On 24 April 2016, Chris Martin of Coldplay appeared with A-side, a band made up of 8th graders, at a fundraiser in Santa Monica, California. The fundraiser was for Chords2Cure, “a student-centric, non-profit organisation dedicated to raising funds for ground-breaking pediatric cancer research through a shared passion for music.” C2C was started in 2015 by students at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences when a pupil, Jaxon Blumenthal (now 21), was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Martin’s appearance with the band was a surprise to the audience, but not the band. The short set started with two Coldplay numbers, Fix You and Twisted Logic. Introducing Twisted Logic, Martin says that Coldplay had never played the song live, because they could never figure out how to translate it from the studio. He continues to say the A-side, a group of 14-year-olds, have worked out how to play it, so this is the world premiere of the ten-year-old song being played live. Let’s take a look:
The Coldplay numbers are great, but the video cuts off just when it gets really interesting: the cover of Raspberry Beret in tribute to Prince, who had died a few days earlier, on 21 April 2016. This is no doubt due to claims by NPG Music Publishing, which is managed by Universal Music on behalf of Prince’s estate. On 26 April 2016, Billboard ran an article of the many Prince tribute covers that had been performed by major artists (from Paul McCartney to Haim to Beck) over the previous weekend.
Half of the videos, including Chris Martin & A-side, are no longer available due to “a copyright claim by NPG Music.” Commenting on Martin & A-side, matiasigs jests: “The singer has talent. If he continues to put up the time and effort he might get far.” yellofury writes: “Chris is great but can we talk about how talented these kids are? The bassist is on point and the drummer, wow!! Electric guitar holding it down, great solo, and the keyboardist is so solid. I’m impressed and I’m a musician”.
That video is a younger A-side performing at the first ever Chords2Cure concert in 2015. After some searching, I have found an almost complete version of Chris Martin & A-side playing Prince’s Raspberry Beret in 2016. Enjoy.