camden barfly

Our Top 20 Moments Of 2008

23 December 2008

George, Danny, Tony & Chris at the 2008 INDY AwardsSo, as 2008 draws to a close, I thought I’d send out a festive greeting to all our fans. Y’know, kinda like The Queen’s Speech.

2008 has been an unpredictable year. We’ve never known quite where we’re gonna end up from one month to another but it’s been a pretty exciting ride all told. 

We have big plans for 2009. Our new album “London, England” is coming out in the New Year and we have a feeling you’re gonna like it! Plus next year is gonna be all about you – the fans – and we’ll be spending our time creating music, media and all manner of delectable treats intended for your voracious consumption. More about that after Christmas… 

In the meantime, we’d like to thank Lightyears fans everywhere for your continuing support of the band. Wherever you are and whoever you’re with, have a disgracefully Merry Christmas and a calamitous New Year.

In the meantime, here are our Top 20 Most Memorable Moments Of 2008:

  1. Performing at London Road stadium to thousands of people (twice!)
  2. Being played on XFM
  3. Being name-checked in The Guardian newspaper
  4. Selling out The Troubadour
  5. Performing in front of Barry Fry and the Mayor of Peterborough
  6. Reaching #45 in the iTunes Plus Top 100 with charity single “Posh We Are”
  7. Touring to Ireland to play at the launch of national music magazine State
  8. Making the short-list for Best Pop Act at the INDY Awards
  9. Presenting the award for Best Female Solo Act at the INDYs alongside Feargal Sharkey and Mike Rutherford
  10. Playing London Astoria 2
  11. Drinking a toast in a Korean jacuzzi at 7am after one of the best gigs of our lives

  12. Performing twice at Glastonbury Festival
  13. Supporting the Mystery Jets at a packed Barfly
  14. Fans at Brightlingsea Festival singing all our lyrics back to us on a hot August evening
  15. Flying Business Class to New York!
  16. Headlining the Time Out Festival in Union Square, Manhattan
  17. Releasing our EP “At Midnight” in the USA and being nominated as “Single Of The Day” at Amie Street
  18. Filming a music video for “Obama Republic
  19. Recording our new album “London, England”
  20. Buying a bitchin’ new van!

Here’s to 2009!

Chris Lightyear

250 people squeezed into the Barfly…

27 August 2008

LYs rock out at the BarflyOn Thursday night we supported the Mystery Jets at a sold-out Camden Barfly. It was a hot August evening and the punters were packed into the Barfly’s intimate dimensions like moist sardines. The Jets had been forced to cancel a few weeks’ worth of festivals due to lead singer Blaine being in hospital and Thursday represented the band’s comeback gig, as well as a warm-up for their impending main stage performances at Reading and Leeds Festivals. Anticipation was high and Jets fans were clearly excited at the prospect of seeing their favourite band close-up. With the place also buzzing with an ample turn-out of LYs fans, the stage was set for a cracking night. 

Upstairs in the dressing room we were making our way through a bank of sandwiches and beers and listening to the Mystery Jets warming up through the wall. The incredibly well-kept appearance of our dressing room seemed suspicious until it was explained to us that the Barfly had just redecorated the place and given it a fresh lick of paint. Brilliant – we were the first band in and therefore it was our duty to trash it. This is, of course, something that we’re accustomed to doing and so I set to work straight away by putting my chewing gum in the bin even though it didn’t have a plastic bag lining. I’d like to see the staff get that out in the morning.    

Incidentally, whilst I’m on the subject of backstage antics, hats off to the Mystery Jets for their satisfyingly indulgent rider, which apparently included two bottles of Moet & Chandon, assorted crudites and a couple of roast chickens. This encouraged me to spend a little time working on my Fantasy Rider for when we reach the kind of celebrity strata normally reserved only for glamour models and Davina McColl. If you’re reading this and you promote for, I don’t know, let’s say Wembley Stadium or the Memphis Enormodome, here’s a heads-up on our backstage rider for the 2011 double-headline show with Whitesnake (T.B.C.):

– 2 eggcups of freshly distilled Peruvian mountain spring water faintly infused with the tears of a virgin
– A copy of 80s robot-comedy Short Circuit on VHS
Clippings from Des Lynam’s beard
– A bag of eels
– 1 metric ton of paprika Snack-A-Jacks
– A 10-foot high decorative tapestry depicting the Norman Invasion of Ireland in 1169 made from Faberge Eggs and snowflakes
– A box of damp otters
– Chesney Hawkes
– A speedboat

Some of these things may take a while to source so I suggest you make a start now.

LYs soundman Danny wants to crowd-surf...Once fed and watered we made our way downstairs to the main room which, by this point, was heaving with people. The gig had got coverage on Radio NME as well as on the front-page of the NME website and tickets had sold out over a week in advance. If you’ve never been there, you can take my word for it that 250 people squeezed into the Barfly made for quite an atmosphere. It was starting to heat up as well under the glare of the lights and the steady pulse of the August sun and so the circumstances were primed for a pretty intense show.   

