national libraries day

LYs release live video of ‘Blinded By Light’

10 March 2013

blinded by lightWe’ve just published the first live video from our recent headline show at Westminster Reference Library, featuring brand-new LYs track ‘Blinded By Light‘.

We premiered a number of new songs at Westminster on Saturday 9 February, among them ‘Embrace Of Many‘, ‘Wait Forever‘ and ‘One Way Or The Other‘. Along with ‘Blinded By Light’ and a clutch of other tunes we’re working on in rehearsal, these songs will help to make up the next Lightyears album.

The album will be released in conjunction with my Lightyears novel, Mockstars. The novel is loosely based on my Lightyears tour diaries, and tells the story of our first ever international tour to Meribel, in the French Alps. Check out a video extract here… and watch this space for updates!

Click here to view our photo gallery from Westminster Library.

Click here to read my write-up of the gig.

Watch the video below:

LYs gig review published in London E-zine

25 February 2013

gig reviewLondon-based online music mag and promotion company It’s All Happening have posted a gig review covering our recent performance at Westminster Library in central London.

IAH review gigs from all across the capital, as well as running their own events and festivals and generally working their socks off to promote and foster London’s thriving indie music scene.

Head on over to their website to give the review a read.

Media from the gig

If you missed our show at Westminster – or if you enjoyed it so ravenously that you simply must relive it – then mosey on over to the gallery page to check out the official photos, or read my gig report on the Lightyears blog page.

The Lightyears – live at Westminster Library

14 February 2013

And, unfortunately, so is the beer.For those of you who don’t know, I’ve written a novel inspired by the international adventures of The Lightyears, entitled Mockstars. The band are also working on an album of original songs to accompany the book, making Mockstars the first ever full-length novel by a band, about the band, with its own original soundtrack.

On Saturday 9 February we unleashed this concept for the first time on the general public. A library felt like an appropriate place to kick off a project that combines rock ‘n’ roll with fiction and so, on National Libraries Day 2013, we booked in a headline show at Westminster Reference Library, just off Leicester Square. Most people are slightly taken aback when you tell them you’re performing in a library, but WRF has a track record for these things and has previously hosted, among others, British Sea Power and Mr Hudson (not to mention our erstwhile piano-led chums Royworld) and so the idea wasn’t totally unprecedented. Plus we’ve played libraries before and we know it works – here we are entertaining the crowds at Burlington Library in New Jersey back in 2009.

The gig took a fair bit of organisation, and we were expecting a capacity crowd, so the pressure was very much on. When Tesco delivered all the alcohol to Berkshire instead of Westminster Library I can reveal that a few heart-rates began to race – but then some kindly Lightyears fans who were coming from that direction agreed to play booze courier for us, and we were back on track. By 8.30 the venue was full, we had sold out, drinks were flowing and I had begun to feel that maybe this zany idea just might work.

After spellbinding Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo opened the show with a couple of songs and a reading from her book The Spider King’s Daughter, we took to the stage. It’s been a while since we played our own songs in the capital, and I could tell I wasn’t the only Lightyear who was relishing the novelty. We opened with Wait Forever, a slow-building ballad with (predictably) a rousing, vocal harmony-filled chorus, and from there segued straight into Blinded By Light, the song which probably best sums up the musical direction the band is now heading in. After a 2013 acoustic re-imagining of our old gig favourite This House Will Burn, I stepped up to the mic for my first reading.

Up until this point I honestly had no idea whether it would work. If you were there yourself then, well, I guess you can tell me – but the reaction I got from the crowd certainly seemed to suggest that people enjoyed it. The band perched on the edge of the drum-riser and I proceeded to tell the (gloriously embellished) story of our first meeting with LYs drummer Tony. Tony had deliberately not read this scene in advance so that he could enjoy it first-hand with everyone else, although it’s possible that he began to regret that decision once his character entered the fray and he realised his personality was entirely at the mercy of my metaphorical quill.

