The Most Anticipated Album Releases of 2018

What We Know So Far…

February 9th: Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand is returning with a new band member, Julian Corrie, who’ll add electronics into the music, they’re trying new things but frontman Alex Kapranos says “It’s still us”. Music in their up coming album is said to be based on real experiences so you’ll definitely get a glimpse into their rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Check out their first single ‘Always Ascending’ below.

Video from Vevo Youtube

March 9th: The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time

After four albums the Scottish trio are extremely excited to announce their fifth album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’. They will embark on a tour across Canada and the US before touring the UK ending on their home turf in Glasgow. The Fratellis have release their first single ‘The Next Time We Wed’ from the album. Have a listen below.

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May 25th: Snow Patrol – Wildness

The Northern Irish-Scottish band have teased fans with content from their upcoming album ‘Wildness’ which is their seventh studio album. In an interview with NME, lead singer Gary Lightbody revealed he had to over come writers block an in fact every song that had been written for the album has been scrapped and replaced by new ‘mind-boggling’ material. They’ve started to announce festival dates. Up to now you can grab tickets to BBC’s Music event ‘Biggest Weekend’ to catch a glimpse of their new material. Watch a sneak peak of the the new content below.

Video fram Vevo Youtube

Unscheduled and TBA:

The 1975 – Music For Cars

Lead guitarist and vocalist Matty Healy has teased a potential release date being 1st June! According to Rolling Stones, the singer-songwriter states that ‘Music For Cars’ “[Is] definitely the end of an era”. Does this mean it’s the end for our beloved boy band? Fans might also notice that the foursome are reusing the name of one of their earlier EP’s. According to an interview with NME Healy reveals “We’re using it as the album title now because of how meta and self-referential everything has become in the world of The 1975, and ‘Music For Cars’ was always my favourite title of everything we’d ever done, so it kinda made sense to wrap it up that way.” Up to now the track list is very hush-hush but via the frontmans’ Instagram, fans have been delighted to see potential new tracks one of which is called ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God bless America’.

Arctic Monkeys 

Rumours rumours rumours! Every indie/rock/alternative loving fan is either struggling to contain their excitement or is exhausted with having to wait for new AM material. The band have be ridiculously tight lipped about the whole project but this is the year! 2018 will see the Northern English band return with a whole new sound! With several festival dates now announced, we’re expecting new music to be out by Summer. Front man Alex Turner, according to NME has been ‘touring with Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Dean Fertita – and, of course, the legendary Iggy Pop. [Apparently Turners] drums drums sound as swaggering and slick as anything he’s done with Arctic Monkeys – hopefully he’ll bring some of that vibe to the next album’.  

Bastille

The band’s frontman Dan Smith recently spoke to NME about the band’s third album, saying: “We never really stop writing and recording, but I can confirm we spent a lot of this year [2017] writing our third album.” You can expect an apocalyptic party record as ever from Bastille. They have also hinted about a mixtape containing other artists. It’s full steam ahead for the four and extremely intriguing for fans!

Muse

Electro-rockers Muse, haven’t been hesitant to promote their upcoming album however there is still no title or release date. 2017 was a huge year for the band, with them spending the majority of their time on stage touring. What did they do in their spare time you may ask? Of course like any band  running on a high, they raked up some studio time. According to the band itself, a new song ‘Thought Contagion’ will be released soon. According to Forbes, “[f]rontman Matt Bellamy has recently stated that the album might not arrive until 2019…but late 2018 looks perfect at the moment”.

The Prodigy 

There seems to be a lot of bands returning this year and the old school dance band The Prodigy are one of them! Back in 2015 they announced that they would no longer release studio albums. Fast track that three years and here we are, the Essex threesome are hard at work on their seventh album after joining forces with BMG. EVP from BMG Korda Marshall has said “The Prodigy are one of those bands who define an entire sound and can justifiably claim to be among the architects of contemporary music”. Will this album be one of the most important records of 2018?

Worth a Listen: Trevor and the Joneses

The Las Vegas based band that brings Britpop vibes to the stage.

