News & Insights 11 July 2008

LYs on the Beeb

Chris and Tony playing DJWe just got back from an interview and live session on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. The station picked up on us a couple of months ago, around the time of the release of the Peterborough United song, and asked us into the studio to see if we had anything up our sleeves other than football songs. Which, thankfully, we do. 

The Audio Files is BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s weekly live music show. It’s hosted by Jeremy Sallis who, as it turns out, is a bit of a legend. You can call Jeremy “Jezza” if you like. Which we did. Jeremy had Jason Mraz on his show last week, so we had some fairly big shoes to fill, but I think we did a pretty decent job. During the off-air soundcheck, as we were bashing through a test-run of Emily, Jez had an enormous smile on his face. I haven’t seen a man that happy in ages. I figured at that stage we must have been doing something right.

After the sound-check we were given fifteen minutes of free time, which we decided to spend in The Flying Pig, the local pub. Following a sly half of London Pride and a quick pre-broadcast confab, we bombed it back round the corner to BBC studios for the start of the interview. 

Chris and JezDuring the show we played three live tunes (Emily, Sleepless and one of our new songs, Run) as well as chucking in a soupçon of delicious banter with Jeremy. Prior to the show we’d had a fairly in-depth debate on the perennial Mars Vs Snickers debate – Jeremy and George championing the notion that, by virtue of its classic status, the Mars Bar is the superior snack; Tony and myself coming down on the side of the peanut chief and former Marathon bar, Snickers. I pointed out that Mars Vs Snickers was a simple parody of your basic Beatles/Stones face-off, at which point George was audacious enough to suggest that a Snickers bar was basically the equivalent of trying to add an extra member to The Beatles – which would of course be pointless. Unless, as Tony pointed out, that extra member was Eric Clapton (Clapton being the peanut of the vintage rock world). If you see what I mean. I was actually mildly disappointed that the debate didn’t get more airtime on the show itself, although I suppose it’s not directly related to the Cambridge music scene.

Tony's car troubles...Anyhow, I digress. We finished our last song, plugged our upcoming gig at London Road Stadium for the Man Utd Vs Peterborough match and, as The Audio Files drew to a close, packed our instruments away. Tony took this opportunity to jump on Jez’s computer and check the status on his latest eBay bid – for a fully pimped-out motor home intended to double as the next Lightyears tour-bus. Meanwhile, as I was wrestling my keyboard back into its case, Jeremy asked me where the bass was coming from during our performances. “Oh,” I replied, “I play it live”. He was shocked. “I assumed it was programmed!”, he replied. I pointed out that most people assume our bass-lines are programmed and that, more importantly, the fact that I play them live whilst simultaneously bashing out complicated piano and vocal lines didn’t necessarily seem to impress the girls in the way that I originally hoped it might. This provided a natural segue into the story of how I once told a girl in a bar that “playing the piano is very much like making love to a beautiful woman”, with little to no apparent irony. 

It’s true. I really did do that.

But that’s another story.

Chris Lightyear

ps. click to listen to The Lightyears BBC Cambridge interview.

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