new york

Our summer season of music festivals

6 August 2013

music festivals

Last Sunday we drove to a small seaside town, just south of Colchester, to perform at the Brightlingsea Festival. I’ve always thought there was something quite poetic about travelling to the very edge of the country to play music – and the whole experience was made all the better by the fantastically warm welcome we received when we got there.

Brightlingsea Festival is a brilliant community event. Run by enthusiastic, music-loving volunteers, as you can see from the photo above it attracts a buzzing crowd, as well as a wide range of musical styles (we were preceded by jazz and bluegrass bands, and followed by a swing band!).

This was our third appearance at Brightlingsea, and we hope to be back again sometime in the future. In the meantime, here’s a reminder of the other outdoor gigs we have coming up this summer…

Astoria Park Concert Series

If you’re in the New York area, catch us at Astoria Park on Thursday 15 August. Our first Astoria show was in 2010, to a crowd of 2,000 people on the banks of the East River. Magical! Can’t wait to get back. Click here to read more.

Burlington Amphitheater

The Burlington Amphitheater in New Jersey is one of our favourite venues in America. Their concert series is well-known in the community and we always get the chance to meet some tremendous people when we play there. We’ll be back again on Sunday 18 August. Click here to read more.

Brownstock

Back in the UK, we’ll be headlining the Piano Bar stage at Brownstock in Essex on Saturday 31 August. This year’s main stage headliners are The Fratellis, Mark Ronson and DJ Yoda, so there’s plenty of top-drawer musical shenanigans to keep you amused before and after our set. Click here to read more.

Chris Lightyear

New free download at Project Lightyears

22 January 2013

project lightyearsLord be praised*, it’s a miracle – we’ve passed 100,000 views at www.ProjectLightyears.com… which means you lot get a juicy free download all to yourselves.

Thanks to everyone for spreading the word so ferociously since we launched – in return we’d like you, your family and everyone you’ve ever met to have a free copy of our previously unreleased Manhattan version of “Emily”, recorded in New York in a tiny studio while Chinatown buzzed around us.

Visit Project Lightyears and follow the instructions therein to nab your free track.

*The Vatican are yet to recognise this as an official miracle, which is a bit mean.

Help us reach 100,000 views at Project Lightyears

11 December 2012

project lightyearsWe’re just 12,000 away from 100,000 views at Project Lightyears, which I think we can all agree is rather exciting.

So here’s the deal.

You folks help us reach the big 100K mark before the year ends, and in return we’ll give you – ALL of you – a free copy of a previously unreleased version of Emily we recorded in New York’s Chinatown whilst on tour in the States.

How can you do this, I hear you cry?

1) Visit www.ProjectLightyears.com and have a good poke around. On top of the video content there’s a whole host of already unlocked free downloads for you to plunder.
2) Share it, tweet it, shout it from the rooftops (or Facebook if you’re not the type to hang about on rooftops). Tell your friends, tell your families, and make sure you let them know there’s a ton of free stuff in it for them.

With a bit of luck we ought to be able to hit 100,000 on the counter before the stroke of midnight on 31 December… and if that happens, I suggest we organise a global party to mark the occasion, some kind of elaborate collective celebration where we all get nicely sozzled on champagne and sing (for some reason) Auld Lang Syne. I think everyone will join in. I really think they will.

ps. The Chinatown version of Emily was recorded amidst a whirlwind of gigs and parties in New York back in 2008 – click here to read the story behind the record

All my life… watching America

7 November 2012

barack obamaWe’ve toured to America numerous times, and having been based mainly on the East Coast have spent a great deal of time with Barack Obama’s supporters and campaigners (in fact, we were in the US just a few months before he was originally elected in 2008). And so, at the risking of confusing music with politics or being in any way partisan… WOO-HOO!! Congratulations America – you made the right decision.

It’s been a rough ol’ road for rockstar Obama. In a way I think one of the biggest challenges he faces is that his nation is experiencing something of an identity crisis at the moment. Traditionally the USA has always been about optimism, triumph, and prosperity, but with stories of evictions and bankruptcy dominating the news, suddenly the American Dream would appear to be showing substantial cracks. That said, as a nation Americans are hardy of spirit and indomitably patriotic, and however things pan out, I’d say that’s unlikely to change.

I’ve always had a problem with the prevalence in Britain of ‘America bashing’ – the assumption that because we speak the same language it’s somehow okay to make offensive, sweeping generalisations. Over here in Blighty we generally have a low tolerance for racism, but it is for some unfathomable reason still socially acceptable to say ‘all Yanks are fat and stupid’, which I think is completely appalling – especially given that my experience on The Lightyears’ US tours is that Americans are amongst the warmest, smartest and most welcoming people on earth.

Whatever happens in the next four years, I firmly believe the USA – and therefore the world – is in far, far safer hands under Obama than it would have been under Romney. It ain’t gonna be easy, but then I guess that must be why they call it the hardest job in the world…

Click here to see The Lightyears’ American Tour Photo Album
Click here to read my 2009 USA Tour Diary
– Click here to see The Lightyears playing live at Milkboy in Ardmore, Pennsylvania (or watch it below)

Archive of tour photos now online

8 July 2012

'Tony... Tony. Are there still 800 people standing behind me? Yes? That's what I was afraid of.'We’ve just posted a comprehensive archive of our tour photos on The Lightyears’ Facebook page, stretching all the way back to 1996 and covering tours to the USA, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Istanbul and more…

Click here to visit the archive and venture into the mysterious and terrifying world of The Lightyears On Tour. Yes, that’s right – mysterious and terrifying. If you can call photos of me gawping with my thumbs up and Danny draping himself across parked cars mysterious and terrifying.