Trevor and the Joneses released their second album ‘Take You To Stay’ earlier in 2017 and it seems to be just want what Sin City needs! The instrumental sections throughout bring a calmness, then in contrast distorted guitars bring a real sense of rock ’n’ roll.

The album opens with Squares and it is what I can only describe as a modern Stone Roses tune. There’s an electric riff that runs throughout the song bringing a real ‘Waterfall’ by the Roses atmosphere. It will have your foot tapping and the instrumental section could cause a serious dose of head-bobbing whilst driving. It’s the sort of song you’d have playing on a summers day, it has that feel good, chilled out aura.

The second song ‘Gotta Run’ is upbeat and more Blur like. With a quick tempo and simple lyrics, it’s an easy song to listen to again the song is mainly instrumental. Reiteratively it seems to have that electric riff running through the track. Maybe this is a trademark of TATJ?

The album showcases an experimental side to the quartet with each song being slightly different. For example ‘Broken Bones’ starts with vocals that immediately remind you of The Arkells and with a bellowing base it gives off that underground impression that you probably don’t realise exists in LV. There is a real mix of atmospheres and cross genres going on, it would appear the band aren’t really sure what direction they’re going in.

After speaking with singer-song writer Trevor Jones I get the impression that a lot of his tracks are improvised when he’s strumming away on his acoustic guitar. He realises he’s playing an unfamiliar tune and later improvises vocals that don’t really make sense. To listeners the lyrics will make sense to them somehow, that’s the case with most song-writers … right?

As you progress through the album, ‘On my mind’ seems to stand out from the rest but not necessarily in a good way it sounds very young boy band-esque and the vocals are a little whiney, thankfully the guitars keep the standards up. Moving onto ‘Found’ there is as slower tempo and has absolute Oasis vibrations going on, even in the sense of some of the lyrics … “I’ve been lost, but I’ve been found” think of ‘Half the World away’ – “I’ve been lost, I’ve been found but I don’t feel down” and ‘cause it’s all too much for me to take”, think ‘Roll with it’. Found is probably a favourite of mine from the album.

The band definitely has a sense of 80’s/90’s rock ‘n’ roll, so when asked what artist/bands influenced them, it was no surprise when the foursome said that they all sort of meet in the middle on the classic rock scene. Clearly this was baked into their brains as young people. Names such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Oasis, Happy Mondays, Black Revel Motorcycle Club, The Who, Robin Hitchcock and The Rolling Stones all came up as major influences.

Trevor and The Jones are planning a run of shows for the spring and are continuing the recording of 2 other albums that were being worked on simultaneously with ‘Take You to Stay’.  You can expect builds off the guitar based sound from the first album ‘There was Lightning’ with other instruments including keyboards, melodica, and sitar by Barnaby Gallagher on the title track. The band are also excited to announce that for the first time on bass, an influence of one of their influences, John Fallon, formerly of The Steppes will be making an appearance.

Below: Give their latest album ‘Take You To Stay’ a listen via Spotify.

Worth A Listen: William Patrick Owen

William Patrick Owen: First Person Singular

WPO brings you a fresh bite of Neo-Folk, when listening to his debut album ‘First Person Singular’ there’s a lot of experimental vibes going on with a twist of apocalyptic folk. He draws on a rich heritage of 60s style fingerpicking folk guitarists like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch and applies to it an updated dreamy melancholy, creating introspective soundscapes with a deeply psychological lyricism.

The album opens with the flickering strums and raucous vocals of ‘Settle Down’, soothes with the longing of ‘Lilac Thunder’, internalises with the guilt-ridden ‘Homme Fatale’, and mellows to a naturalistic hum on ‘Dionysus and Apollo’. The first songs are invigorating and life-affirming, with a hint of punk; this dissipates into songs you could cry, sleep or simply relax to.

The singer-songwriter grew up in South East England and being just a skip away from London say’s he was almost living in a bubble. As his twenties hit and he step foot into the ‘real world’ the bubble seemed to burst causing an eruption which ironically helped to create the musician that he is today.

Owen has recently been influence by the likes of James Blackshaw and Six Organs of Admittance. As he first put pen to paper Jeff Buckley was a major influence and in terms of his more acoustic and calming approach to music, Grouper and Juliana Barwick could be recognised for his more ambient style.

