Shane Crofts, frontman of Coldplay tribute band Coldplace, says he wasn’t looking for official endorsement from Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Nor was he looking for Martin’s blessing.
But it’s a great feeling to know that Martin is aware of Coldplace and wishes them well.
Shane, who brings his band to the Viking Lodge in Selsey on April 28, has met the great man a couple of times.
The first was outside Chris’ studio in London, just as Shane was going off to get visas to take Coldplace to Russia.
Shane recalls that Chris was amused that Shane was in a Coldplay tribute – and even more amused that Coldplace were going to play Russia before Coldplay managed it.
Shane met Chris a second time at a gig a couple of weeks later.
“Chris said ‘I recognise you!’ and asked how it had gone. I said it was (rubbish). They lost all our gear. They lost all our instruments. We felt that we hadn’t played our best because we didn’t have our own instruments.
“Chris just said ‘Don’t worry. Sometimes you think you haven’t played your best, but I hope the crowd enjoyed it.’ He just said ‘Keep doing what you are doing.’ He was great. He was so down to earth.”
Shane set the band up in 2004, just four years after Coldplay started.
“They had just done two albums by the time we started doing shows and gigs, so there wasn’t a great deal of material. They had had some big hits, but I was just wanting to try the music. I just wanted to play Coldplay. I just loved the music and wanted to do it.
“I didn’t imagine that we would end up travelling to so many different countries. I think it is about 37 now!
“Things took off pretty quickly for us, but then Coldplay took off pretty quickly. They went from just being a band to headlining Glastonbury very early in their career, and if you are a tribute band to a band that is so successful, then you are going to do well.
“People say is there any point being in a tribute band to a band that is still around, but it is very difficult to get to see Coldplay. The chances are very few and far between. You might see them and then not see them for the next four years. We do the little bits in between.”
“We basically play songs from every single Coldplay album.”
Put it all together, and Shane argues Coldplay don’t deserve their “slit your wrist” music reputation: “If I was to say the first album was upbeat, I would be lying. It wasn’t upbeat at all. But they really have got a good feel about them. You see them and there are good vibes about them. Their live shows have got so much energy. If people say it is slit-your-wrists type stuff, that was maybe the first album. The rest is really upbeat. You get people up and dancing. It is really great music.
“And we are constantly trying to change our sound and enhance what we are doing. There is a lot of track that goes into it.
“There is a lot of string section. When we first started doing it, it was just me trying to sort it in my bedroom on a keyboard. But now you can get better tracks. You can make it sound so much closer.
“There was a song where we thought the trumpet sound was not right, and we managed to find a track that was better.
“It doesn’t matter how many gigs you have done, you have just always got to try to be improving and enhancing the sound and what you do.”
For other stories by Phil, see https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2