Photo: Carsten Windhorst
Coldplay were in buoyant mood as they played a free show at London's Brixton Academy last night for Radio 1.
From the offset the band looked re-energised as they took about promoting their excellent new album 'Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.'
After being introduced by Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq, behind a veil of darkness the band tore into instrumental opener 'Life In Technicolour', before current single 'Violet Hill' saw a wide-eyed Chris Martin bound about the stage in an almost cocky, self-assured manner.
They then harked back to 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' favourites 'Clocks' and 'In My Place', while before 'Viva La Vida', Martin explained that it was an anthem against losing and contextualised it with a joke he was told in Germany which went 'What do the English do when they win the world cup? They turn off their playstation.'
Clearly in a jovial mood, Martin joked before 'Vival La Vida' track 'Chinese Sleep Chant', “I know some of you have been complaining about the ticket prices; what can we say, we're money grabbing whores” - in reference to the free tickets.
Later as they were warming up 'God Put A Smile Upon Your Face', Martin enthused that it sounded like their “favourite” Radiohead song '2+2=5' and quipped: “Sorry we shouldn't be talking about plagiarism live on radio! Ignore that.”
Following the song, Martin gave his guitar to a lucky member of the audience and playfully said that it had been “passed down” through generations of his family.
The set picked up pace with a thumping rendition of 'Square One', while the rousing 'Trouble' (which included a Girls Aloud interlude), 'Lost!' and 'Strawberry Swing' tugged at the audience's heartstrings.
The biggest surprise of the night came when the foursome re-appeared for the first encore on the balcony armed only with acoustic instruments for a plaintive rendition of their career-breaking hit 'Yellow' which they dedicated to Jo Whiley in the audience.
Martin then said “now for the biggest surprise of the night and something I thought I'd never see, our drummer Will Champion on vocals!”
Champion then sang a version of The Pogues' 'If I Should Fall From Grace' while still on the balcony.
After a cheesy dance remix of 'Talk' was played through the soundsystem, the band returned for a second encore. The best was saved until last with an epic 'Fix You' and a confetti-strewn 'Lovers In Japan' in front of a massive 'Viva La Vida' banner.
The full set list was as follows.
Life In Technicolor
In My Place
Viva La Vida
Chinese Sleep Chant
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
If I Should Fall From Grace With God
Lovers In Japan
Click through below to see the gig in pictures: