astoria park

British bands in America: our USA highlights

16 July 2013

British bands in AmericaBritish bands in America have, if I’m honest, a bit of an easy time of it. The fabulously successful exports of our forebears (chiefly The Beatles, who basically did all the hard work for us) mean we are always greeted with open arms when we land Stateside, and as a result we have many happy memories of our time gigging around the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia area.

We’ve been touring to the United States since 2006 and it’s always been an absolute blast. In celebration of our 2013 USA tour kicking off in one month, here – in no particular order – are our Top Five American Tour highlights:

1. Two gigs, two continents, one day

In 2009 we played a gig in Southampton in the early hours of Sunday morning, then flew to America and played Union Square in New York less than twenty hours later. It was ruddy mental, and possibly one of the greatest days of my life.

Read about this in Chris’ USA tour diary

2. Starbucks, Fifth Avenue

In 2007 we won Best Pop/Rock Act at the UK Indy Awards. At the time we were on tour in the States; specifically, knocking back a round of lattes at Starbucks on Fifth Avenue. We exploded with rapturous joy at the news, and somewhat confused a roomful of New York businessmen. ‘I’m sorry,’ said Tony, by way of explanation – ‘We’re British’.

Read about this in Chris’ USA tour diary

3. Signing the WXPN wall of fame

We were lucky enough a few years back to perform live on Philadelphia’s WXPN radio station, and afterwards were invited to autograph their rather splendid wall of fame, leaving our scribbled signatures next-door to the many dazzling musical luminaries who had come before us. Marvellous.

4. Astoria Park, New York

On our last trip to America, we headlined New York’s Astoria Park for the first time. It was a magical evening, set against the backdrop of the East River, and we were lucky enough to play to a 2,000-strong crowd. Can’t wait to get back there in a month’s time!

Read our New York Daily News press coverage

5. Sandwichageddon at Wawa

We don’t really go to America for the music. Not really. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that we do. No, The Lightyears fly to America every year or so to eat ourselves to death on the extraordinary comestible wonders of the Wawa Food Hut. (I’d also like to enter ancillary votes here for Taco Bell and Wendy’s, both of which make me weep with their beauty.)

Read about this in Chris’ USA tour diary

Chris Lightyear

Click here for more details on The Lightyears’ 2013 USA Tour 

Click to buy tickets for Jamey’s House Of Music (Philadelphia) and Riverton Circle Of Friends (NJ). All other shows are free entry.

LYs to headline at Jamey’s House Of Music

27 June 2013

Jamey's House Of MusicChiefly in the interest of consuming as many Philly Cheesesteaks as possible while in the States, we have added a Philadelphia date to our 2013 American Tour – Jamey’s House Of Music on Overbrook Avenue, “Philadelphia’s coolest intimate venue”.

Jamey’s looks like a truly unique little place, combining – rather unusually – a ‘living room’ feel with state-of-the-art facilities. Seating just sixty, the House Of Music has been described variously as a “house concert on steroids”, “the ultimate man-cave” and “the music mansion”. This from the venue’s website:

“There is never a so-so evening here. It’s a warm and welcoming place to share in some of the most wonderful eclectic music of every style and genre found anywhere, make new friends, enjoy really good Chinese food (BYO welcome) expertly prepared by hostess and chef, Suyun Reilly, and meet stellar musicians one on one.”

I know – sounds bloody lovely, doesn’t it?! We can’t wait. And if you’re coming, expect an intimate, one-off show mixing novel reading with live music and, more than likely, a few unusual numbers thrown in. Support from the inimitable Jon Clifton.

Our Friday night date at Jamey’s also means that our 2013 American tour has gone from dual-state to tri-state, which while making the whole thing sound rather grander than it actually is does provide increased opportunity for phrases of the “Good evening New JERsey! [or equivalent state]” sort. Which is of course the main reason to go on tour in the first place (other than the sandwiches).

For details of all our USA tour dates, visit the GIGS page. Here’s the basic rundown:

Thursday 15 August: Astoria Park, New York (FREE SHOW!)
Friday 16 August: Jamey’s House Of Music, Philadelphia PA (BUY TICKETS)
Saturday 17 August: Circle Of Friends, Riverton NJ (BUY TICKETS)
Sunday 18 August: Burlington Amphitheatre, Westampton NJ (FREE SHOW!)