The album is inherently biographical and not; idiosyncratic and accessible, it is a sharing of the songwriter’s entire self but an expose of the common modes of being in postmodern life. Williams acoustic mindset to such deep meaningful matters is quite different to what is out there at the moment. I feel many will be able to relate with his music, I admire the boldness of some of the lyrics and the album has a sense of free speech, at times it is shocking but leaves you wanting more. It is music that begs to be listened to carefully.

Below: Check out First Person Singular via Spotify.

 

2018 We’re Expecting You

Who to look out for this year!

Stereo Honey

The growing popularity of Stereo Honey comes by no surprise. Their indie rock modulations that express pensive sadness has clearly touched the hearts and minds of many, their music is very easy to listen too. With a similar sound to Wild Beasts the London-based foursome have just released ‘Monument’ an EP that they’ll be performing songs from in upcoming shows and festivals. Including Great Escape Festival and the Neighbourhood Weekender alongside the likes of The Courteeners and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Watch this space!

Video from Vevo Youtube

Black Honey

The Brighton based indie foursome have actually been around for some years, very under the radar, just the way they like it according to lead vocalist Izzy Baxtar “If it was my way we’d still be a secret band”. However, their songs are too good to be kept in the dark. The band released two EP’s in 2017 ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Dig’ and have been touring and supporting Royal Blood across Europe, including dates at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and London’s Ally Pally. The frontwoman quotes that she feels “like [she’s] really coming into [her] own with a new direction concerning hip-hop drums,” citing Canadian documentary ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ as one particular influence. The latest single ‘Dig’ which honours the last moments of a relationship before everything falls apart has been a great hit across mass audiences of indie fans. You can catch the band in the UK this June at the huge Finsbury Park.

Video from Vevo Youtube

 Isaac Gracie

Not only 2018 but if this kid can put his worries aside he could take the up-coming years by storm. His acoustic work is addictive to listen to, it has that head-bobbing, foot-tapping thing going on. In his 2017 EP ‘The Death OF You AND I’ in particular the song ‘Since the Death of You and I’, takes on more rocky riffs in between melodic versus. It really takes you by surprise. For an awkward anxiety riddled artist the talent seems to pour out of his lyrics. In a previous interview with NME they quoted Gracie to [be causing the biggest ruckus the UK’s music scene has witnessed yet]. After the release of ‘Terrified’ in November Isaac is jumping into 2018 with European dates. The long-haired bedroom-songwriter will be back in the UK on 27th January.

Video from Vevo Youtube

 Brooke Bentham

21-year-old Brooke Bentham was popping up in all places during 2017. Talk about breaking the festival scene, the singer-song writer performed songs from her debut album ‘The Room Swayed’ at the likes of Latitude, Reading and Leeds and Green Man. Listening to her music you almost feel a blanket of sadness cover you as she brings heaps of emotion to light in the songs ‘If I Was Dead’ and ‘Have to Be Around You’ Her lyrics seem to be ahead of her times, almost as if a wise woman with words of wisdom has spoken. It’s easy to forget that’s she’s only just entered her twenties. Bentham has a Northern Soul about her, being from just outside Newcastle and I personally think this adds to the sentiment of her symphonies. Brookes music is a classic mix of alternative rock mixed with Angel Olsen moody vocals. After releasing ‘Loosing Baby’ in October you can look forward to a tour kicking off late January.

Video from Vevo Youtube

Yonaka

The band who describes themselves as ‘dark alt pop with heavy riffs’ who supported Drenge throughout 2017 has four up-coming UK dates starting this month! The four-piece from Brighton dropped their EP ‘Heavy’ in October and with their mix of rock, hip-hop and pop, their songs have aspects that most people would enjoy. The band is building a reputation of having incredible live shows that are oozing with energy.

