david bowie

The LYs & The Riverton Circle Of Friends

19 June 2013

Riverton Circle Of FriendsThe Lightyears grew up in a quiet village on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border called Goring-on-Thames. The band has spent most of its professional life in London, but I reckon we’ll always think of Goring as ‘where we come from’. That’s right – Eminem has the mean streets of Detroit, Oasis have a violent father on a Manchester council estate, and we have the bake sales and organic butchers of Goring-on-Thames. You do the math.

Back in 2006, on our first American tour, The Lightyears’ tour bus (nb. not actually a bus) rolled into a quiet New Jersey community called Riverton, a small and exceptionally pretty town on the Delaware River with grand old post-colonial houses, an incredible community spirit and just about the warmest and most welcoming people in the world. People actually leave their doors unlocked there. In short, it’s about as close to an American equivalent of Goring as it’s possible to be and, inevitably, soon established itself as The Lightyears’ second home.

When we’re on tour in the States if we’re not in New York we generally base ourselves in Riverton, where like the weary travellers we are we’re always offered a place to stay and a veritable mountain of delicious all-American food. I have eaten corn-on-the-cob there that would make grown men weep – it’s a very special place.

The Riverton Circle Of Friends Concert Series

This year we are very lucky to be headlining at Riverton’s legendary Circle Of Friends concert series on Saturday 17 August. COF was set up in 2009 by music lovers in the area to bring artists direct to the people, and since then they’ve held many amazing events in a number of truly unusual venues including a pump house, the workshop of a yacht builder (the band played with two large unfinished sailboats behind them), a yoga studio and a tattoo parlour (that’s “parlor” to all you American folks). The COF website puts it like this:

Circle of Friends brings musicians and music lovers together, organizing and promoting house concerts to create homey, intimate performances… Every event offers live music, good conversation and a chance to meet new friends.

We can’t wait… it should be a really special show. Tickets are available now (click here to buy yours) in a rather nifty two-tier system – $10 for a basic ticket (which supports us), and $19 for a sustaining ticket (which supports Circle Of Friends as well). This show will be unique on our 2013 tour, with its intimate atmosphere, acoustic set-up and idyllic location, so make sure you don’t miss out. There will definitely be exclusive readings from my novel, and I expect the band will throw in a few curveballs on the set front.

Since 2007, we have had our very own Lightyears plaque in Riverton, erected by the legendary Maureen on her famous front porch to commemorate the time we performed there for the town’s annual Treasure Day. Bowie may have his blue plaque off Regent Street, and Keith Moon his commemoration above the old Marquee Club in Soho, but we’re pretty happy with our wooden tribute on Maureen’s Porch in Riverton, New Jersey. And every now and again it calls us home.

Chris Lightyear

Buy tickets for The Lightyears at Circle Of Friends (Saturday 17 August)

Help us hit the Top 40

30 December 2009

Josh's Band on tour in ManchesterThe single “Come With Me”, which we wrote at the end of last year for the Josh’s Band ad campaign, is being released on Universal Records on Monday 11 January.

If we sell enough copies, we might even make it into the Top 40. Watch this space for details of how to download your copy!


The track was produced by Bacon & Quarmby (David Bowie, Ian Brown, Finley Quaye) at London’s Rak Studios and, alongside Josh’s Band – which features Chris and George from The Lightyears – includes many of the performers who joined us on the tour, not least our very own Tony Lightyear and his awesome percussion collective Drum Club.

The music video for “Come With Me” is out on Monday 4 January in anticipation of the single release. Keep an eye on this website for updates…

Our Top 20 Moments Of 2009

16 December 2009

Christmas Time is here again and there’s enormous excitement in the air. There’s an outside chance that Rage Against The Machine will beat the X Factor to Number One on Sunday and the weather-man says that snow’s a-coming. Things literally couldn’t be any better.

We thought we’d add to the general feeling of goodwill and festivity by recounting our favourite and most memorable experiences from the past year. Most of them – whether in London, Cape Town or the USA – involved the support of our fans and we’d like to personally thank everyone who has helped us make 2009 one of our best years yet. You guys rule.