I was delighted with how well the reading went down, but I’d also planned to keep each extract to roughly the length of a song so as not to bore anyone! From there we slipped right back into the music, and as the evening went on we continued to reveal material from the new album alongside a few carefully-selected older songs – tracks like Brother (from our 2005 album Mission Creep) and Fine (from our 2002 release Flying Blind). You can catch live videos of some of the new tracks – Embrace Of Many, Wait Forever and One Way Or The Other – at, along with video readings from Mockstars. Before the set ended I read a scene recounting the band’s first rehearsal, set in Croydon’s Scream Studios, and another that describes one of my first ever encounters with, for want of a better phrase, ‘posh groupies’ in the French Alps (also available to view on the Project Lightyears micro-site).

LYs photographer Alex Cooke – who took this photo of us at Wembley Stadium, among many others – was on-hand to document the event through his trusty lens, and you can see the pics on our PHOTOS page. We were also very lucky to have Kaushik Bhattacharya of Milky Films shoot the gig for us, and again we’re hopeful of putting together some of that footage for our YouTube channel over the coming weeks.

Thank you once again to everyone who came. It was a special night for us, a true career highlight, and hopefully the beginning of an exciting new chapter for The Lightyears. The book and album are still in development, but this gig was the first step on the road to becoming, as far as we’re aware, the only band in history to have released what I often ill-advisedly refer to as a ‘novel-bum’.

Watch this space.

Chris Lightyear

ps. Sorry we ran out of beer.

Sell-out at Westminster Library

12 February 2013

The LYs rocking the ruddy heck out of Westminster Library.Thanks to everyone who came down to Westminster Library on Saturday night for our Book & Album Preview – we played one of our favourite ever gigs, to a capacity crowd, in a truly unusual and exciting venue.

I’ve written a piece on the event in my Lightyears blog, and we also covered the show with a photographer and cameraman. We’ll be releasing new media as and when it’s available, so watch this space.

It was pretty thrilling for us to unleash extracts from the book and songs from the new album for the first time, and we’d be interested to know what people thought. Connect with us via our Twitter and Facebook accounts or, if you’re from the old school, just post us your crayon / dried pasta interpretations of the gig, and we’ll be happy.

Chibundu Onuzo to join LYs at library

31 January 2013

Chibundu Onuzo and her debut novel, 'The Spider King's Daughter'Before we hit the stage at Westminster Reference Library on Saturday 9 February, you’ll be treated to a short reading and musical performance by the awesome Chibundu Onuzo, a 21 year-old Nigerian author and performer.

In 2012 Chibundu became Faber & Faber’s youngest ever female signing, and since then her book ‘The Spider King’s Daughter’ has gone on to widespread critical acclaim, leading to appearances on CNN and the BBC (in fact, if you click here and scroll through to 27:20, you can watch her on last Friday’s episode of The One Show).

We’re delighted to be sharing a bill with Chibundu and look forward to commemorating National Libraries Day with her and, of course, your good selves. Doors are at 7.30, Chibundu at 8 and The Lightyears at 8.30. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, don’t delay! Follow this link to WeGotTickets.

Chris LY to appear at Brixton Book Jam

29 January 2013

Look at me, I'm reading! I learnt how to do that at university.As a warm-up for our big gig at Westminster Library on National Libraries Day, I will be appearing on the bill at the next Brixton Book Jam on Monday 4 February, reading from my Lightyears novel Mockstars.

Brixton Book Jam – AKA ‘the Glastonbury of literature’ –  is an eclectic gathering of tremendous and quirky people passionate about books and the written word, this month taking place at the Hootananny pub on Effra Road. I will be joining an esteemed list of writers in a bid to slay you, literally kill you dead, with our potent droplets of verbal anthrax.

Doors are at 7pm; readings begin at 8. ENTRY IS FREE, hoorah! Full details here.

