dick van dyke

The Things We Do For The Queen

11 June 2009

It's funny how enough crystal-meth can make anybody smileWhen asked to perform an a cappella, barbershop-inspired medley of classic British seaside songs, most indie-rock bands would respond in the following manner: “Are you crazy? Of course not. We are enigmatic, sexual beings. We are totemic idols for the baying masses. We want to be revered the world over for our raw, lithe magnetism. Never would we jeopardise the integrity of our reputation with such foolish and trivial japery.”  

The Lightyears, on the other hand, responded something like this: “YIPPEEEEEE!”

And so it was that, two weeks ago in Seoul, South Korea, we found ourselves performing barbershop versions of “Summer Holiday”, “Beautiful Briny Sea” and “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” in front of the British Ambassador and over 500 esteemed guests at The Queen’s Birthday Ball dressed in red and white striped blazers, bow ties and boaters. It was quite a spectacle. Expect it to turn up on YouTube sometime in the coming weeks and possibly threaten our entire future in the fickle arena of rock and roll.

Mind you, Chris Martin once said said that “Rock and roll is doing what you want” – and we certainly wanted to do this. It wasn’t easy, but not even the constant threat of nuclear armageddon could throw us off our course. 

Funnily enough, when we arrived home we discovered that, as is so often his habit, Ben Folds had beaten us to it on this occasion. His recent release, entitled “University A Cappella”, features many of his best-loved songs performed live by college a cappella troupes. Very interesting stuff, especially if you’re already a BF fan. Read about it here

And as for us, prancing about in foreign countries dressed up like a cross between Dick Van Dyke and a stick of rock, well, on that matter I have but one thing left to say… Integrity? Schmintegrity.

Sometimes you’ve just got to slap on a candy-striped boater and make like it’s 1924.