Brendan O’Neill

Coldplay’s sanctimonious politics is as boring as their music

Coldplay's sanctimonious politics is as boring as their music
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Everyone, use as much plastic as you can. Drive your diesel cars everywhere. Refuse to recycle. Fly long-haul. Do everything in your power to crank up climate change. Why? Because we now know climate change has one really positive side-effect — it stops Coldplay from touring.

Yes, Coldplay, the squarest band in Christendom, the most painfully polite, gratingly nice rock stars ever, have announced they won’t be touring their new album because they’re worried about the pollution it will cause. Noise pollution? I quite agree! Who needs to hear Fix You being sung by 50,000 middle managers in every city on earth? Not me. Not anyone.

Of course, the pollution Coldplay is really worried about is environmental pollution. Lead singer Chris Martin (every time I see Chris Martin I think a drab village somewhere is missing its vicar) says they won’t be touring until they work out how to make their gigs ‘sustainable’. Less plastic-use, more carbon-offsetting, yadda yadda. Rock and roll!

We’ve come a long way from Britain’s rock traditions. ‘Get pissed, destroy!’, said the Sex Pistols. ‘Our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic’, says Coldplay.

We’ve gone from rock stars who were all about sex, drugs and throwing TVs into hotel swimming pools to rock stars who record unlistenable lectures masquerading as songs with eco-brat Greta Thunberg (The 1975) and who won’t play a gig until plastic cups have been banned (Coldplay). But how else are people meant to drink their piss-weak beer as they listen to Martin sing sad, naff songs about his conscious decoupling from Gwyneth Paltrow?

We talk a lot about the decline of British industry and the decline of British patriotism. Let’s now talk about the decline of British pop and rock. How did the nation that gave the world the Fab Four, Ray Davies, Bowie, Sid Vicious, Moz and the Gallaghers end up inflicting eco-friendly soft rock for middle-class snowflakes across the globe?

Coldplay’s eco-conformism is not surprising, of course. This is a band whose political yapping always, but always, mirrors the concerns and prejudices of the chattering classes.

So in the heyday of Blairism, Martin wrote a letter to the PM saying: ‘Dear Mr Blair, my name is Chris. I am the singer in a band called Coldplay. I think all the stuff you’re doing this year in terms of trying to sort the whole place out is BRILLIANT.’ I’m not making this up.

And of course Coldplay is anti-Brexit. Yawn. ‘This decision does not represent us’, the band said after the referendum. Of course it doesn’t. Brexit was a properly rock’n’roll two-fingered salute to the establishment by a pissed-off populace whereas you lot sound like a Lib Dem manifesto put to soppy music.

And now, naturally, Coldplay is spouting the establishment’s increasingly hysterical and joyless politics of environmentalism. It’s such a blatant virtue signal. It’s the virtue signal to end all virtue signals, where a band is basically cancelling the entire point of being a band — touring — in order to show how thoroughly decent they are. Never mind the eco-bollocks, Chris, just give us a good tune.