The Lightyears

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The Lightyears
Origin London, England
Genres Pop rock, rock, progressive rock, power pop
Years active 2003 - present
Labels Independent

George Owens (guitar, lead vocals)

Chris Russell (piano, vocals)

John Owens (bass)

Tony Lyons (drums, vocals)

The Lightyears are a 4-piece pop-rock band based in London, England, comprising George Owens (lead vocals and guitar), Chris Russell (vocals and piano), John Owens (bass) and Tony Lyons (vocals and drums). Though The Lightyears formed in 2003, Russell and Owens have been playing and writing together since the age of 13.[1]

Philadelphia-based radio station WXPN have described the band as "the bastard pop-child of The La's and Wham!".[2]

Awards and achievements[edit]

In 2007 The Lightyears won "Best Pop/Rock Act" at the first-ever INDY Awards ceremony at the Clapham Grand, which prompted the London Metro to write that they were "being widely touted as Next Big Things".[3] The band were nominated again the following year, this time for "Best Pop Act".[4] In light of these accolades, legendary producer Hugh Padgham asked the band into his studio to record a selection of tracks.[5] Two of these recordings, "Emily" and "Sleepless", feature on The Lightyears' 2009 album London, England.


The Lightyears have attracted press attention from all over the world. BBC Oxford have called the band "incredibly talented",[1] and South African rugby legend Robbie Fleck, interviewed at, described The Lightyears' headline show in Cape Town as "without doubt the best party I have ever been to in my life".[6] In the USA, wrote "I haven't been this excited about British pop since I discovered The Beatles. The Lightyears, simply put, are incredible".[7]

Tours and appearances[edit]

The Lightyears have toured to the USA, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and mainland Europe.[5] They played Glastonbury Festival in both 2007 and 2008[8] and have supported acts such as Mystery Jets[9] and The Levellers.[10] In September 2009, the band performed at Wembley Stadium to a crowd of 45,000 people. They appeared on the same bill as Diversity, winners of Britain's Got Talent.[11] Three further performances at Wembley were to follow, supporting acts such as Right Said Fred and Eliza Doolittle.

In November 2009, The Lightyears appeared in a national advertising campaign for T-Mobile. Chris and George wrote a song for the campaign (in collaboration with Josh's Band) called "Come With Me", which was released in January 2010 on Universal Records.[12]

In March 2011, The Lightyears were invited to perform at The Script's headline show at O2 Arena, appearing in the O2 blueroom.[13]

In October 2012, the band travelled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to perform with Roger Daltrey from The Who and Roger Taylor from Queen.[14]

Lightyears novel[edit]

The band are currently working on brand-new original material, planned for release in conjunction with Chris Russell's debut novel "Mockstars", inspired by the story of how The Lightyears got together.[15] In November 2013, Chris was signed by leading literary agent Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock,[16] and in June 2014 "Mockstars" was published by Red Button Publishing.[17]



  • London, England (January 2009)
  • Mission Creep (December 2005)


  • "At Midnight" (September 2008)
  • "Phoenix" (July 2006)
  • "Rumour Going Round" (August 2004)
  • "The Last Men On Earth" (January 2003)


  1. ^ a b "BBC - Oxford Music - The Lightyears Review". BBC Oxford. 2004-04-06. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  2. ^ "The Lightyears". Some Velvet Blog. 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2009-03-01. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Indy Stars Shine at Awards". 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Lightyears ahead". 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  5. ^ a b "The Lightyears to Headline at CT Tens". 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  6. ^ "Fleck: Thank You Cape Town". 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  7. ^ " - Hot Sheet". 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  8. ^ "BBC Berkshire". 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  9. ^ "Mystery Jets to play intimate London show". 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  10. ^ "Local Band Feature: The Lightyears". 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  11. ^ "Sarries make history with Wembley win". 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  12. ^ "Band featured in TV advert for phone firm". 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  13. ^ "Lightyears go from Wembley to memorial hall for charity bash". 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "The Fourth Meal". 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  16. ^ "Chris Lightyear signs to top literary agent". 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  17. ^ "Mockstars by Christopher Russell". 2014-04-18. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 

External links[edit]