Happy Birthday, Jon!

September 11, 2003 10:02 PM

Happy birthday to Jonny Buckland, who turns 26 today, September 11, 2003.

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Coldplay and the WTO

September 09, 2003 10:41 PM

In sweltering heat on the shores of an azure sea, British rock band Coldplay on Tuesday asked trade negotiators to keep in mind the needs of poor nations as they hammer out a global trade pact.

Lead singer Chris Martin and guitarist Jon Buckland gave World Trade Organization chief Supachai Panitchpakdi a petition with 3.5 million signatures that demanded poor countries be given a better deal from global commerce.

"We're here to meet this important dude, a very powerful man," Martin told reporters before his talks with Supachai. "We would like to raise awareness of the need to have fair trade around the world."

Earlier, the duo stood on the beach at a Mexican resort and raised four green plastic blocks to spell out the word HOPE. Martin said the sign meant "people are hoping that things will change."

The five-day meeting of trade ministers from the 146 member states of the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, is designed to inject new life into struggling trade negotiations.

The aim of this so-called Doha Round of talks is to lower import tariffs on all sorts of goods and reduce the subsidies the European Union and the United States give their farmers. Another goal is to open markets, especially to the world's poor and developing countries.

Tens of thousands of protesters in Cancun are among those who believe the trade talks will fail to achieve these goals and might even hurt poor countries.

Martin said wealthy nations that subsidize their farmers and prevent imports from developing nations from entering their markets drive poor nations further into poverty.

"Trade, war and a lack of education are the biggest causes of poverty in the world. If we can sort out one of them it would be good," Martin said.

Source: Reuters

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Grain of Salt Not Included

September 09, 2003 10:37 PM

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is causing a rift in her boyfriend Chris Martin's band – her influence on Martin and her plans to sing with them have the rest of Coldplay worried.

Syliva star Gwyneth impressed fans with her vocal stylings when she joined rocker Huey Lewis for some tracks in the 2000 movie Duets, but is still taking singing lessons so she can be note-perfect for her planned guest slots on two new Coldplay tracks.

A pal reveals, "Gwyneth can't wait. She loves singing, it is almost as much of a love as acting is. We all tell her she has a great voice but she still wants to take singing lessons so she's just perfect.

"She's not trying to barge in on the band but it may well add an extra dimension to Coldplay's music."

But Martin's bandmates Guy Berryman, Will Champion and Jonny Buckland are less than convinced about Gwyneth's participation, and fear they're being sidelined by their singer's high-profile romance.

A source close to the band reveals, "All three of them, particularly Guy, are miffed that Chris has become this megastar while they still remain the sort of blokes you'd walk past in the street.

"Chris has always been very egalitarian about the band but it gets on their nerves when people refer to Coldplay as 'Chris Martin and co.'

"They don't mind Gwyneth as a person but are worried she's consuming Chris' head a bit much. Just don't mention Yoko Ono to them!"


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Ploughing Through Mexico

September 07, 2003 9:44 AM

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has got behind a hand-guided plough in Mexico to promote fair trade with Third World producers.

The band, who are on tour in the country, met Mexican corn farmers to demonstrate their belief that opening agricultural markets to free trade drives small farmers out of business.

Martin, who has been a high profile Make Trade Fair campaigner for years, told ananova: "This is an injustice. These people should be fairly rewarded for their work. We get fairly rewarded for ours."

Martin added that the band feels an obligation to use its massive popularity as a platform, but understands the limitations of the role.

He added: "We are a billboard for the idea, rather than a solution to the problem. We're Champagne socialists, but we believe in equality. If I hadn't had help from these farmers, I would have gone straight into the earth and dug a new Panama Canal."

Cultivating small plots - sometimes five acres or less - Mexican corn producers struggle to compete with imports from expansive, government-subsidized US farms.

The band timed its Mexican tour to coincide with a World Trade Organization meeting being held in the resort of Cancun.

Trade ministers from the WTO's 146 members will discuss a trade treaty cutting tariffs and subsidies and further opening markets to foreign trade.

Coldplay are performing in Mexico City before traveling to Cancun to deliver a "Big Noise" petition, written by the British charity Oxfam, to trade ministers attending the conference.

The petition, which carries over three million signatures from around the world, asks governments to Make Trade Fair by taking measures such as reducing subsidies to farmers in rich countries.

Source: NME

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Do Some Bidding

September 07, 2003 9:39 AM

Kaz Simmons, a catalog assistant for Cooper Owen, wrote in to share this Coldplay news with everyone:

I thought you might be interested in hearing about our latest auction.

We will be holding a Rock Legends auction on the 25th September which includes:

Lot 48: An album flat for Coldplay's 'A Rush of Blood To The Head' signed by Chris Martin, Johny Buckland and Guy Berryman, in different marker pens, together with a Coby CM-P22 microphone signed by Chris in blue marker pen.

The microphone is accompanied by a color photograph of the singer after signing the microphone £60-80.

Commission bids can be placed on our website now at and the auction will culminate with a live event at 23 Denmark Street, London on the 25th September at 4pm BST.

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