Video from Yonaka Music Youtube

Sam Fender

I think Fender has managed to fill a gap in the indie music scene as you can forget about love songs. His material includes topics such as government issues, fake news and harassment. His self-released single ‘Play God’ entered the market in early 2017 and the best thing about the single is that it was recorded in his own garden shed… you’d never know. Sam Fender clearly understood that any show is worth a shot and after gigging in local pubs, he ended up supporting the likes of Hozier and Catfish And The Bottlemen. Later in 2017 he released the single ‘Millennial’, I’m pretty sure millennials can relate to this song on many levels, it’s a response to the media’s negative portrayal of youngster in this century. Expect more brilliant songs from this 21-year-old as Barny Barnicott (previoulsy worked with Arctic Monkeys) has been mixing his music and oh how radio-ready it is!

Video from Vevo Youtube

The Band Who Put Reading On The Map!

The Amazons: MTV LIVE STAGE

The Amazons, I’d heard a few of their songs on the radio and always found myself turning the volume up especially during the that electrifying guitar riff in ‘Black magic’. So, when I won tickets to their MTV Live gig I was intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about.

First things first, let’s talk about the stage. I’ve never seen anything like it, there’s a normal stage but it’s inside what can only be described as what looks like a huge metal children’s climbing frame. The audience where scattered around the platform with no room to swing a cat, no more than fifty people could fit.

MTV Presenter Becca Dudley starts the shows by introducing the Reading foursome and the band don’t waste any time, they’re straight into a song from their number one album ‘The Amazons’. The audience seems to be pretty young a fusion of die-hard fans and people who like myself, are pretty new to the group of rockers.

Watching their performance, it is crystal clear that the members of the band have a great relationship. Their interaction with one another really showcases this. At times, it was almost as if they’d forgotten they were onstage in front of an audience. Front man Matt Thomson soon engages the young mob of fans hurling his wonderful pumpkin orange hair around.

Mid way through the gig, microphones are passed around and questions are asked to the band directly from the audience. When asked about the cover of their Album which includes a picture of a torched Ford Transit van located in Reading. The boys laughed the question off admitting that they had an idea to set their tour bus ‘Big Suze’ alight… and so they did. When asked why their answer was simple, “Reading’s a commuter town. It’s the kind of place that people want to get away from. We want to celebrate it… put Reading on the map”.

amazons

The band seems ridiculously enthusiastic and you can almost smell the passion for future success in rock and roll. It would seem that British guitar based music is in trouble at the moment, whether it’s the eternal feud of the Gallagher brothers and Blur or Kasabian saying that they’re the only ones who can “save guitar music from the abyss”. Matt and his band of progressive music members seem to be rocketing through this rough patch gaining fans from bands like Cat fish and the Bottlemen.

The music was good. Really good! This band has riffs in buckets and their performance of ‘Ultraviolet’ seemed to bring energy to the crowd. At the time, The Amazons were looking forward to festival performances at the likes of Glastonbury, Isle of Weight and Reading and Leeds. These boys are going head first with the big dogs. Watch this space, they’re here to make some noise!

Watch The Amazons – Back Magic music Video

Video from Youtube: The Amazons

 

 

 

Liam Gallagher: Ally Pally

LIAM GALLAGHER: SHOW OF THE YEAR

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Oasis fans seem to be overloaded with opportunities to witness the dysfunctional bands top hits once again, as both Liam and Noel Gallagher have risen to the ‘Top of the Pops’ this year. Both with number one albums and sell out tours, the Britpop believers can put away their ‘Supersonic’ shrines and dig out their 90’s attire because Oasis is back! … Kind of.

As the private hire busses branded LIAM GALLAGHER pull up to Alexandra Palace, the boozy punters finish their sing along of ‘She’s Electric’ and head to the amnesty bins to dispose of anything Liam would have happily taken out of those bins, be it was the 90’s. The courtyard at Ally Pally is full of bucket hats, Adidas Gazelles and the phrase ‘As You Were’ is fluttering around. There’s a cool vibe in the courtyard, an acoustic band adds to the atmosphere and people seem to be in no rush to get into the main room, queues form at every bar and merchandise stall.

RAT BOY warm up the alcohol fuelled crowd until a DJ takes over playing a typical Liam like playlist. It’s clear to see that the former Oasis frontman has influenced his own fans with his music taste. The indie-rock mob know every song word-for-word on this pre-set playlist, after a finale of a 10,000 man crowd singing ‘I Am The Resurrection’ , ‘Fuckin’ In The Bushes’ begins to sound. Plastic cups are being hurled across heads and the parka loving crowd are drenched in beer without a care in the world. The strobe light is in full force and the cool cagoule king swaggers on stage greeted by the roar of North London.

