Two men and a dog

16 March 2012

'If I pretend to be asleep, maybe they'll shut up.'In case any of you were wondering, this is what a dog looks like enjoying hot-off-the-press Lightyears tracks.

I think she’s in some kind of trance.

Phoebe was the sole witness to the three days George and I just spent in his studio up in Yorkshire working on a batch of tracks for The Lightyears’ new album. You can tell the music is speaking to her from the look on her tiny little face (unlike many Jack Russells, Phoebe is a die-hard fan of diminished chords).

Meanwhile, Tony has a handful of tracks he’s been working on and there’s a rumour John is vying to fill the rest of the album with slap-bass solos, which I’m obviously very excited about. So things are shaping up…!

This album will come with an unusual bonus – a novel, about the band, by the band (well, me). Based on a true-ish story, Mockstars chronicles how The Lightyears got together, and sheds light on the people and places behind the songs.

Watch this space for updates…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

by Christopher Russell

Chris and George are best friends, and they want to be rockstars.

Unfortunately, a childhood spent playing in the school orchestra and listening to Jimmy Nail has left them a little fluffy round the edges, and at the age of 23 they still live with their parents and travel to gigs in a Skoda. So how do two boys-next-door from the Home Counties go about taking on the cut-throat, image-obsessed world of rock and roll?

Easy. They’re just going to have to fake it.

‘Back in the nineties, when everybody else was at illegal raves chomping ecstasy pills, what were you boys doing?’
I look at George. He shrugs.
‘Jigsaws,’ I reply.
‘We’ve got a LOT of work to do…’

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New LYs music videos now online

6 February 2012

'OK boys. Whoever perfects Blue Steel first wins a fiver.'Earlier this month we recorded a series of live music videos in our favourite local bar, Powder Keg Diplomacy.

The first two videos are now online – click to view our acoustic covers of David Guetta’s Titanium and Rihanna’s We Found Love.

More videos to come, including a dusting-off of Lightyears favourite Girl on The Radio and three readings from my new LYs novel, Mockstars.

Thank you Cape Town!

6 February 2012

They're not going to be happy when they find out Green Day have cancelledThanks to the amazing crowd at this year’s Cape Town Tens gig… what a belter! Apparently it was a record attendance too. Check out this tiny video Tony shot from the back of the stage.

On the right you’ll see what it looked like from where we were standing. What a beautiful bunch. In fact, let’s face it – you okes in Cape Town are hogging all the decent genes.

Anyone who can write in and tell us where in the crowd George’s mum is standing gets a free CD*.

(*George’s mum, you can’t enter.)

[email protected]

Rock & Roll Jackanory

23 January 2012

Chris LY does Rock & Roll JackanoryLast Monday we spent the day on a Lightyears film shoot at our favourite local bar, Powder Keg Diplomacy on St John’s Hill. That’s right, I’ve got all the lingo. We were ‘on a film shoot’. We had a clapper board with our name on it, the full works.

The shoot was in two parts – 1) filming three short extracts from my upcoming Lightyears novel, Mockstars (and, in doing so, pioneering a genuinely groundbreaking new art form we like to call ‘Rock & Roll Jackanory’) and 2) filming five new live music videos.

We’re beavering away on the edits as I write, and you lot will be the first to know when there’s something to see. To keep you amused in the meantime… erm… click here to find out what my dreams look like.

Yeah? You like that? Yeah? Of course you do. Of course you do

Lightyears return to South Africa

23 January 2012

The crowd at the 2011 Cape Town TensOur fourth Cape Town tour kicks off at the end of the month.

We’ll be heading back to CT to headline at the Cape Town Tens on Saturday 4 February. This has always been one of our favourite international gigs and has repeatedly proved to be pretty much the greatest party on earth (apart from those parties you had as kids where one of your chums would hire out the top floor of McDonalds in Reading. Man, were those parties ACE.)

Click here to read my previous South Africa tour blogs.

To our South African friends – we’ll see you all out there!

South Korean tour draws to a close

2 June 2011

The Lightyears onstage in South KoreaA few days ago we returned from a tour in Seoul, South Korea, where we were headlining at The Queen’s Birthday Ball – the highlight of the city’s ex-pat social calendar.

This was our sixth year performing at the QBB and, as always, all the stops were pulled out for an evening of fine food, outlandish decor and wild merriment.

2011’s theme was Alice In Wonderland, which very much accounts for why Tony could be found running around Insadong at four o’clock in the morning brandishing an enormous polystyrene mushroom. Actually, having said that, there’s no excuse for behaviour of that sort. But at least now the people of Seoul know why it happened.

Lightyears’ debut performance in Istanbul

7 April 2011

The LYs onstage in IstanbullLast week we played for the first time in Istanbul, the ‘unofficial’ capital of Turkey. We were flown out there to perform on a man-made island called Suada, which is rather like a floating yacht club out in The Bosphorus.

We sang as the sun went down over the stunning architecture of the city, Europe on one side, Asia on the other. I can definitely recommend this as an experience (although the singing part isn’t essential).

Here’s to many more future visits!

Lightyears at the O2 Arena with The Script

20 March 2011

Chart-topping Irish rockers The Script are headlining the O2 Arena on Saturday 26 March and before they hit the stage we will be performing a set in The Blue Room (exclusive to O2 customers).

If you’re planning to be there, we’ll be onstage at 6.30pm. If you don’t have tickets, unfortunately you’re out of luck because the gig sold out in less than a day!

However, if this is the case, why not buy tickets for The Lightyears at the Clapham Grand the night before?! Apart from anything else, if you arrive at The Grand before 8.30 you get a free shot. And they won’t be doing THAT at the O2.

Lightyears to support Eliza Doolittle at Wembley Stadium

17 December 2010

The LYs on the big screen at WembleyWe’ve been invited back to Wembley Stadium for the fourth time on Sunday 26 December to support Eliza Doolittle as part of the pre-match entertainment for the Saracens Vs Wasps rugby match.

Eliza Doolittle is best known for her Top 5 single ‘Pack Up‘, from her eponymous album which debuted at Number 3 in the UK charts last summer.

For those of you who have seen us play at Wembley for Saracens before, you’ll know it’s a great day out – fifty thousand people, lashings of entertainment and top flight rugby at one of the world’s greatest venues, all for the modest sum of £10 for adults and £5 for U16s.

Click here to book your tickets.

Click here to read my Wembley tour diary from our first ever performance there.

Click here to view our LYs @ Wembley Stadium photo gallery.

Special guest performer to join LYs at The Grand

16 December 2010

During our headline slot at The Clapham Grand on Friday 25 March, our set will feature a guest performance from singer-songwriter Rose Farquhar.

We’ve recently been collaborating with Rose after performing with her at the Public nightclub in Chelsea and are very excited about welcoming her onto the Grand’s legendary stage.

You can have a listen to Rose’s songs by visiting her Myspace page.

Click here to buy tickets for the gig.

Full details on the GIGS page.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

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