News & Insights 14 July 2008

Legendary people, legendary night…

The view from the stageI woke up this morning to a scene of quite riveting oddness.

First of all, I was slumped unceremoniously on a couch upon which I had never slept before. Secondly, the person curled up next to me was not the person who had been curled up next to me when I cascaded inevitably into slumber at (I can only guess) around 8am this morning. Thirdly, I could see a miniature motorbike and sidecar in the adjoining room. There were dogs everywhere. Finally though, and perhaps most importantly, John was sitting in the middle of the room, in front of an Xbox, playing Pro Evolution Soccer on a tiny electronic drum-kit.

Many people waking up to a scenario of this description could be forgiven for concluding they had accidentally stumbled into some kind of postmodern circus. I, however, knew better.

This was the morning after a party at Neil’s House.

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Let me bring you up-to-speed. Last night we headlined the Woodcote Rally. This was our second year playing the Rally and the crowd were as up for it as ever. 

When we arrived for soundcheck, the sun was shining and a decent crowd was forming. I was relieved because the sky had been looking a little macabre up until that point and the weather can pretty much make or break an event like this. I was therefore pretty dismayed when, 15 minutes before we were due to hit the stage, the sun disappeared and a cavalcade of enormous, brooding grey clouds swept in and squatted directly over the festival site. Then, ineluctably, came the rain. To their credit, a decent contingent of loyal LYs fans remained camped out in front of the stage underneath umbrellas, but things were nevertheless looking a bit grim.

Still, somebody was evidently smiling on us because when we hit the stage, out came the sun. Or maybe we just have that effect these days. Whatever the explanation, it turned into a really quite splendid evening and the crowd was swelling by the minute. We opted for a high energy, upbeat start, opening with She’s The One, Beat Alive, Good Time Back and Sleepless. A significant portion of the crowd were fans who’ve been following our music for a couple of years so we were careful to chuck in lots of LYs classics – Miles Away, Filmstar, Gimme Some, Banana Republic and Emily. We mixed in some newer songs too for good measure, playing Put The Gun Down, Brightest Star and Run.

Later on, once the crowd were well-oiled with local ales and/or cherry coke, we hit the stage again with Johnny on bass guitar and bashed out an hour of kicking covers. Moshing a-plenty, I’m telling you. Everyone danced like lunatics as the sun went down and I think it’s fairly safe to say a good time was had by all.

The reverberating calls for an encore brought us back onstage and, as we were about to launch into an Elvis number, a lady at the side of the stage yelled for my attention. I knelt down to hear what she was saying and discovered she was making a request for something by Queen. We’d played Don’t Stop Me Now earlier in the set but she was pretty insistent and, well, we don’t like to disappoint. I racked my brains and suddenly remembered that we once played We Will Rock You at a festival with Drum Club and, whilst expecting George to just conjure up the lyrics on a whim without any preparation might have been a bit rich, I figured it would go down really well. And it did. George remembered every word (of course he did – he has a talent for that) and Tony got all the kids in the crowd to come forward and drum the iconic We Will Rock You rhythm on the stage. A cheeky bit of improvisation there.  

With the gig done and all our gear packed down it was time to begin the post-show revelry – which brings me neatly on to the party at Neil’s House. In case you’ve never met Neil, here’s a quick summary – Neil is a front-runner for The Greatest Person Who Has Ever Lived. He and Vron throw legendary shin-digs and last night they very kindly offered up their house as the venue for the after-party. 

I’ll spare you the gory details but, suffice it to say, the night involved a lot of singing, a fair amount of people falling asleep in flower beds, a crack team of undercover agents mercilessly raiding Vron’s boutique wine collection (sorry Vron!) and Neil cooking a seemingly endless stream of delicious food. 

Legendary people, legendary night.

Think I might have to go for a sly nap. 

Catch ya later pop fans.

Chris Lightyear

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