The inhabitants of two of Northern Britain’s greatest party destinations, Liverpool and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, are living in a state of siege following the announcement that Coldplay are to play two ‘hidden’ Christmas gigs to benefit the homeless. Normally ebullient areas such as St Peter’s Square and Bigg Market have become eerily quiet wastelands as word spread that the band could appear at any minute at any potential venue across the two cities.
While authorities insist the likelihood of becoming a victim of a pseudo-spontaneous Coldplay concert are slim, most revellers are taking no chances. ‘It’s like a ghost town,’ revealed a visibly shaken Newcastle bar owner, ‘I can’t remember the last time we had a hen-night in here. Apparently most of them have migrated to faraway places like St. Ives or The Orkneys, just to be on the safe side.’
The terror alert level in Tyneside has been raised to ‘bland’, while the local council in Bootle have began stockpiling ear plugs in a desperate attempt to protect the public from the band’s ‘plaintive soft-rock dirge’. Yet fears remain that Coldplay’s earnest advocacy for charitable causes will have a negative effect.
‘We used to be keen supporters of a number of charities around here,’ explained one local councillor, ‘but nowadays every time I hear the opening chords to ‘Trouble’ on a televised charity appeal I want to go to the nearest Oxfam shop and burn it down – God knows what’d happen if I actually have the misfortune to see them sing that bloody tune live.’
However the prospect of indiscriminate Coldplay gigs has at least had a positive effect among the region’s homeless, with thousands of street dwellers breaking the cycle of despair to become productive members of society.
‘Ever since I heard what those comfy jumper wearing bastards were planning to do, I conquered my alcoholism and drug addiction, had a shave and began looking for work,’ revealed one former beggar. ‘Okay so I’m picking spring onions for a Romanian gangmaster and living in a cow shed with twenty Slovenian couples, but at least I can look Chris Martin in the eye and say: ‘not in my name pal. Not in my name’.’