There’s no messing around as Gallagher heads straight to the microphone, scarf in hand and kicks the gig off in his usual way of reciting the chorus from The Beatles classic ‘I Am The Walrus’. The crowd are immediately in his control as he storms ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’. Throughout the song the Mancunian’s anger levels rise and he slams down his tambourine during the instrumental, the guitar riffs electrify the room as he sauntered across the stage arms swinging and sprays water across his band… Oh so Rock ‘N’ Roll.

The ‘Wall of Glass’ singer gives the pretty green-apparel wearing crowd exactly what they want with ‘Morning Glory’. Liam’s voice is raw and rocky and his mad fer it audience definitely don’t ‘need a little time to wake up’ as they’re echoing the 1995 anthem straight back to him. He goes on to perform five of his newer tracks from his number one album ‘As You Were’ including ‘Greedy Soul’ with the opening lines being ‘’I’m going toe to toe, with a greedy soul”, I wonder who he’s referring to here? Liam also digs at the ‘Holy Mountain’ singer saying “Thank you very much. I’d like to dedicate this one to my brother” before he goes on to sing ‘Paper Crown’. The chorus could be interpreted as Noel fearing Liam doing better than him with his solo music (“Now you’re feeling the fear”).

LG manages to weave in another three Oasis tracks ‘Our Kid’ doesn’t need any pyrotechnics or dancers, the 45 year old keeps his all-to-familiar stance during the night, you know, puffed out chest, arms behind his back and head tilted to the microphone. The energy is radiant and all eyes are fixed on the man of the moment, he simply creates drama by pulling his hood up, causing the devotees to erupt in cheers and a mosh pit the size of a football pitch breaks out.

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The stage is sandwiched between two enormous monochrome screens of which close ups appear of the ‘Slide Away’ star. Observing those screens, you can see the man lost in lyrics and the attitude in every moment. Gallagher is back and I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye any time soon. It’s as if he hasn’t been away from the lime light, Liam’s new material almost has the same feeling as the 20-year-old bangers that are entwined within the set.

There’s a younger crowd at Ally Pally however, the behaviour at the gig seemed to mirror the golden days as a fan launches a shoe on stage hitting the Rock ‘N’ Roll star. Who in return shouts abuse into the crowd and gives out that Gallagher glare which seems to rumble the already rowdy crowd. The chant of ‘LIAM LIAM LIAM’ and ‘As You, As You, As You F*cking Were’ ends each song. This added to the electric guitar riffs which are loud and the drums that rage around probably the only man who can pull off maracas, makes this show quite easily the show of the year.

As the gig is ending, fans explode to a triple encore of ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ followed by all-time favourite ‘Live Forever’ and of course ending with probably the most well-known song to ever grace this planet ‘Wonderwall’. Gallagher definitely broke that fourth ‘Wall of Glass’ causing an emotional, physical and social response in the army of parka monkeys. The three Oasis tracks were undoubtedly the main crowd pleasers of the night, leaving the lyrics circling in the heads of fans as Alexandra Palace cleared.

Well done Gallagher Junior.

As You Were.

Watch the crowd go crazy for Morning Glory (What’s The Story) at Alexandra Palace

Video: Kenny Davies via Youtube

Coldplay: Tour of The Year

COLDPLAY AHFOD – TOUR OF THE YEAR!

*****

Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams tour was quite possibly the Tour of the year! As the British alternative-rock band stormed 124 shows across five continents, starting in Buenos Aires and ending there just over two weeks ago. It’s no wonder that the tour is the third highest-grossing concert in tour history.

I was lucky enough to bag myself tickets to one of the four sold-out nights at Wembley, which was originally their final date, just 15 Shows, psh! Of course Chris had more dates up his turquoise sleeves. Even just the journey across London, Coldplayers were everywhere! The atmosphere around the stadium was vibrant, a joining of older fans from the yellower era, to younger excitable first timers. Coldplay is the sort of band who can appeal to people of all ages, races and religious beliefs, the demographics could go on… Martin and his group of harmonious heroes have almost created a brand portraying themselves as world happiness advocates. I suppose this turns the stomachs of the more rock driven fans. But the good vibrations seem to be working and their popularity is ever-glowing … Ahem, I mean ever-growing.

