Coldplay sing new song about Luton Town FC after ‘disgruntled’ fans’ campaign

Coldplay played a new song called Orange during BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in tribute to Luton Town FC.

The British band also called US singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter to the main stage at Stockwood Park, Luton, after her earlier performance at the event on Sunday.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin had referenced fears that the band would play their song Yellow – the colour worn by the Hatters’ arch rivals Watford.

A campaign was launched by Luton fans to change the lyrics to reference orange instead, but the band played a new song celebrating the local club.

Martin told the crowd they could “relax”, before saying he had been reading the “papers”, which was unusual for him as they are “not a reliable source” about his life.

He added: “It reached me a while ago… that there were some people in Luton who were worried or disgruntled and maybe even angry about the concept of our band coming here and singing a song called Yellow, and because… of the Hatters and Kenilworth Road and the Luton Town Football Club.

“So they said, ‘There’s a campaign, they want to kill you and you’re never going to make it out of Luton alive’, and I said, ‘That would be a great way to go, and that would cement our legacy forever and that would be a great movie’. And so I’m OK if they kill me.

“But if they don’t, maybe we’ll get to the end of this show, the end of the concert, and I can say, ‘Thank you so much for singing the song Yellow even though it went against all of your principles’.”

Martin also said that as he has grown older he has learned if people “come at you with hatred and aggression” you can respond with “love”.

He added that the “new song” appeared “last night” and called it a “once-in-a-lifetime thing” as it was not professionally produced, and “may not be good enough” to be heard again.

Orange featured the lyrics: “It’s hard to be a football fan here in Luton town. Sometimes you do the best you can, still you find you’re going down.

Luton Town
Luton Town in their orange kit (Aaron Chown/PA)

“We didn’t win all our matches, we didn’t win the cup.

“But when you get knocked down in Luton, you always get back up.

“So you can come in singing Yellow, that’s all right with me, I prefer a warmer colour spelt o-r-a-n-g-e.”

Martin burst into a chorus of “I love you Luton”, then claimed there was “no disrespect to Watford”.

He also invited the crowd to sing: “I was born in love, Luton, and I’m always going to be.”

He had earlier said: “There’s more songs left, and I’m going to ask you to trust me if… you’re from Luton, I’m going to ask you to just suspend your anger or fears or anything you might be worried about at this point in our concert of what songs we might play or might not play.

“We’re going to ask you to go with me and trust me, and it’s all going to be OK, I promise, and what we’d like to do to say thank you to you for being so wonderful for the whole three days is bring on a singer who’s much younger, more beautiful, more successful, better in every way, and sing a song of ours that’s OK but make it really good.”

BBC Radio1 Big Weekend – Luton
Sabrina Carpenter at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Stockwood Park (Ian West/PA)

Carpenter then performed Coldplay’s Magic with the band.

Before playing Yellow, Martin said the track had “nothing to do with Luton”.

At one point, Martin also seemed to lose his earpiece and then pause at the intro to Something Just Like This, before saying: “I get excited every song.”

He also said: “Everyone want a couple more songs? Somebody have school tomorrow? Somebody have work tomorrow?

“And I’m grateful that you’re here, we’ll give you everything we can in the next 45 seconds, which is all we have left, I’m joking.”

Monday is a bank holiday in the UK, with many people off work and school.