We’d decided to mix things up a bit for this gig and so set aside our usual opening numbers for This House Will Burn and Sleepless. The gig really got going for me, however, during Beat Alive, which we played third. Normally I use this song as an opportunity to run around and jump off things but unfortunately, in this case, I didn’t have a lot of room for maneouvre onstage, given that I was hemmed in amongst the Jets’ extensive bank of vintage keyboards. Despite having reached the easy conclusion that knocking one of these over would not be a good move, I must admit to having accidentally given the lead singer’s synthesizer a little kick during the Beat Alive solo. Blaine, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I don’t think I caused any permanent damage. Which is good news, because I met your roadie and he looked like he could open up a serious can of whoop-ass.

We played Run next, which I think represented the song’s debut for many of our London fans. This was followed by She’s The One, a song actually based in Chalk Farm, home to the Barfly. Our cheeky cover of Lovecats went down pretty well, I thought, and we followed it up with high-energy performances of Banana Republic and Emily, ending on new song Brightest Star. Cheers were forthcoming from both the home fans and the away fans and we left the stage buzzing. By the time the gig had finished I think I’d sweated out around a stone in body weight, which actually doesn’t leave me with a lot in reserve. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. Wouldn’t want to evaporate one night during a gig. Could be embarrassing.

The Mystery Jets at the BarflyThe Mystery Jets put on a great show, knocking out a mix of material from their first and second albums including new single Two Doors Down, which I happen to believe is quite genius, if almost eye-wateringly kitsch. They’re a really unique band – check out the Mystery Jets website if you’re not familiar.

We took the party back to our house in South London afterwards and began the warm-up to a blistering Bank Holiday weekend that involved playing to a packed lock-in crowd at our local pub, champagne arm-wrestling and a mustard-drinking competition. But that’s another story.

Chris Lightyear

Camden Barfly – London – 21/08/08

21 August 2008

How was it for us?

All the ingredients were there. Hot night. Packed venue. Tickets like gold-dust – they sold out a week in advance. Time Out, Metro and The London Paper apparently lurking in the audience. Support band hungry for it; headline band two days away from playing the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festivals. Everything was primed.

We kept it upbeat, chucking in just one slow number (Run) but otherwise keeping the fire stoked with tunes like Beat Alive, Emily, Banana Republic, She’s The One and a super-charged cover of The Cure’s Lovecats. We ate, drank and were merry and team spirit was most definitely high. The Mystery Jets followed with an accomplished set of their off-kilter indie-pop and everyone left with big smiles on their faces.

For the gory details read my Barfly Blog or for the video check out Episode #5 of LY-TV.

Chris Lightyear 

How was it for you?

Were you there? Got an opinion? Want to write a review? Hit the comments box at the foot of the page.

Gig Details

Tickets are no longer on sale for this event.

Barfly gig sold out (update)

14 August 2008

UPDATE: The gig has now sold out.

The Lightyears’ gig with the Mystery Jets at the Camden Barfly on Thursday 21 August is looking set to sell out – so if you don’t yet have your tickets, it is strongly advised that you visit the Barfly website and pick some up before it’s too late. 

Over 130 tickets have already been sold for the show and the remainder are expected to disappear pretty sharpish when the Jets officially announce the gig on their site next Monday 18 August. 

The gig, organised and masterminded by Quiroga Promotions, will be raising funds for the Global Exchange programme (run jointly by Voluntary Service Overseas and the British Council). The aim of the programme is to create “Active Global Citizens” and to encourage people to start thinking of the world as a whole unit, rather than a place that is divided by cultural or territorial barriers. Click here to find out more.

An extensive line-up of DJs has just been added to the bill and so, following sets from the Mystery Jets and the LYs, the venue will be throwing a full-on aftershow party featuring Tapedeck DJs, Fallout DJs, Yes Sir Idol and Dead Meat DJs. We’ll be having it LARGE. Don’t get left behind….

[click to read the news story about this gig on the NME website]

Tickets now on sale for Lightyears + Mystery Jets

28 July 2008

The Mystery JetsTickets are now on sale for The Lightyears’ gig with the Mystery Jets on Thursday 21 August at the Camden Barfly.

The week-long pre-sale period is over and tickets are now available to the general public. Visit the Barfly website to buy yours – but be quick! These tickets are hot and early indications are that the show may sell out before 21 August. 

The Barfly gig promises to be a cracking night – The Lightyears will be coming out of hiding to showcase a batch of new songs and share a stage with one of the country’s top indie acts before they rock the main stage at Reading Festival. Don’t miss out!

Lightyears to support Mystery Jets

24 July 2008

The Lightyears have just been booked to support the Mystery Jets at Camden Barfly on Thursday 21 August.

Tickets go on sale on Monday 4 August but Lightyears fans are being given the exclusive opportunity to get in there before the general public. Pre-sale tickets will be available online for a week from next Monday 28 July – keep an eye on for details of how to get yours.  

The Mystery Jets have enjoyed a string of Top 40 hits since hitting the mainstream in 2005 and this will be a rare opportunity to see them in an intimate venue just two days before they hit the main stage at Reading Festival. 

The LYs will be fresh from a sell-out stadium gig in front of Manchester United and just a couple of weeks away from playing the Time Out Festival in Union Square, New York.  

The Barfly gig has been put together to raise money for international development charity VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas). Watch this space next Monday for details of how to nab your pre-sale tickets…