I love Coldplay. When I say I love them I genuinely mean I LOVE them. Now maybe I’m not crazed enough to know everyone in the band’s birthday and favorite food and color, but there’s something about this band that can make me happier on a happy day and mellow me out and make me stop for a second on a bad day. I met Chris Martin once and shook his hand–I kept my cool but was almost sure I was going to have a heart attack.
They have quite a catalog of songs now as they’ve released four studio albums, and sure many of their singles have a special place in my heart that remind me of people and places. There’s one song in particular that I always come back to and wish I could’ve convinced the folks at their record label that they should’ve worked a bit more aggressively here in the US (and well..in the UK too as it’s peak chart position across the pond was 35).
SHIVER is a logical next step right after the quick DON’T PANIC on the bands debut, PARACHUTES. DON’T PANIC gives you a little taste of what’s to come on this album, and is quick enough to set the tone then lead in to one of the gems in their catalog. It rocks, but not too hard. What bums me out the most is it’ll probably take a miracle for me to EVER hear this song performed live. While I (obviously) can’t confirm this, I’ve heard countless times the song was written for/about Natalie Imbruglia and well why would Gwenyth want to hear her husband perform a song about another woman? Speaking of Imbruglia, she released a song called SHIVER in 2005 from her album COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS (which wasn’t release here in the US, but was actually a good album–more about that some other time), and I immediately thought there could be a connection—nope, I was wrong…unless I’m really right?
For the longest time I wanted to believe that SHIVER was “my” song. Meaning people must pass it by and not think of it as a favorite or even being a “quality” track in the Coldplay song catalog. Sure it didn’t do a ton here in the US and I’d wager most people might not know what I was talking about if I struck up a conversation with someone who wasn’t a big fan. Fortunately for me, a few years back I got a feeling that the song might be bit more well known than I’d thought.
(INSERT DRAMATIC FLASHBACK MUSIC)
It was a cold, rainy, wet night. A buddy and I were out and about running around the city. We stopped to see a friend and asked him if he’d get a drink with us to catch up. After waiting around he declined, so we set out in search of a drink, but having no clue where we’d stop. We vowed to walk until we found a bar to have that one drink or if not, when we came across a subway station we’d go home. As we continued to walk it started to drizzle and we got wet, as did our brown paper bag we were carrying with some CD’s we’d picked up earlier from an industry friend.
Maybe about 30 minutes later we found ourselves up near Times Square (don’t ask me where we started…I have no clue) and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Exhausted, I remember seeing a number of neon glowing BAR signs. Finally we ducked into a place–that felt a bit more upscale then your regular NYC dive bar where some young guys would grab a beer. Somewhat defeated we sat up at the bar, set our bag down and removed our damp coats and jackets. We both ordered a beer and shortly after the magic moment happened.
The previous song had faded out on the jukebox and what I heard next amazed me. I heard the opening notes of SHIVER and lit up. I was so excited and couldn’t believe I was hearing this song at a bar. It was that moment that I started to sing along with Chris Martin at a low volume level, not wanting to be that weirdo in the bar. But I heard more voices gradually and then in that “TV sitcom moment” it appeared that EVERYONE in the bar was singing along and singing loudly as Chris and the band backed us up. Everyone was singing–everyone except my buddy.
(FADE BACK TO PRESENT DAY)
Anytime I go to a bar now and see Coldplay on a jukebox it makes me immediately like the bar. Of course it’s usually their later albums, and that’s fine. It’s nice to get a little Coldplay action while I have a drink at the end of a bad day or to celebrate a triumph. While their might not be a “happy ending” who doesn’t enjoy a good tale of, “Hey…I like you, but I’m not sure you know I even exist…” I’d be too nervous to ever ask Chris Martin about the song if I ever did meet him, but I’ll admit I’d love to hear the TRUE story right from the source.