HORSEPLAY by Horseplay

Hard to know what to expect from the eponymous debut of a Coldplay tribute band but it is fair to say that this four-piece manage to break from the standard formula, albeit through an innovative gimmick: Rosie, Mona, Bella and Lilly are all female and on top of that they’re all thoroughbred Shire horses.

Now you may think that letting four large neighers run roughshod through Dean Street Studios is a dreadful, dangerous idea and you’d be entirely correct.

Coldplay’s familiar and tepid melancholia is replaced wholesale here by the heavy feral clambering of four bewildered horses making short work of expensive sound equipment. Acoustic guitars of course make an appearance only to swiftly buckle under the weight of the well-fed beasts.

It is an expressionist tribute to the platinum-selling band – fronthorse Rosie doesn’t attempt a conventional impression of Chris Martin and instead attempts to capture his essence through action – such as in the opening track Don’t Panic when her hind leg violently perforates a bass drum, or during Shiver where she eats a pop shield like it’s an apple.

The track listing suggests that this release is a song-by-song reimagining of Coldplay’s debut Parachutes but it’s hard to trust this as we have no idea who could have possibly written this information considering this album was self-produced.

Horseplay treat the original material with a distinct lack of reverence or even basic comprehension. You haven’t really heard the chorus of Yellow until you’ve heard the distant sound of a box of sugar lumps being devoured get barely picked up by an SM58 studio microphone.

Overall it makes for sounds which are inedible even to the most famished of ears, but despite everything the album does provide a rebellious and unruly spirit that is sorely lacking in the version produced by humans. I’m just as likely to listen to it again as I am to listen to Parachutes itself, and in a way isn’t that the most fitting tribute possible? Yes it is.