london 2012 olympics

Our Favourite Moments Of 2012

1 January 2013

The Lightyears headlining at Goring & Streatley Jubilee.That’s right, people… it’s 2013. Not quite sure how that happened – we appear to be edging ever closer to the date in Back To The Future II, which doesn’t seem at all right, but there you go.

The Lightyears are looking forward to an exciting couple of months. We’re returning to the London stage on Saturday 9 February to headline at Westminster Reference Library, and before then we’ll be hitting the recording studio to lay down preview versions of some of the tracks we’ve been working on for the new album.

We’ll keep you posted on all that but, until then, feel free to avail yourself heartily of The Lightyears Favourite Moments Of 2012

Chilling backstage with multiple Rogers
In October we larked off to Sweden to perform with Roger Daltrey from The Who and Queen drummer Roger Taylor. We spent most of the time buggering about on bikes and learned that people named Roger are always spiffing. Click here to read my Gothenburg Tour Diary.

Surprising some Cumbrian ramblers
As part of a new band initiative to get back to nature, 2012 saw us popping up in a number of al fresco gig destinations and shooting funny little acoustic videos. Here’s one of us on the banks of Lake Grasmere, shortly after we confused the absolute heck out of some local hiking types:

Nearly starting a fight with The Buzzcocks
In September, while we were on tour in France, one of my legendarily BRILLIANT jokes predictably backfired and I narrowly escaped fisticuffs with a punk legend. Read the story here.

Making acoustic music really quite sexy
Our first move in 2012 was to film and release a series of acoustic videos shot at the awesome Powder Keg Diplomacy in Clapham. These proved almost suspiciously popular in Turkey. Have a gander…

Releasing The Ultimate Lightyears Photo Album
Tired of having to recreate our precious band memories by scribing them into slates like Victorian schoolchildren, this year we decided to compile an archive of our craaaaaaziest international tour photos. Click here to take a look.

Coming perilously close to outshining Bolt at the Games
Back in the heady sporting summer of 2012, we wrote and performed an Olympic Anthem for the city of Peterborough. Here we are performing it with quite literally lots of humans.

Creating lasting world peace with our new app
A couple of months ago we made ourselves tiny enough to fit inside your phone. Apparently professional people call these apps; I call them Mini-Moving-Picture-Boxes. Click here to download your copy.

Queening it up at The Goring Jubilee
Roger Taylor’s all very well, but the shocking truth is that his band nicked their entire identity from this old rocker ALSO CALLED QUEEN. On 3 June we celebrated how many hats she has by playing a big, wet gig in Goring. It was epic.

Eclipsing the internet with Project LYs
In the summer we launched our multimedia micro-site Project Lightyears. The site proved so popular that it immediately broke Google. Don’t worry, there’s a bloke coming round to fix it.

Finishing the book that is fast becoming known as The New New Testament
I’ve been writing a book inspired by the international shenanigans of The Lightyears for some years now, and in 2012 I finished it. The spelling in it is excellent. And if you come to our gig on Saturday 9 February, you can hear me read from it. Here’s an excerpt:

Mercilessly rocking Cape Town
Cape Town welcomed us yet again with open arms at the beginning of the year, and we responded by first eating loads and loads of their delicious meat (not Tony) and then rocking their cocking socks off. Here’s a teeny tiny clip.

Happy New Year folks! And thanks to everyone who supported us in 2012 – it means a lot.

Chris, George, Tony & John

Paul McCartney disses the establishment…

24 July 2012

Fortunately for us, unlike some people, The Lightyears are SPECTACULARLY cool.I love Paul McCartney because, for a man who is theoretically one of the coolest human beings who has ever lived, he’s also kind of… uncool?

