Brendan O'Connor: 'U2 v Coldplay v Global Warming'
So there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that U2 have put out a new song. The bad news is that Coldplay have put a whole album out. There is other good and bad news too. The bad news is the Coldplay album is a double album. The good news is Chris Martin has promised not to tour again until he has solved global warming. Well, not exactly, but he has promised that the band won't tour again until they can do it in a way that won't damage the environment. A contradiction in terms, surely.
Coldplay concerts generate a lot of hot air and gas that is toxic to many life forms, such as music lovers. But in fairness they do know how to create an atmosphere (boom boom). We now know why Leo Varadkar made his recent daft comments about the upsides of global warming. Clearly he had advance knowledge about the fact that it would keep Coldplay off the road for a while. Leo, as we know, corresponds regularly with purveyors of bland music.
I think I speak for most of us when I applaud Chris Martin and the other four anonymous gazillionaires who make up Coldplay for agreeing to stay at home until they figure out how to leave the house without polluting the environment. If only more people did it. Someone should certainly advise Prince Andrew to do it. Verona Murphy and Lorraine Clifford-Lee should consider it too. And Michael D Higgins should start traversing the world very slowly on a carbon-neutral yacht, a la Greta Thunberg.
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Nobody comes to this slot for music reviews but here's a brief summation of the U2/Coldplay situation that should see you through a dinner party: U2's new song is called Ahimsa and it's like a really good version of Coldplay. Coldplay's album is called Everyday Life and it's like a really crap version of U2. Ahisma is Indian tinged and its release marks U2's first concert in India. That's right, U2, in defiance of Chris Martin, are still out on tour. With so much chaos and confusion and uncertainty out there, isn't it comforting to know that U2 are still out there somewhere, touring away? What's more, they are still touring The Joshua Tree. A bit of consistency in a world gone mad. (I hasten to add they're not still on the original Joshua Tree tour.)
While Coldplay would disapprove of U2 going to far-flung places, U2 would presumably argue that they are recycling The Joshua Tree, and perhaps that Coldplay's music, for most of us, amounts to single-use plastic.
And by the way, if you're worried because the middle-aged music fan in your life is neither a U2 nor a Coldplay fan, don't panic about the Christmas present. Leonard Cohen has a new album out, and in the ultimate carbon neutral move, Leonard has released his from beyond the grave.