British bands in America: our USA highlights
British bands in America have, if I’m honest, a bit of an easy time of it. The fabulously successful exports of our forebears (chiefly The Beatles, who basically did all the hard work for us) mean we are always greeted with open arms when we land Stateside, and as a result we have many happy memories of our time gigging around the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia area.
We’ve been touring to the United States since 2006 and it’s always been an absolute blast. In celebration of our 2013 USA tour kicking off in one month, here – in no particular order – are our Top Five American Tour highlights:
1. Two gigs, two continents, one day
In 2009 we played a gig in Southampton in the early hours of Sunday morning, then flew to America and played Union Square in New York less than twenty hours later. It was ruddy mental, and possibly one of the greatest days of my life.
2. Starbucks, Fifth Avenue
In 2007 we won Best Pop/Rock Act at the UK Indy Awards. At the time we were on tour in the States; specifically, knocking back a round of lattes at Starbucks on Fifth Avenue. We exploded with rapturous joy at the news, and somewhat confused a roomful of New York businessmen. ‘I’m sorry,’ said Tony, by way of explanation – ‘We’re British’.
3. Signing the WXPN wall of fame
We were lucky enough a few years back to perform live on Philadelphia’s WXPN radio station, and afterwards were invited to autograph their rather splendid wall of fame, leaving our scribbled signatures next-door to the many dazzling musical luminaries who had come before us. Marvellous.
4. Astoria Park, New York
On our last trip to America, we headlined New York’s Astoria Park for the first time. It was a magical evening, set against the backdrop of the East River, and we were lucky enough to play to a 2,000-strong crowd. Can’t wait to get back there in a month’s time!
5. Sandwichageddon at Wawa
We don’t really go to America for the music. Not really. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that we do. No, The Lightyears fly to America every year or so to eat ourselves to death on the extraordinary comestible wonders of the Wawa Food Hut. (I’d also like to enter ancillary votes here for Taco Bell and Wendy’s, both of which make me weep with their beauty.)