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Mercury Rev Confirmed To Support Coldplay

19 Feb 09

Mercury Rev And Hollie Smith Confirmed To Support Coldplay On Their New Zealand Shows.

The “Countdown To Coldplay” BEGINS with just ONE MONTH to their first Auckland concert date, performing to 11,000 fans at Vector Arena. Coldplay have today announced that at their request, American rock band Mercury Rev will be joining the ‘Viva La Vida’ tour of Australasia and Hollie Smith has been invited to join the bill in New Zealand as their special guest.

Mercury Rev, veterans of the American rock scene, formed in Buffalo, New York in the late 1980's and have surprised and enlightened listeners for over a decade and a half with their maverick musical explorations. With their early records, Mercury Rev offered experimental, psychedelic rock, which gradually shifted to a melodic, ornate sound.

Over the years, Mercury Rev have seen numerous line up and directional changes. Most notable was the departure of original vocalist David Baker to make way for lead guitarist Jonathon Donahue to take the reigns. NME (UK) Magazine named ‘Deserter's Songs’, the first release under the new line-up, their 1998 Album of the Year. The writer stated that Donahue's earnest, high-pitched vocals and concentration on relatively concise, melodic songs gave the band's material an entirely new feel and much increased popularity. The band now remains the triangular core of Jonathan Donahue, Grasshopper and Jeff Mercel. This tour with Coldplay will come off the back of their latest acclaimed studio release “Snowflake Midnight” and there is no doubt that their extensive repertoire; an eclectic mix of psychedelic rock and dream pop will add a unique sound to Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” tour.

If you think things have been quiet on the Hollie Smith front of late, you would be kind of right. Sure, there’s a distinct lack of tour posters adorning urban alleyways (chiefly because after the intensity of the tour in support of debut release Long Player anyone would need a lie down and a cup of tea) but that doesn’t mean the soul songstress has been idling through life. Lord no! After taking her own brand of soul (laced with roasted tobacco and a pinch of sweet chilli) across Australia, the UK, France, the US and Canada (stopping along the way to record some songs for Blue Note with the peerless James Poyser (Erykah Badu, The Roots, D’Angelo), Smith has been back at the desk, wending her way through the side streets that eventually lead to album number two. Still all work and no play was never going to suit Smith or her fans and she and the band have been back on the road at select venues throughout the country, dipping the toes back in so to speak and, needless to say, offering up a string of taut yet complex sets that have both rejuvenated Smith and reminded those in attendance that musicians of this quality are a rarity and a treasure. Her arrangement of the Herbs’ 1987 classic ‘Sensitive to a smile’ released in early summer on Light of the Pacific – The Very Best of Herbs is testament to this talent. And if there are nerves floating about at the thought of sharing the stage with the biggest band in the world, they’re definitely not showing. “With the Coldplay shows having just been confirmed we can busy ourselves moulding and shaping a set that will appeal to what will be, I am sure, an eager audience, and one that has an innate appreciation of music. We’ll be working hard to make this a great show, like we do with all our shows, I can promise that.”

There are only limited tickets available, so if you haven’t secured your tickets yet, get in quick.

Coldplay – ‘Viva La Vida’

Wednesday 18 March – Vector Arena
Thursday 19 March – Vector Arena

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. or (09) 970 9700

For tour information contact Nancy Blackler at


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