Coldplay brought Steve Coogan on stage as his infamous, inept media personality Alan Partridge to cover some of the character’s favorite numbers from ABBA and Kate Bush. The performance took place over the weekend at the band’s fifth of six shows at London’s Wembley Stadium for their ongoing “Music of Spheres World Tour” (grab tickets to the remaining dates here).
Near the end of their set on August 20th, Coldplay invited steel pedal guitarist Nicole Lawrence, pianist Jacob Collier, and most surprisingly, Coogan’s Alan Partridge to the stage to cover Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” and ABBA’s 1976 single “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” With his characteristic obliviousness, Partridge rocked a bright red track jacket adorned with the incorrect band name “Snow Patrol” while parsing the meaning of Bush’s now-ubiquitous Stranger Things standout.
“Running up hills, up roads, it’s all cardiovascular,” the comedian riffed, gesturing toward an amused Chris Martin. “Not sure about running up buildings, unless you’re Spider-Man. [pause] Excellent humor.” Following another refrain, Partridge ended the performance with his signature catchphrase “Aha!” Watch a clip of the exchange from the band’s Instagram below.
The song selections would come as no shock to fans of Coogan’s longtime character. His mid-’90s BBC series Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge was named after the ABBA song and used a rendition of it for the show’s theme song. And while “Running Up That Hill” is back in the mainstream zeitgeist thanks to its crucial role in Stranger Things 4, Partridge has been a professed fan of Bush’s since 1999, when he delivered a medley of the artist’s catalog at the annual UK-based charity event Comic Relief.
Coldplay still has two more nights in Glasgow before wrapping the current European/UK leg of their “Music of the Spheres World Tour.” In September, they’ll resume their trek with a South American run supported by Camila Cabello and H.E.R. The band also just announced a new set of 2023 live dates starting next May that will return them to Europe for shows in the UK, Italy, Spain, and more. Grab your seats via Ticketmaster.
The band’s massive tour has already hosted a number of special guests, including Simon Pegg, who also came out earlier that night to the tune “A Sky Full of Stars.” In June, Bruce Springsteen joined the band at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to perform “Working on a Dream” and “Dancing in the Dark” after Martin revealed he had the former track’s title tattooed on his bicep.
Other notable guest appearances have been made by Kylie Minogue, Craig David, and Natalie Imbruglia. Meanwhile, Martin recently lent himself to the “alien band” The Weirdos for a duet of the Music of the Spheres cut “Biutyful” on Fallon.
Light Through the Veins (Jon Hopkins song)
Flying Theme (John Williams song from “E.T.”)
Music of the Spheres
Adventure of a Lifetime
Viva la Vida
Hymn for the Weekend
In My Place
People of the Pride
Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay song)
My Universe (Coldplay & BTS song)
A Sky Full of Stars (with Simon Pegg)
Sparks (with Nicole Lawrence)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA cover) (with Alan Partridge, Jacob Collier, and Nicole Lawrence)
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Kate Bush cover) (with Alan Partridge, Jacob Collier, and Nicole Lawrence)