There will be books. But I can’t guarantee jam.

ps. If you can’t make this event, there are still tickets left (but not that many!) for our headline gig at Westminster Reference Library on Saturday 9 February – your chance to hear preview extracts from my Lightyears novel, and the album that accompanies it, for the first time ever in a live setting. Buy your tickets here… it’s going to be off-the-hook (or, at least, as off-the-hook as you can go in a public library… you’re probably still hanging onto the hook but, like, just with your little finger or something. Everyone with me? Good.)

Stop the press – it’s National Libraries Day…

22 January 2013

national libraries daySaturday 9 February is National Libraries Day.

But that’s not all.

It is also the date of our return to the London stage, and coincidentally your first chance to hear live readings from my new Lightyears novel as well as songs from the album that accompanies it.

So if you were looking for a way to celebrate National Libraries Day – which come on, I KNOW YOU ALL WERE – then by George I believe we have it. The Lightyears live at Westminster Reference Library, 9 February from 7.30pm. Music, words, wine and fine company, all wrapped up inside this exciting, offbeat venue right in the heart of London.

Act fast, though – tickets are selling terribly well and there’s only so much space in there (bloody Leo Tolstoy insists on filling up most of the first floor with his frankly enormous books).

Tickets on sale here at the frighteningly reasonable price of £4.50:

Click here for full gig details.

And for a wee taste of what’s to come, check out this video extract from my LYs novel Mockstars:

Lightyears head for the recording studio

9 January 2013

recording studioWe’re hitting the ground running in 2013, and this weekend we’ll be holing ourselves up in a recording studio in North London to lay down preview versions of the some of the songs we’ve been working on for the new album.

To track our progress, keep a close eye on The Lightyears’ Twitter feed for updates.

For a run-down of the songs we’ve got in the bank so far, click here.

…And if you’d like to hear these songs live, make sure you book your ticket for our headline show at Westminster Reference Library on Saturday 9 February.

Finally, for the nostalgic amongst you, follow this link for a list of our favourite moments of 2012.

All the best for 2013, pop fans.

Comin’ atcha, like Margaret Thatcher.

3 December 2012

Poor little fellas can't even afford a rehearsal studio.As most of you will know by now, we’ve booked a headline show at Westminster Reference Library on Saturday 9 February to showcase the songs we’re working on for our new album, along with readings from my new Lightyears novel Mockstars.

My book is currently being edited by a London literary consultancy, which is rather exciting, and meanwhile the band are preparing a new batch of tracks ahead of making some preview recordings early on in the New Year. We’ll make sure you’re first to hear about those when they’re done; but until then, here’s a quick rundown of the some of the songs we’ve worked on so far:

Blinded By Light: This is the first song I wrote for the new album. It’s about growing up, dealing with change, union and division. Here’s a clip from my bedroom demo:

Embrace Of Many: Written around the same time as Blinded, this song comes straight out of a scene in the novel that deals with isolation while being surrounded by people. Here’s a video of us performing Embrace Of Many on the banks of Lake Grasmere:

I Won’t Wait Forever: This is one of George’s, undeniably in debt to Bends-era Radiohead. Here’s our lakeside performance of the song:

One Way Or The Other: Another of George’s; this time a simple number that tracks the make-or-break point in a relationship. Again, live from Lake Grasmere:

To hear these songs (and more) live, follow this link to buy tickets for our Westminster Library show.

LYs to headline Westminster Reference Library

16 November 2012

westminster reference libraryWe’re very excited to announce that we’ll be returning to the London stage on Saturday 9 February next year to headline at Westminster Reference Library. We’ll be presenting extracts from my Lightyears novel ‘Mockstars’, as well as songs from our new album, for one night only in an intimate setting.

This is your chance to get a sneak preview of the material we’ve been writing this year, and experience the fusion of words and live music in this exciting, offbeat venue.

*TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE* at the frighteningly reasonable price of £4.50 (plus 50p booking fee). Click here to buy yours – and we’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Full details on the GIGS page.