chesney hawkes

“Where the hell are my lemon-scented towels…?!”

10 October 2012

The LYs supporting the Mystery Jets at the Barfly.We supported the Mystery Jets a few years ago, and I remember being struck by their quirky backstage rider. As I documented in my tour diary of the experience, the Jets memorably demanded that a clutch of hot roast chickens be delivered to their dressing room before the performance, along with assorted crudités and of course the customary crate of Moet & Chandon.

This actually led me to imagine what our own fantasy rider would be when we eventually got to play Wembley Stadium, and it looked something like this:

– 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

As turns out, we actually did play Wembley the following year – four times – but, true to form for The Lightyears, instead of acting like proper rockstars and demanding a wheelbarrow full of live squid (or similar), we were actually just really polite and said ‘a few sandwiches might be nice, but please don’t trouble yourselves’. Classic.

While we’re on this subject, NME recently published a list of the 40 strangest rockstar rider requests. Here are some of my favourites:

Marilyn Manson: a bald, toothless hooker and a bag of gummi bears
Eminem: a wooden pond for his koi carp
J-Lo: demanded that her coffee was to be stirred anticlockwise
Led Zeppelin: an iron and an ironing board
Lily Allen: 12 packets of Monster Munch
Motley Crue: a submachine gun and a 12-foot boa constrictor

What a bunch of mentalists.

ps. Here’s our behind-the-scenes video from the Mystery Jets gig:

Local girl done good

23 February 2009


So, finally, Kate Winslet won an Oscar. And hoorah for her, I say, because not only is she a damn fine actress but, like The Lightyears, she hails from Reading.

Reading isn’t generally considered to be “on the map” when it comes to famous sons and daughters, although it did also spawn Kenneth Branagh, Ricky Gervais and Dawn French. Plus, according to Tony (who perhaps ought not to be trusted on these matters as he does enjoy a good caper), Lennon & McCartney played their first ever gig in neighbouring Caversham’s Fox & Hounds pub. 

Anyhow, Kate’s been churning out stellar performances for years and so it’s somewhat ironic that she pre-empted her eventual Academy triumph during her cameo in the comedy series Extras, in which she complained that in order to win an Oscar you had to “do a holocaust movie” – and sure enough it was taking on such a role that appears to have been the clincher! Mind you, I reckon this says more about the prejudices of the Oscars ceremony itself than it does about Kate’s pedigree as an actress.

So I guess these are my official blogger’s congratulations to the delectable Kate for what she herself described as “a dream come true”. May there be many more! And I’m sure when I win my Oscar for playing Chesney Hawkes in his (surely inevitable) biopic, Miss Winslet will return the favour.

To Berkshire’s finest Hollywood export – and proof that the A329M isn’t the only great thing to come out of Reading. 

Chris Lightyear