Which I think you can.

Feel free to leave disparaging comments, or perhaps the occasional ‘Like’ for the ones that take your fancy.

And if your day is still left wanting for entertainment, mosey on over to Project Lightyears and help us reach our next target – just 2,000 more views will unlock your free copy of our live acoustic cover of David Guetta’s Titanium.

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…?”
MetroGirl,
New York

Here’s to next year’s tour…!

USA Tour starts this week!

30 June 2010

George maxing and relaxing in NYC, circa 2008.Our fifth American tour starts this Thursday 15 July at Union Square in New York. Here’s a full rundown of the venues we’re playing:

Thursday 15 July: UNION SQUARE, New York NY
This will be our third year headlining at the Union Square Summer Concert Series in Manhattan. Recent years have seen crowds of thousands and, thanks to the prime location right in the centre of New York, it’s the ideal way to spend a late afternoon in the Big Apple. ENTRY IS FREE!

Friday 16 July: BURLINGTON AMPHITHEATRE, Mount Holly NJ
We’re very excited to return to Burlington for the second year running. Burlington has an impressive amphitheatre and promises to host a fine evening of entertainment. Never fear – if it rains, the show will go on (it’ll be moved to an indoor theatre next door). ENTRY IS FREE!

Saturday 17 July: BLOCKLEY POURHOUSE, Philadelphia PA. BUY TICKETS HERE!
**THIS SHOW IS NOW ALL AGES!!** Our big Saturday night headline gig (and our only appearance in Philadelphia this summer) is at the awesome Blockley Pourhouse on Chestnut Street. The Blockley is a brand-new, state-of-the-art venue built on the site of an old asylum. Which is pretty wacky. Get your tickets here – just $7 advance!

Sunday 18 July: THE SAINT, Asbury Park NJ. BUY TICKETS HERE!
We’ll be seeing out the weekend at The Saint on Main Street, Asbury Park. Previous performers at this venue include Ben Folds Five, Lost Prophets, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Dandy Warhols. Tickets on sale here! Also performing are local band Root Glen + special guests.

Thursday 22 July: ASTORIA PARK, New York NY
The tour comes to a close back in New York on 22 July at Astoria Park. We’ll be playing an hour and half’s set, so plenty of time to kick back with a massive Dr Pepper from Taco Bell and maybe even a tasty picnic. ENTRY IS FREE!

Full details on the GIGS page.

To hear us on the radio in your area, request the LYs below!

– Kathy Romano on WMMR (Bala Cynwyd, PA): REQUEST THE LYs HERE
– Bonnie Hart on WBZC “The Pulse” (Pemberton, NJ): REQUEST THE LYs HERE
WKDU 97.1FM (Philadelphia, PA): REQUEST THE LYs HERE

Tickets go on sale for American Tour 2010

17 June 2010

The LYs on tour in the USA, September 2008.**UPDATE (24 June): Tickets are now on sale for LYs @ Blockley Pourhouse (Philadelphia) on Sat 17 July. CLICK HERE TO BUY YOURS!

Tickets are also available for our show at The Saint in Asbury Park (New Jersey) with local act Root Glen, on Sunday 18 July. Buy yours here.

All our other shows in the USA this summer are FREE ENTRY. Woo-hoo! Here’s a full list of the dates:

Thursday 15 July: Union Square, New York NY
Friday 16 July: Burlington Amphitheatre, Mount Holly NJ
Saturday 17 July: Blockley Pourhouse, Philadelphia PA (BUY TICKETS HERE)
Sunday 18 July: The Saint, Asbury Park NJ (BUY TICKETS HERE)
Thursday 22 July: Astoria Park, New York NY

Full details on the GIGS page.

LYs to tour East Coast USA in July

20 May 2010

The LYs headlining Union Square in 2009We’re very excited to announce our 2010 USA Tour, which will consist of a string of dates in mid-July in the New York/Philadelphia area. This will be our fifth visit to the United States and promises to be an absolute cracker!

Dates include a return to Union Square on 15 July to headline at their Summer Concert Series (where we performed to thousands last July) as well as our second performance at the Burlington Amphitheatre in New Jersey on the 16th. New venues we will be appearing at include the Blockley Pourhouse in Pennsylvania on 17 July and the Astoria Park Summer Concert Series in New York (22 July).

We’re looking forward to catching up with some old friends and hopefully making a bunch of new fans whilst we’re there! Equally, I have no doubt that George will once again attempt to eat himself to death on Philly Cheese Steaks. I mean, that’s just how he rolls (for the fully story, click here to read my 2009 USA Tour Diary).

For a full list of dates, click here to visit the GIGS page.

Come one, come all, to Birmingham…

13 November 2009

Look at Josh. Look how lonely he is. Make his day. Come to Brum.All the great tours start in great cities. That’s just a simple fact of rock and roll. It might be the Enormodome, Memphis, or the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, or New York’s Madison Square Gardens.

This tour, on the other hand, begins in Birmingham.

But you gotta start somewhere, eh?!

Tomorrow morning at 11am, Josh’s Band (featuring Chris and George Lightyear) will be premiering at the Birmingham Bullring in an attempt to get the good people of the UK singing the song we wrote last week in a studio in St John’s Wood. It’s called “Come With Me” and it’s invitingly simple to play and sing (click here for lyrics and chords; click here for recording and sheet music).

If you possess even just a modicum of musical talent or inclination, come join us and you could end up starring in a T-Mobile advert. It’s going to be exactly like the video for “All You Need Is Love”… except, you know, in a shopping centre.

Visit Josh’s Myspace page to find out more.

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