Pianist who joined Coldplay on stage at Glastonbury hails ‘a dream come true’

The pianist who joined Coldplay on stage during their headline set at Glastonbury has said she still has not recovered from “the craziest weekend of my whole life”.

Singer-songwriter Victoria Canal was invited by frontman Chris Martin to join the British band for a rendition of their hit Paradise, during the band’s performance at Worthy Farm on Saturday night.

She told BBC Breakfast: “It’s just about now sinking in, days later. But I’ve been watching it back over and over again. It’s like a dream come true.”

Glastonbury Festival 2024
Coldplay headlined the Pyramid Stage for the fifth time on Saturday (Yui Mok/PA)

The 25-year-old has released a number of singles and EPs, but is yet to release a full-length album of her own, having been signed to Parlophone Records in 2022 after she was introduced to the label by Martin.

She was born in Munich without her right forearm due to amniotic band syndrome, but began to take classical piano lessons at the age of six, and quickly reached a high level of ability.

Canal said Martin, 47, first saw her music after she mocked up a Rolling Stone cover about her performing with the band as an April Fool, and they had kept in touch ever since.

She said: “He’s a great guy and always looking out for me. So when this opportunity came up, he literally just FaceTimed me out of the blue. It was 1am where I was and he was in a different timezone and I was a little bit tipsy.

“He was like: ‘Do you know the song Paradise by Coldplay?’ And I was like: ‘Yeah,’ and then he said: ‘Would you like to play the piano part at Glastonbury?’ I said: ‘Sure.’

“The next day I had to call my friend and be like: ‘Was that a dream or did that actually happen?’

“Because I’ve had that dream before, and then you wake up and you’re so disappointed it wasn’t real.

“It was like the craziest weekend of my whole life.”

Canal went on to reveal she had to “do some homework” in order to perfect the song, but said one of her party tricks at a bar she was working at had been to be able to play any Coldplay song.

She also revealed Michael J Fox, who played guitar with the band on the song Fix You during the performance, was staying in the same hotel.

The performer said the pair met before the festival, and went out to dinner along with her former college tutor, who works for the Back To The Future star.

Canal said: “We were both really nervous leading up to the performance.

“He’s such a hero, he has had such an incredible impact on artists around the world that started playing music because of him in Back To The Future, even Coldplay.

“I was talking to him about what it’s like to be someone different, and to have a body that’s different in public, and how everyone will always have something to say about that, and want to focus on that.”

The pianist went on to say she cried over a headline which read “one armed piano player onstage with Coldplay”, and added she felt “no matter what I do, no matter how hard I work at music, I seem to be defined by this one thing”.

Canal said Fox told her he had been dealing with similar feelings for 40 years, and said the “best thing” she could do was “do your thing and let them say what they’re going to say”.

She added: “It was so inspiring and impactful to meet him, and it really changed my life, actually.”

Canal said her emotions were still “pretty raw”, adding: “I literally have been dreaming about this my whole life”, and said she had wanted to perform with the band “since I was a little girl”.

Canal will tour the UK in October.