Coldplay – genius or bedwetters?

Coldplay- bedwetters or genius?

Alan Mcgee famously called Coldplay bedwetters. It didn’t stop them being superstars.

They are a difficult group to hate. There is a certain affability about them. A niceness that doesn’t grate and they do write richly melodic songs that sound good of Smooth FM or any of those radio humdrum radio stations. ‘Yellow’ has an emotive quality. A genuine yearning. Like Elbow and a whole raft of big airy bands they deal in community sing songs for the UK since we discovered emotions and blubbing in public became acceptable- a ‘rollercoaster ride of emotions’ as people like to say.

This raft of bands deal in the big spaces, this is music made for Glastonbury, if punk was about claustrophobia these bands are about space.

This is the sound of the 21st century- polished to an inch of its life. Music that sounds good on posh car stereos. Music that is like a cardigan or a round of golf or a comfort blanket. Cleaner and more polished than a BBC presenter at Glastonbury’s shoes! Nice. Nice. Nice.

Are they genius? there’s a certain cleverness about them. A natural gift for melody but none of that sex, style and subversion stuff. None of that gets in the way.

Where are the lunatics or the sex goons, where are wild eyed freaks? where is Jimi Hendrix or Elvis or Marc Bolan or Sly Stone? where are the tightrope walkers? the lunatic genius of sex music?

So does have the devil have the best tunes? is this corporate pop or is there an independent spirt flickering here? is this the soundtrack to the rest of our lives?

So it’s up to you dear reader- Coldplay bedwetters or genius?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Can we not pick on Elbow instead? They seem to get away with being an even bigger turd, because their ‘R in the I’ lead singer is such a “nice guy”, apparently. They’re just the Turin Brakes that wouldn’t flush.

  2. Ooh, I know the answer to this one. Bedwetters.

    The lunatics and sex goons are still out there, and thankfully featured regularly on websites such as this!

  3. They’ve just opened their headline Glastonbury set with a new song that noone except their biggest fans will know off youtube. That alone puts them above most of the bands that can pull a crowd that size, because I don’t think most of the others would dare.

  4. […] fear not: those cheery chaps Coldplay are on their way to lighten the mood with an interesting take on overwrought middle class […]

  5. i love coldplay, i don’t care what others think. it’s so popular to rant about them. i remember nicky wire speaking around jfpl release that they are one of these bands that still try (he was talking that they dress up for the gigs, uniforms circa viva la vida). okay, he dissed chris martin going political plenty of times but for god’s sake, which star wasn’t dissed by nicky?

    anyway, i feel sometimes that i should be ashamed for liking them, but they are brilliant and creative. their style changed very much through all these years, chris wrote some really good lines (next to some shitty but let’s look at the bright side). and their videos are fantastic! so YAY for me.

  6. Why do they have to be either? If you like em good. If not fine. Why do people feel so vehement about slight issues in music? It makes me think of the sort of conflicts between moslem and jew or catholic or protestant, star bellied and non star bellied sneeches. Such tiny differences in beliefs. At least they make real music

  7. In a sea of mediocrity I suppose they’re genius bedwetters really. It’s not exactly my thing but they are extremely good at it. Shame they felt the need to apologise for playing new songs though, suppose they heard the “how dare they not play a greatest hits medley” reaction to Radiohead’s set. A bunch of bankers go to festivals these days.

  8. I decided to watch Coldplay’s set last night and they ARE very difficult not to like. They are a popular and easy target for derision, but that didn’t deter me. If I’d managed to stay awake until the end of the set then I would be in a much better position to comment. All I can really say is….Coldplay are very nice. It’s just that there is no genuine brimstone and fire. It’s hard to imagine Chris Martin singing “I\’m a street walking cheetah with a hide full of napalm….” But that’s not where Coldplay (or Elbow or…..fill in the blank…) are at. They’ve got nice tunes and cater to a mass audience and you could probably take them home for tea and biscuits with yer Mum !

  9. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

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