The Lightyears in the New York Daily News (July 2010)

8 March 2013


2010 USA Tour a success!

29 July 2010

Teeny tiny Lightyears at the fantastic Burlington Amphitheatre, New Jersey.Thanks to everybody who came out to see us during our 2010 American Tour. We had an absolutely fantastic time and were blown away, as always, by the warmth and generosity of our fans in the States.

Highlights included a bakingly hot return to Union Square in New York, a full house at Burlington Amphitheatre on 16 July  and a crowd of two thousand people turning up to watch us play in front of the East River in Astoria Park on the last night of the tour whilst the sun set over the Manhattan skyline…! Unforgettable.

Loads of you have uploaded your photos to our Fan Pics page on Flickr – click here to check them out (or add your own).

Our spies on the East Coast tell us we had a double-page spread in the New York Daily News (which apparently has a readership of two million people) on Tuesday, following our headline slot at Astoria Park. More details to come. For more USA press on the tour, see below:

“…for The Lightyears, making themselves a household name in America won’t be hard to do, what with the band being made up of three cute guys with English accents, including a heartthrob for a lead singer…”
Erica Brooke Fajge, Only In Philadelphia (read full article here)

“Gorgeous harmonies, three hot guys and that quirky English humor. What more could a girl want…?”
New York

Here’s to next year’s tour…!

USA Tour starts this week!

30 June 2010

George maxing and relaxing in NYC, circa 2008.Our fifth American tour starts this Thursday 15 July at Union Square in New York. Here’s a full rundown of the venues we’re playing:

Thursday 15 July: UNION SQUARE, New York NY
This will be our third year headlining at the Union Square Summer Concert Series in Manhattan. Recent years have seen crowds of thousands and, thanks to the prime location right in the centre of New York, it’s the ideal way to spend a late afternoon in the Big Apple. ENTRY IS FREE!

We’re very excited to return to Burlington for the second year running. Burlington has an impressive amphitheatre and promises to host a fine evening of entertainment. Never fear – if it rains, the show will go on (it’ll be moved to an indoor theatre next door). ENTRY IS FREE!

Saturday 17 July: BLOCKLEY POURHOUSE, Philadelphia PA. BUY TICKETS HERE!
**THIS SHOW IS NOW ALL AGES!!** Our big Saturday night headline gig (and our only appearance in Philadelphia this summer) is at the awesome Blockley Pourhouse on Chestnut Street. The Blockley is a brand-new, state-of-the-art venue built on the site of an old asylum. Which is pretty wacky. Get your tickets here – just $7 advance!

Sunday 18 July: THE SAINT, Asbury Park NJ. BUY TICKETS HERE!
We’ll be seeing out the weekend at The Saint on Main Street, Asbury Park. Previous performers at this venue include Ben Folds Five, Lost Prophets, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Dandy Warhols. Tickets on sale here! Also performing are local band Root Glen + special guests.

Thursday 22 July: ASTORIA PARK, New York NY
The tour comes to a close back in New York on 22 July at Astoria Park. We’ll be playing an hour and half’s set, so plenty of time to kick back with a massive Dr Pepper from Taco Bell and maybe even a tasty picnic. ENTRY IS FREE!

Full details on the GIGS page.

To hear us on the radio in your area, request the LYs below!

– Kathy Romano on WMMR (Bala Cynwyd, PA): REQUEST THE LYs HERE
– Bonnie Hart on WBZC “The Pulse” (Pemberton, NJ): REQUEST THE LYs HERE
WKDU 97.1FM (Philadelphia, PA): REQUEST THE LYs HERE

Tickets go on sale for American Tour 2010

17 June 2010

The LYs on tour in the USA, September 2008.**UPDATE (24 June): Tickets are now on sale for LYs @ Blockley Pourhouse (Philadelphia) on Sat 17 July. CLICK HERE TO BUY YOURS!

Tickets are also available for our show at The Saint in Asbury Park (New Jersey) with local act Root Glen, on Sunday 18 July. Buy yours here.

All our other shows in the USA this summer are FREE ENTRY. Woo-hoo! Here’s a full list of the dates:

Thursday 15 July: Union Square, New York NY
Friday 16 July: Burlington Amphitheatre, Mount Holly NJ
Saturday 17 July: Blockley Pourhouse, Philadelphia PA (BUY TICKETS HERE)
Sunday 18 July: The Saint, Asbury Park NJ (BUY TICKETS HERE)
Thursday 22 July: Astoria Park, New York NY

Full details on the GIGS page.