new york daily news

Astoria Park Concert Series to host LYs…

10 July 2013

Astoria ParkWe’ve played quite a number of gigs in New York over the years, but the Astoria Park Concert Series in 2010 was a real highlight.

We rocked up at the venue not knowing quite what to expect. It was our first time performing in Astoria, so we had no idea what kind of audience would turn up. It was a beautiful warm night, primed for live music, and the setting was quite spectacular. The iconic bridges, the trees, the sun setting over the East River – glorious.

And then an amazing thing happened. Out of nowhere, two thousand people flooded in. The good people of Astoria, ranging in age from 3 to about 73, came in their hundreds to perch on the hill and watch us rattle through a varied set of Lightyears originals and a few high-energy covers. We were joined onstage that night by a couple of special guests – NYC councillor Peter Vallone Jr, who hopped on the bass guitar for a spirited rendition of The Monkees’ I’m A Believer, and our good friend Ant Law, a superb jazz guitarist from the UK who was in town with the touring Michael Jackson musical Thriller.

A rambunctious time was had by all, and afterwards we were overwhelmed (as we always are in the States) by the enthusiasm of the music fans who came up to speak to us. A few days later the New York Daily News ran a double-page feature on the gig – take a look here.

In light of all this, you won’t be surprised to hear that we’ve been itching to get back. We’ve been busy having babies, completing doctorates and writing novels since 2010 so it’s taken a little longer than we’d planned, but on Thursday 15 August we will be kicking off our 2013 American Tour with another headline show at Astoria Park. Entry is free, and the show starts at 7.30pm. You can find more details on our GIGS page.

Hope to see some of you there. I myself plan to pack my entire body in ice in a probably futile attempt at combatting the insane heat you folks have out there. It’s a little too much for our pasty British constitutions, I’m afraid…

Chris Lightyear

New York Daily News, 27 July 2010

8 March 2013

“Lightyears ahead in Astoria – Energetic British band thrills young and old”
27 July 2010
Lisa L. Colangelo, New York Daily News, USA

ASTORIA PARK was treated to a burst of British pop rock last week when The Lightyears took to the stage for a free concert…

The energetic trio charmed the crowd of 2,000 with a mix of old favourites and self-penned tunes.

“They really won over the hearts of Astoria,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “I have been going to these concerts for a long time, and I have never seen so many people at the end of the show looking for autographs and buying CDs.”

Vallone, a guitarist, even joined the band for a cover of The Monkees’ classic, “I’m A Believer”.

“It seems like our music has a connection here,” said keyboardist Chris Russell. “Americans are really open to that kind of uplifting, good old-fashioned pop music.”

The band’s eclectic set ranged from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Hey Jude” to “Great Balls Of Fire” – a nod to the mixed crowd, which included 20- and 30-somethings along with seniors.

“They are really good at gauging what the crowd is looking for,” said Raima McDaniel, a fan who has seen the band several times in recent years. “They really know how to get a crowd going, plus they’re British, so that’s fun.”

The free Thursday night concert series features country, big band and even 1960s bubblegum pop.

But it’s rare for an up-and-coming young band to take the stage.

“It was the first time I had seen or heard of them, and I actually bought their CD,” said Astoria resident Teresa Ciattei, who has attended many of the Thursday performances.

Russell said he and his bandmates love visiting New York City for the people, the culture and the food. The steamy summer weather, however, is a different story.

“We really eat when we come here; the food is great,” said Russell. “We’re British though, so the heat is a bit much for us…”

The Lightyears in the New York Daily News (July 2010)

8 March 2013


2010 USA Tour a success!

29 July 2010

Teeny tiny Lightyears at the fantastic Burlington Amphitheatre, New Jersey.Thanks to everybody who came out to see us during our 2010 American Tour. We had an absolutely fantastic time and were blown away, as always, by the warmth and generosity of our fans in the States.

Highlights included a bakingly hot return to Union Square in New York, a full house at Burlington Amphitheatre on 16 July  and a crowd of two thousand people turning up to watch us play in front of the East River in Astoria Park on the last night of the tour whilst the sun set over the Manhattan skyline…! Unforgettable.

Loads of you have uploaded your photos to our Fan Pics page on Flickr – click here to check them out (or add your own).

Our spies on the East Coast tell us we had a double-page spread in the New York Daily News (which apparently has a readership of two million people) on Tuesday, following our headline slot at Astoria Park. More details to come. For more USA press on the tour, see below:

“…for The Lightyears, making themselves a household name in America won’t be hard to do, what with the band being made up of three cute guys with English accents, including a heartthrob for a lead singer…”
Erica Brooke Fajge, Only In Philadelphia (read full article here)

“Gorgeous harmonies, three hot guys and that quirky English humor. What more could a girl want…?”
New York

Here’s to next year’s tour…!