acoustic guitar

Sell-out at Westminster Library

12 February 2013

The LYs rocking the ruddy heck out of Westminster Library.Thanks to everyone who came down to Westminster Library on Saturday night for our Book & Album Preview – we played one of our favourite ever gigs, to a capacity crowd, in a truly unusual and exciting venue.

I’ve written a piece on the event in my Lightyears blog, and we also covered the show with a photographer and cameraman. We’ll be releasing new media as and when it’s available, so watch this space.

It was pretty thrilling for us to unleash extracts from the book and songs from the new album for the first time, and we’d be interested to know what people thought. Connect with us via our Twitter and Facebook accounts or, if you’re from the old school, just post us your crayon / dried pasta interpretations of the gig, and we’ll be happy.

New free download at Project LYs

30 October 2012

The Lightyears, chillin' lakeside. Boo-yakasha. (That's right, boo-yakasha. You get me?)Back in July we launched Project Lightyears, a multimedia micro-site designed to spread the word about the band far and wide across this good green earth.

Since then, with your help, we’ve racked up over 70,000 views. Thanks everyone! This also means that a new target has been unlocked, and we’ve decided to give away a preview recording of One Way Or The Other, which was one of the first tracks to come out of our writing sessions for the new album. We recorded the song live on the banks of Lake Grasmere in Cumbria back in September, using a basic set-up powered by a car battery (surprising a few ramblers in the process), and in fact some of you will already have seen the video on YouTube.

We wanted you to be able to take the song away and listen to it, so we’ve extracted the audio and made it available for free download at Project LYs. And if N-Dubz make urban pop, then we’re definitely spearheading a movement in hardcore rural music – because if you listen carefully to this track, you can actually hear the lake in the background. John Craven would fill his pants.

Our ultimate aim with Project Lightyears is to reach 10 million views, and while this is still some way off, word is spreading to far-flung corners of the earth and momentum is gathering (you may remember that our videos are particularly popular in Turkey, and in fact during the last thirty days we’ve had one lone viewer in Guadeloupe – if you’re that person and you’re reading this, make yourself known to me and I’ll write you a song… no joke). Thanks again for all your support!

Watch the video for One Way Or The Other below – or download the track for free by visiting Project Lightyears.

New live video published

12 September 2012

You can't quite tell from this screenshot, but there was an awful lot of quacking going on.We’ve just published the third and final video from our recent ‘Live At Lake Grasmere’ sessions. Click here to check it out on YouTube, or scroll down to the bottom of this news story.

The song, ‘Embrace Of Many’, is another brand-new track intended for inclusion on our new album. It’s a song about feeling isolated whilst also being surrounded by crowds of people.

The video was recorded, along with ‘I Won’t Wait Forever‘ and ‘One Way Or The Other‘, on the banks of Lake Grasmere in Cumbria (northern England) while we were waiting to go onstage on Saturday 1 September. We powered the camera with a car battery, and absolutely everything is performed live.

In the YouTube notes you’ll find the lyrics and chords, just in case there are any budding musicians out there who fancy giving it a go!

Brand-new videos now online

5 September 2012

Guess which member of the band is most serious about this video shoot.Last weekend, whilst kicking about in the Lake District, we shot a series of live and unplugged acoustic performances on the banks of Lake Grasmere in Cumbria.

On top of surprising a few ramblers, we also came out with some rather nice videos featuring songs we’ve been working on for the new album. We’ve now published the first two of these videos on The Lightyears’ YouTube ChannelI Won’t Wait Forever and One Way Or The Other.

Work on the new album is coming along well, with many of the songs in the running coming straight from my Lightyears novel, Mockstars.

A third video from The Lakeside Sessions will be published next week. Watch this space for updates!

Playing a gig. Next to a lake. With ducks.

3 September 2012

'Come on, own up - which one of us forgot to pack the galoshes?'Last week was an interesting one for The Lightyears. On Friday we met up to work on songs for the new album, and by the end of the day we had fairly workable versions of four tracks – two of mine (Blinded By Light and Embrace Of Many) and two of George’s (One Way Or The Other and I Won’t Wait Forever). Then, the following day whilst in the Lake District for a gig, we said ‘hang it all’ and went and set up by the side of a massive lake and filmed ourselves playing them.

It was a pretty basic set-up – unplugged, unfettered, just four guys, the countryside and a Canon 550. We had to abandon a couple of takes due to unexpected labrador-related mishaps, but in the end (in the space of about twenty-five minutes) we managed to record all four songs.

We’ve actually been planning to do something like this for a while. As we’re often on the road at the weekend playing private events we figured it would make sense to use the dead time after sound-check to create something for you guys, and the idea of heading out into the country and performing ‘ad hoc’ rather appealed to us. Kind of like guerilla gigging… only there wouldn’t be an audience – well, some goats and ducks ‘n’ stuff, but no people (this actually wouldn’t be the first time we’ve performed for livestock – there was that the gig we once played in a cow-shed in Belgium… but I digress).

I actually have no idea how the videos will come out – for all I know it might just be three minutes of us bopping away to a muffled soundtrack of wind and quacking. We’ll keep you posted. But hey, at the very least we gave two groups of Cumbrian ramblers something to talk about in the pub on Saturday night. I suspect stumbling across a piano-led indie-rock band from London while on a gentle stroll around Lake Grasmere is about as likely as bumping into a sheep in the Trocadero.