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 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

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…!

Why LYs fans are the best fans in the world…

27 July 2010

That's us, that is.When we discovered that a five-star hotel in Cape Town had erected a plaque in our honour back in January (read about it here), I think we all expected this would be the last time something like that would happen to us. Au contraire, however! After our recent gig at the Burlington Amphitheatre in New Jersey, USA, we were invited back to the picturesque town of Riverton for an after-party. The bash was being held on the legendary porch of one Maureen Murray, known well to The Lightyears during our recent visits to the USA for her propensity to ply us with Bombay Sapphire and delicious all-American breakfasts.

Lo and behold, in honour of an impromptu unplugged show we played on her porch back in 2007, it turned out that Maureen had erected a Ye Olde Wooden Plaque on the outside of her home (see photo above). Long may it hang there.

The more I think about this, the more I wonder whether Maureen may have started something here. A movement, perhaps. A mission for us to inspire plaque-hanging in every country in the world. USA and South Africa down, only about two hundred countries left to go.

Please feel free to help our cause. Erect a Lightyears plaque today. If you do, I promise to write a blog about it. And I’m a man of my word.

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!

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.

Our Top 20 Moments Of 2009

16 December 2009

Christmas Time is here again and there’s enormous excitement in the air. There’s an outside chance that Rage Against The Machine will beat the X Factor to Number One on Sunday and the weather-man says that snow’s a-coming. Things literally couldn’t be any better.

We thought we’d add to the general feeling of goodwill and festivity by recounting our favourite and most memorable experiences from the past year. Most of them – whether in London, Cape Town or the USA – involved the support of our fans and we’d like to personally thank everyone who has helped us make 2009 one of our best years yet. You guys rule.

So here, in no particular order, are The Lightyears’ Top 20 Moments Of 2009:

1. Stepping out onstage at Wembley Stadium for the first time in front of 45,000 people

2. Winning over an audience of leather-clad Norwegian bikers at the Speedway Cafe in Cape Town

3. Performing a barbershop medley of British seaside tunes in front of the British Ambassador in Seoul

4. Writing a song for a national ad campaign (“Come With Me” is released on Universal Records in January)

5. Spotting our faces in train stations and on the side of buses

6. Performing for a full-house of fans, friends and family at The Lightyears’ Christmas Party

7. Playing to a crowd of thousands on a hot summer’s evening in Union Square, Manhattan

8. Working with top producers Bacon & Quarmby (David Bowie, Finley Quaye, Sugababes) on the studio release of “Come With Me”

9. Watching South Africa’s foremost FHM model Roxy Louw stage-dive into a crowd of boogying revelers at our Cape Town Tens gig

10. Being invited back to Wembley Stadium

11. Drinking Pina Coladas by the pool at the Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town

12. Seeing ourselves on TV (click here)

13. Touring the country with Josh’s Band

14. Finding out we’ve been immortalised on canvas!

15. Spotting The Lightyears in the New York Post

16. Dressing up as intergalactic space rockstars for a Forbidden Planet tribute gig

17. Selling out our latest album London, England on the US Tour

18. Celebrating the end of the Korean Tour with a Lightyears night on the tiles

19. Appearing on the same bill as Diversity, winners of Britain’s Got Talent

20. Partying with the LYs American Fan Club in Riverton, New Jersey!

LYs album hits #3 spot on US radio station

15 August 2009

Tony wasn't celebrating the band's chart placing - he had just eaten a particularly delicious quiche.Lightyears album London, England has risen to #3 in the Top Ten chart on US radio station WPRB Princeton

The LYs are hot-on-the-heels of another British artist, Jarvis Cocker, who is currently occupying the number one spot with his recent solo offering, Further Complications

Click here to see the Top Ten in full.

WPRB DJ John Tobias began playing our latest album after seeing us perform in Burlington NJ for the closing date of our most recent American tour. After reviewing the record live on-air, John put the CD on regular rotation on the WPRB playlist and since then it has risen vastly in popularity and become one of the most played releases on the station.

You can keep London, England in the WPRB charts by e-mailing the station and requesting our tracks. Click here to send your message. Thanks, as always, for your support!

“London, England” sells out on US tour

10 August 2009

We had such an overwhelming response from American fans during our recent Stateside tour that hard copies of our latest album, London, England, have now completely sold out.

The album is still available on iTunes priced £7.90. Click here to buy your copy.

Watch this space for a re-pressing of the album for those of you who prefer the old school format!

We released London, England in January 2009. It features many of our most popular tracks including “This House Will Burn”, “Emily” and “Sleepless”. The latter two tracks were produced by Hugh Padgham, the four time Grammy-winning producer responsible for selling over 50 million records with Sting, Paul McCartney, Elton John and many more.

Ireland’s State Magazine gave the record 4/5 and described the band as “Babyshambles with better manners”. Read the review by clicking here.

Further reviews of the album can be read here, here and here.

Read my blog on the experience of recording London, England by clicking here.

The Myth Of The Great British Summertime

7 August 2009

Today’s blog doesn’t really have anything to do with music. In fact, I’m slightly ashamed to admit that it’s no more than a rant on what is effectively the lowest common denominator of talking points in this country – the weather.

Whilst on tour in the USA last week (where we were subjected to some pretty varied weather conditions) I found myself explaining to a number of Americans that whilst for them rain is merely “a bit of a bummer”, for us it is practically a way of life. That’s accepted. And so I was somewhat taken aback to arrive home and find that Brits are still banging on about the apparent demise of the (if you ask me, virtually mythological) “Great British Summertime”. 

Every year it’s the same: “What an awful summer we’re having!” Brits cry. “Isn’t it dreadful? One week of sunshine and then nothing but rain and clouds for months on end. Whatever happened to The Great British Summertime?”. People actually sound indignant, as if they’ve been cheated out of the customary eight weeks of blistering heat that they signed up for when they decided to remain in the UK. “I don’t put up with over-priced public transport, abnormally high teenage pregnancy rates and that berk Jonathan Ross only to be subjected to this frankly mediocre weather all throughout July and August!”.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Britain. It’s bloody brilliant here. Our art and culture are second-to-none, our countryside is beautiful, the people are industrious. The fish and chips are mindblowing. We invented Wotsits. I could go on. But the weather… well, the weather is – and has always been – a little bit rubbish. Surely it’s not only me who’s spotted that?

British summers are typically a bit sunny, a bit rainy, a bit cloudy. Non-committal, in other words. Some years deviate from the norm, of course – apparently last summer was awful (not that I noticed) and once in a blue moon we get a summer that breaks records like in 2006 – but when those years are the exception rather than the rule, why does everybody always feel so let down by the consistently mediocre weather?

Sure, if your idea of the perfect summer is the Caribbean, then yeah, I can understand your disappointment; however, if this is the case then I recommend you spend your summer in the Caribbean rather than Dulwich. 

OK. Now I’ve got that out of my system, I’m off to relax on a sun-lounger in the drizzle and shout at today’s copy of the Daily Mail.

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