soundcheck this evening. You folks better bid high on that one!"
7.10pm: Jonny, what's your favourite Christmas movie? Nadina
"I really like Bad Santa. And Muppet Christmas Carol is good too."
7.11pm: Jonny, if you didn't end up as a member of Coldplay (that's not an option of course, but what if), what would you be doing right now? -Linda M
"I'd be on the Tottenham team bus travelling back from Blackburn having scored two goals, playing poker with Robbie Keane"
7.15pm: Jonny, are you excited about the World Cup? Steph
"Yes. I actually think we're going to win it. I really do. Beating Brazil 7-0 in the final. Hahaha!"
7.16pm: Jonny, what's your favorite Christmas carol?
"I Saw Three Ships. Or, as our daughter calls it, two boats."
As we asked that question, the brass band which has replaced Lily Allen has just started playing Hark The Herald Angel Sing.
7.19pm: Jonny! Did you have a good breakfast today? Amy W
"Yes, I did. I had scrambled eggs and bacon."
OK, one more...
7.22pm: Dear Jonny, What is your favorite type of cheese? Emily
"I actually really like Jarlsberg. It has a delicious nutty flavour! Hahaha!"
Thanks Jonny. Top man.
We'll see if we can grab someone else for questions later...
7.28pm: So, who's got a question for Coldplay's personal assistant EJ? email@example.com
7.33pm: EJ, which is your favourite country? Tamara
"Australia. It's got lovely beaches, lovely climate and it's almost like home"
7.34pm: EJ.. Your favorite Coldplay gig on the Viva la vida European tour? Julie
"I didn't actually see a full show. In fact, I've never actually seen a whole show in my two tours with the band. So I couldn't really say for sure!"
7.36pm: EJ, your favourite Coldplay song? Vera
"I think probably Strawberry Swing"
Ooh, it's a popular one!
7:40pm: "EJ, how long have you been working as a personal assistant for Coldplay?" -Katie G.
"I've been working for the band since 2005, in wardrobe, and then became their personal assistant in 2006."
Before that, she tells us, she was in on-the-road catering.
7.41pm: Hello EJ! Why the mysterious intitials and not just your name? Thanks! Camilla
"Because my name is quite long and it's just easier! But Chris calls me Ski-J, because I do like skiing!"
7.42pm: EJ, do you play any instruments? Rania.
"Not any more. I used to play the organ, though."
7:45pm: EJ, is there any job in the world that you would actually prefer to your current job? Imke
"I actually can't think of one. Um... no I don't think there is."
7:46pm: Right. It's Phil's turn! Get those questions in to firstname.lastname@example.org (put the question in the subject, please)
7:49pm: Hmm, Phil has disappeared. He will, we hope, be back in a sec.
7:53pm: Phil, if you could live in a foreign country, what would it be ? Clementine
"Australia. I lived there before and I loved it. And because I like kangaroos."
7:54pm: Philly, Do many people recognize you other than at Coldplay concerts? If so, do you enjoy the attention?- Emily S.
"No, never. It's very dispiriting!"
7:56pm: Hi, Phil! What's your favorite Coldplay song? Juliana
"I'm going to go for Clocks."
7.56pm: Phil, what's your favourite Christmas carol Amanda
"The Angel Gabriel"
7:58pm: dear phil: what is your favorite band? besides coldplay Fatima
"The Smashing Pumpkins"
8.00pm: Hi Phil! What was your favorite gig this tour so far?
"Parc de Princes in Paris. It was perfect"
And with that, he's off to watch a bit of La Roux.
8:08pm: Hmm, this post didn't post when we meant it to. Here it is now. It's pictures. Including an amazing wardrobe rail...
8.22pm: La Roux is on now - and we've just been to take a couple of pictures (hence the gap between posts). And here they are...
Sounds good in there.
And this is the bar...
8:34pm: Chris, warming up a few minutes ago...
8:48pm: Sorry for the gap in service, the band are practicing a cover version for tonight (shhh!) and needed the laptop/dongle to get the lyrics. So we've just had the very surreal experience of being in the midst of the four of them, using our laptop as an autocue. Cover sounds ace. And our laptop is feeling very proud of itself.
Stage in 10 mins...
8:57pm: OK, we might disappear for a little bit to take some pictures of them coming on and ting. But we'll be back soon. Now might be a good time to make a cup of tea.
9:20pm: OK, the gig has begun, and we've smuggled the laptop over to the side of the stage. Pics to follow...
9:27pm: Picture splurge, from dressing room to gig (the crowd are making a HELLUVA lot of noise for 500 people)
(the huddle was back in the dressing room and included everyone there - including us - so we couldn't take pics. Sorry.)
This gig is giving us goosebumps. Fact.
9:41pm: A little film on its way. The band are playing Fix You. And we're starting to feel a little weepy. What a decade, eh?
9:44pm: It could take the dongle a wee while to upload the film. Bear with us. In the meantime, we're off to take some pics from the back (not quite as long a walk as it was at Wembley...)
9:47pm: Ah, except, as anyone reading since the start might remember, we can't have an internet connection at the same time as uploading pics. So we'll have to wait for the vid. 8 mins. The band are currently playing Strawberry Swing, which as we now know is a big favourite amongst the crew. For the record, it's definitely in our Top 3 too.
9.50pm: How cold is in Exeter at the moment? Greetings from the snowy Spain. Antonio
Well, Antonio. It's VERY cold outside, but VERY warm inside. Contrasts.
9.57pm: Well done dongle. This is how the show started, after the band were introduced on stage by Jo Whiley and her sister.
10.04pm: How the C-stage looked...
10:13pm: A few more live shots. Four songs to go. Those Q&As were ace, by the way - thanks for sending the questions.
10.15pm: I never quite understood; if Roadie #42 is the official blogger, why are you, Anchorman, responsible for the live blogs? - Anita N, Canada
Because, during gigs, Mr #42 has buttons to push and dials to twiddle. But we're both part of the same loving Coldplay.com family.
10.18pm: OK, we're on to the last 3 songs. Chris is back out there on his own playing The Scientist. Exeter is providing backing vocals. First line changed to "Come down to Devon..."
10:24pm: It's LITii now - that might just be in our Top 3 too. Wish the puppets were here.
10.28pm: OK, it's time for the Christmas special which our laptop helped out with earlier. It's Happy Christmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon. And it sounds very, very lovely indeed.
10:36pm: The pre-encore huddle...
And the encore itself...
10:40pm: Goodnight Exeter
That was ace.
10:46pm: A very happy Chris just told us he thought the show was "really great fun". The crowd certainly thought so. We did too.
And that's it from us. Thanks, as ever, for reading this and for all your emails (well over 1,000 of them today). And for generally being such terrific supporters of Coldplay. Hope you all have a great Christmas. And keep on bidding...