So here, in no particular order, are The Lightyears’ Top 20 Moments Of 2009:

1. Stepping out onstage at Wembley Stadium for the first time in front of 45,000 people

2. Winning over an audience of leather-clad Norwegian bikers at the Speedway Cafe in Cape Town

3. Performing a barbershop medley of British seaside tunes in front of the British Ambassador in Seoul

4. Writing a song for a national ad campaign (“Come With Me” is released on Universal Records in January)

5. Spotting our faces in train stations and on the side of buses

6. Performing for a full-house of fans, friends and family at The Lightyears’ Christmas Party

7. Playing to a crowd of thousands on a hot summer’s evening in Union Square, Manhattan

8. Working with top producers Bacon & Quarmby (David Bowie, Finley Quaye, Sugababes) on the studio release of “Come With Me”

9. Watching South Africa’s foremost FHM model Roxy Louw stage-dive into a crowd of boogying revelers at our Cape Town Tens gig

10. Being invited back to Wembley Stadium

11. Drinking Pina Coladas by the pool at the Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town

12. Seeing ourselves on TV (click here)

13. Touring the country with Josh’s Band

14. Finding out we’ve been immortalised on canvas!

15. Spotting The Lightyears in the New York Post

16. Dressing up as intergalactic space rockstars for a Forbidden Planet tribute gig

17. Selling out our latest album London, England on the US Tour

18. Celebrating the end of the Korean Tour with a Lightyears night on the tiles

19. Appearing on the same bill as Diversity, winners of Britain’s Got Talent

20. Partying with the LYs American Fan Club in Riverton, New Jersey!

Lightyears complete new album “London, England”

23 December 2008

Tony turning up for Day One of recording back in March!It’s been nine months since we first set foot in the Voyager Studio to begin work on our second full-length album – and as 2008 draws to a close, we can now announce that the record is finished!  

The ten-track album is called London, England and features familiar tracks “This House Will Burn”, “Filmstar” and “She’s The One” along with lesser-heard material such as “England”, “I’m Not” and “Firefly”. We’re also very excited to reveal that it will include the tracks we recorded last year with Hugh Padgham, “Sleepless” and “Emily”. Hugh has worked with countless great artists such as Sting & The Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney and David Bowie, won four Grammys and sold over 50 million records – so we’re incredibly honoured to have his work on our album.

We’re really proud of the record and can’t wait for you guys to hear it. London, England will be released in the New Year – watch this space for updates!

Lightyears to appear on National TV

1 September 2007

It has just been announced that The Lightyears will be appearing on ITV1’s new chat show The Alan Titchmarsh Show on Thursday 18 October.

Alan will interview the band, along with new Lightyears producer Hugh Padgham (Sting & The Police, Genesis, Paul McCartney, David Bowie etc), and following this the LYs will play a song live in the studio. Other artists currently scheduled to appear in the series include Kaiser Chiefs, Jools Holland, Sugababes and Lionel Ritchie.

The show is aired at 3pm daily and is expected to go out to around 3 million viewers.

…In the meantime, don’t forget that The Lightyears are headlining the Clapham Grand this Wednesday 5 September for Feedme Music’s INDY AWARDS CELEBRATION PARTY.

Doors 7.30pm, first band 8pm. LYs onstage 9.30pm. See you there!

LYs record with legendary producer Hugh Padgham

28 June 2007

If you’re wondering why The Lightyears have been a little quiet for the last few weeks, here’s why – the band have been busy in the studio, recording new tracks with legendary producer Hugh Padgham.

Hugh Padgham is generally regarded as one of the most important producers in the history of popular music. He has worked with Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Kate Bush and Elton John but is perhaps most famous for his work with Sting, The Police, Genesis and Phil Collins. Hugh’s production skills were behind such classic hits as Sting’s Fields Of Gold, Every Breath You Take by The Police and Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight. Over his prestigious career he has won 4 Grammys and sold over 250 million records.

Over recent weeks, The Lightyears have recorded three songs with Hugh. Watch this space for further updates over the coming months!