Coldplay have always been a creative bunch from when the benevolent front man was able to sing every lyric backwards to more recent times were the band turns into unicycling elephants and dancing gorillas. Their tour reflected this creative streak with their use of pyrotechnics and laser visuals and of course the xylobands where back, creating an ocean of colourful waves each in tune to the beat of songs such as ‘Adventure of a lifetime’ and ‘Clocks’.

It would seem that the shows main objective was to get the audience as involved as possible and to remind us all that we’re part of something bigger on this planet. The night opens with Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator, in which he advises the human race to unite. That, added to touching tributes towards some of the stars we’ve lost in the past year created an intense emotional blanket over North London. Chris covered David Bowies ‘Heroes’, dedicated ‘The Scientist’ to Nick Caves, late son and with a tear-jerking performance of ‘Everglow’ video clips of Muhammad-Ali filled the screens and minds of some 80,000 people.

Throughout the show, an abundance of early material causes a major dose of sing-a-long with ‘Yellow’, ‘Fix You’ and ‘Viva la Viva’ being the greatest crowd-pleasers, the stadium wasn’t show-casing a four-man band but one huge band, were everybody was a member. The combination of a sold-out stadium, use of fireworks and confetti that is perfectly timed with the blue-eyed front man’s enthusiastic leap, brings an energy to the audience who join in on the jumping action with ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’.

As the event is drawing to an end, body guards create a human-fenced path through the crowd as the fantastic four make their way to the C-Stage, taking song requests from fans on the gigantic screens. Only to return to the A-stage following a disguised Tom Cruise, to perform a remixed version of ‘Paradise’. If I’m going to be totally honest the new club-styled remix of the sensual song should have been left in a start-up DJ’s playlist, at least that’s where it sounded like it originated.

The evening came to a close with a jubilant version of ‘Up & Up’, oversized balloons in every colour that you could find on a paint pallet where bouncing around the stadium, Chris Martins limbs were being swirled around in every direction and the excitable entourage were raising their hands (like the song) up and up! The xylobands were enlightening the stadium giving a visual representation of ‘A Sky Full Of Stars’ and as they slowly started to dim the crowed encored the “OOooooOOOoo” of ‘Viva La Vida’ in one final standing ovation of applause.

Coldplay went onto perform their A Head Full of Dreams tour at ‘BBC R1 Big Weekend’ and ‘Glastonbury’, where again fans had tears rushing to their eyes. The band hints towards political views saying they’ve seen “the collapse of a country” after Brexit. Chris carried on with “We came here scared about the state of the world, but just seeing the vibe at Glastonbury makes me feel that people are great and together we can do wonderful things. Thank you for restoring my faith in the world”. The foursome also made the late Warrington band ‘Viola Beach’ headliners for the night singing their song ‘Boys That Sing’ as they compared the band to a younger Coldplay. Martin and co exclaimed “Let’s send it up the charts tomorrow” and before we knew it Viola Beach scored a number one album that week!

The tour included the half time performance at the 50TH Super-Bowl and appeared at the BRIT Awards with a sensitive duo/tribute to George Michael. The BRITs also saw a collaboration with The Chainsmokers with ‘Something Just Like This’. The band helped arrange the ‘One Love Manchester’ concert that was in aid of the bombing during Ariana Grande’s tour. Here they performed with previous enemy Liam Gallagher with ‘Live Forever’ and dedicated Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in a duo with Arianna herself.

liam and chris

Image from: The Independent 

To think that the tour has come to an end is almost saddening, however a live album covering the tour, which was recorded during several shows, as well as a concert filmed in São Paulo, will thankfully be released and watch out for Coldplay at next year’s Grammys. They’ve managed two nominations their Kaleidoscope EP and Something Just Like This are up for awards!

Watch Coldplay – Fix you at Glastonbury

Video from Youtube