You can add another line to [artist id=”1111141″]Coldplay[/artist] frontman Chris Martin’s rather lengthy list of accomplishments: The man can ride a unicycle.
This is the takeaway from Coldplay’s brand-new video for “Paradise” — a standout track on their upcoming Mylo Xyloto album — which premiered Wednesday (October 19) on the band’s site and features Martin, dressed in a plushy elephant costume, embarking on a unicycle trip in South Africa.
Among other things, of course. The clip opens with sun-drenched shots of the South African plains, wildebeest silhouetted against the setting sun. We then cut to Martin (as an elephant) jailed against his will in a London zoo but planning an escape. When he finally busts out, he hops on the Tube, makes a beeline for Heathrow Airport and sneaks aboard a plane bound for Johannesburg, his home. After procuring a unicycle (some interpretive dance is involved), he rides through the countryside — at one point removing his elephant head to prove that, yes, it’s him aboard the unicycle — until he discovers his bandmates, who, of course, are also dressed as elephants.
We then cut to some actual performance footage from the band’s South African concerts, where they bop and leap (while still wearing those elephant heads), much to the thrill of the audience. The video ends with a gleeful, slo-mo shot of the band sprinting across the plains, in full elephant regalia.
And yes, it’s plenty silly. But such is the appeal of Coldplay, certainly one of the biggest bands on the planet and, yet, one unafraid to have a little fun from time to time. And, in a way, it plays perfectly into the “Paradise” lyrics, which are very much about a girl dreaming of escaping her dire situation and disappearing to her own personal heaven. Not to mention the fact that, much like the song’s blissed-out chorus, there is genuine joy in watching the band leaping about in plushy suits while the South African sun beats down upon them.
Leave it to Coldplay to make a rather profound point — that we are all caged in some way, and we all long for escape — while still having a laugh too. And leave it to Chris Martin to prove that, even though he’s married to a movie star, has two children, does humanitarian work and fronts one of planet Earth’s hugest rock acts, he still found time to learn how to ride a unicycle. The man is truly capable of anything, it would seem.
What do you think of the “Paradise” video? Share your reviews in the comments!