You’ll see what I mean if you check out this video of Paul and his band rehearsing for the opening ceremony of the Olympics (at the risk of spoiling it, after a verse and a chorus, somebody ‘pulls the plug’ in an ironic reenactment of the recent incident at Springsteen’s Hyde Park concert). Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the fact that he’s done it (I was ranting about the whole affair myself only the other day), and the moment when the band act surprised at the power disappearing is really quite endearing, if strangely awkward. But it does strike me as a strangely adolescent sort of response when you consider McCartney’s stature. It’s the kind of thing a teenager might do to piss off their parents, you know? Yeah. You wanna ground me? Take away my pocket money? Fine. But I’m SO going to publish an ironic video about it on YouTube, and there’s nothing you can do about it and I wish I’d never been born (etc).

The Beatles are and always will be legends, but these days Paul McCartney has morphed wonderfully into a sort of cuddly, uncool mirror-image of his younger trend-setting self, a bit like your grandad wearing Nike Airs. And I personally think that’s quite nice.

I know there are certain Beatles ‘fans’ out there – the crazy Lennonists – who despise everything that Macca represents, calling him a sell-out and insisting that just because he doesn’t sit in bed all day protesting about world peace he’s somehow not a proper musician. But I think that’s poppycock. Macca is a national treasure and, as long as keeps on doing funny little quirky things like this, he will remain so for a long time.

The calm before the storm

3 July 2012

We're going to look excellent being choppered on here later.We’ve got a few hours off before the soundcheck for our Olympic Torch concert, so we’ve come to Wetherspoon’s. Which is exactly what Bono did before Live Aid.

Danny is eating a massive breakfast. Everyone else in here is an alcoholic.

Anyway, here’s the latest. We’re performing ‘There With You’, our olympic song, on Peterborough Embankment at 5.35pm with an army of singers and drummers from across the city. We’ll then be hotfooting it to the cathedral, where we’ll be performing it again for the BBC cameras. As far as I’m aware, this second performance will be going out live on BBC Look East West.

Tomorrow morning, at an hour that’s already making my eyes water, we’ll be playing a stripped-back acoustic version of the song that is apparently also making some kind of appearance on (probably regional) breakfast TV. After the event, I’m hoping some of this footage will be available to view on iPlayer – we’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, keep an eye on The Lightyears’ Twitter feed for rolling updates, photos and nuggets of devastating wisdom.

Okay then. I’m off to think of something erudite to say to Seb Coe later. So far I’ve come up with “Lordy, lordy. What a day”.

You’re right. That needs work.

Our turn with the Olympic torch…

2 July 2012

We'll be joined onstage in Peterborough by an army of multi-coloured lions and unicorns. Obviously.It’s 7.15am and, I’ll be honest, I’m pretty exhausted. A week of manically preparing Project LYs for launch followed by a gig in Scotland and a frankly dangerous level of partying (on Saturday, before the gig, I ate a whole asparagus and quail’s egg salad to myself and didn’t even pause before knocking back well over a quarter of a glass of champagne) has left me with some kind of non-specific illness and a sleep-overdraft of about 400 hours.

However, no time to sit around in my pants moping because things are about to kick off on the Olympic Games front. Last year we wrote a song for the Peterborough leg of the Olympic Torch Relay and tomorrow we’ll be performing it live on the Peterborough Embankment with 800 singers and drummers from across the city. It’s just been confirmed that Seb Coe will be making an appearance; click here for more details.

As far as I’m currently aware, the performance will be going out live on telly for anyone in the Eastern region, and highlights may appear on the One Show later in the evening. The following morning (Weds 4th) we’re performing a stripped-back version of the song in the town centre and rumour has it this may get coverage on breakfast television. TV scheduling often tends to change at the last minute, of course, so stay on your toes! More to come on that throughout the week. Either way you ought to be able to catch it on iPlayer.

Have a good week folks, and keep an eye on this blog / Facebook / Twitter for updates. Also, don’t forget to visit Project Lightyears to download your free copy of our new version of This House Will Burn.

ps. somewhere in the middle of all this I need to make time to find myself a literary agent. Hmm. Could forego sleep? Either that or invent time travel. Any other suggestions, let me know.