Generally speaking, Coldplay videos tend to fall into two categories: those where frontman Chris Martin aimlessly wanders through nondescript locales ("Yellow," "The Scientist") and those where the full band performs in nondescript locales ("In My Place," "Clocks"). Well, the band's new video, for the song "Fix You," is different. It features a wandering Chris Martin and a full-band performance.
The video — directed by Sophie Muller (Gwen Stefani, Björk, Blur) — is actually two videos in one: scenes of a solitary Martin strolling through the streets of London at night, and concert footage shot at Coldplay's two-night stand at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England, last month. The whole walking thing was Martin's idea, but, as Muller recently told MTV News, she was a bit hesitant to sign off on the concept. After all, it is strangely familiar to Coldplay fans.
"It's not like I came up with the idea of 'Let's have you walking' — it was Chris' idea. I think he feels comfortable walking, and I think he likes to wander the streets of London at night," she laughed. "I was worried about it, but I thought, 'Well, the difference this time around is that he's going somewhere.' "
In the video, Martin wanders past various London landmarks, including the Royal National Theatre — onto which images of the Baudot code are projected (see "Coldplay's Album Cover Decoded (And You Thought The Lyrics Were Geeky ...)") — and King's Cross station, one of the sites of the London bombings in early July (see "At Least 37 Dead In London Subway Bombings"). Muller shot the video at King's Cross three days before the bombings, but she said that for Londoners who've seen the footage, there's a startling quality to seeing the almost eerie serenity of the area.
"It's quite strange for people to see the King's Cross sign. They watch it and they sort of gasp. They have an emotional reaction to it," Muller said. "And it's weird because the sign just made it into the video by accident. We didn't even notice it was in there until later."
Martin sings the first few verses of the song on the streets of London, but as the tempo picks up, he begins to sprint, past buildings and buses ... all the way to Bolton (ah, the magic of editing), where he takes the stage at Reebok Stadium just as the rest of Coldplay are getting into the song's chorus. According to Muller, the juxtaposition of the solitary Martin and the gigantic concert goes with the feel of the song, which moves from Martin's quiet vocals to a massive, crashing chorus.
"The idea of the video is that you go from the solitariness of the beginning of the song — where Chris is singing about trying to help people — to playing it in front of a mass of people," Muller said. "It goes from being intimate to being a massive sing-along. And everybody knew the words. It's like this: Chris has this feeling. He writes a song about it. He performs it, and then the crowd gives it back. It's like the universal artist/audience relationship."