Quite an achievement." (Lyric Lounge Review magazine) "Comparisons are great, but you have to sample the genuine article. Go and see Luxury Stranger!" (Andy Nixon, LS fan) "Devoid of any pretension and heart breakingly sincere..." (Left Lion magazine) “...one of the UK's standout dark alternative acts". (Sphere Webzine) Luxury Stranger is an English band built up around founder member Simon York "easily one of the finest vocalists in the UK right now" (Reflections of Darkness Magazine). Luxury Stranger is based in Nottingham, UK. Luxury Stranger is a 'Jekyl and Hyde' style of band - a methodical architect in the studio and a passionate powerful monster on the stage.
At it's core, Luxury Stranger is influenced by the likes of Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen and Pearl Jam. Other influences have entered the pot during the history of the band depending on band members and where Simon decides to take various band projects. ------------------- A History... Luxury Stranger began life in July 2006 as the solo project of Simon York. Simon recorded over 60 songs in various styles, using different instrumentation in order to find what he wanted as the starting point for the sound of Luxury Stranger. From this group of songs came the debut album Desolation which was solely recorded and performed by Simon.
Shortly afterward, Simon started to look for musicians for the live side of Luxury Stranger. After a few rehearsals with various musicians, bass player Chris Ruscoe joined the band in February 2008 and April 2008 saw the arrival of drummer Owen Walton . Luxury Stranger played it's first gig on Friday, 5th September 2008 at Junktion 7, Nottingham. In December 2008, Luxury Stranger signed with Major Digital (an off-shoot of Germany's Major Records). December saw the birth of the 'A Funeral Party' event which were live music and DJ nights currated by members of Luxury Stranger. In July 2009, Owen left the band and was replaced by Paul Sycamore.
It was around this time that Luxury Stranger was starting to be recognised as a 'band to watch' by the UK Goth scene. In December 2009, Luxury Stranger made its first trip to play in Germany. The band played with German Post-Punk legends Die Art. Around this time, Luxury Stranger started work on the second album. Work initially started with drummer Owen Walton but the recordings were scrapped upon his departure.
In March 2010, Luxury Stranger returned to Germany and made its first trip to the Netherlands to support Levinhurst (featuring Lol Tolhurst and Michael Dempsey - both founder members of the Cure). In April 2010 Luxury Stranger plays at the Whitby Goth festival fringe event 'The Other Side' with Nosferatu. In May 2010, Luxury Stranger played in Hagen, Germany and then at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig Germany. In September 2010, Luxury Stranger played a Nottingham show with the Gothic band, O Children. Luxury Stranger released the single 'Precious for Evermore' at this show.
The single also included the track 'Completion' which was the first co-written song between Simon York and Chris Ruscoe. In October 2010, Luxury Stranger played a very special show with Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. This would be the last show for members Chris Ruscoe and Paul Sycamore as part of the Luxury Stranger line-up. Luxury Stranger always prides itself on its professionalism and also on playing live as much as possible, in order to raise its profile and gain new fans. Due to the departure of Chris Ruscoe and Paul Sycamore, Simon played two pre-booked dates as 'intimate acoustic' shows.
December 2010 saw the fourth 'A Funeral Party' event being staged - this time with Simon York and special guests on DJ duties and live music coming from the Amber Herd, the Last Cry and the Death Notes. The second album 'Commitment and Discipline' was released on 31st December 2010. A new Luxury Stranger line up was 'unveiled' at a special charity show on Saturday 15th January 2011. Chris Tuke on bass and Neal Spowage on drums (both ex-members of The Screaming Banshee Aircrew). This line up played European dates with ChameleonsVox (ex-The Chameleons). Neal left the band in June 2011. Simon and Chris started auditions for a new live drummer while committing to pre-booked shows using a drum machine.
This gave Luxury Stranger a different feel and helped develope the writing process. In October, Simon recruited Tim Smith as the new live drummer for the band. The new line-up played a packed out show at the Duchess, York, in November 2011. Despite pre-booked shows, plans being made for a tour and release of a new single prior to the anticipated third album, Chris announced his decision to leave Luxury Stranger in January 2012 to concentrate on his own band. In February 2012, the new look Luxury Stranger, including Tim Bond on bass, played a special show for the BBC at Fibbers, York.
Shortly afterward, Simon leaked demos of tracks he'd been working on via Soundcloud. The single Nothing Holy has been delayed due to having to spend time bringing Tim Bond up to speed with LS' back catelogue. Simon focused on his musical roots a little more for the new material - imagine the Cure (circa Faith and Pornography) if they had the power of Soundgarden. The darkness of Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club with the elegance of classic Echo & the Bunnymen.
The musical craftsmanship of Depeche Mode with the energy of Pearl Jam. Bowie and Bolan if they'd done their apprenticeships in a world of post-punk and 'grunge' - THIS is the new Luxury Stranger. Luxury Stranger released the Nothing Holy/Ripple single in November 2012 on CD and then on download. The single entered the European Alternative Music singles top 40 chart at number 4 in week 51 of 2012 (17th December). Luxury Stranger aim to release an EP which will feature the track Face before releasing the much anticipated third album.
To date, Simon has written over 60 songs and pieces of music for the third album (currently titled 'Welcome to the Machine', although there are rumors of it being called either 'Pay the Price' or 'Darkness always falls upon the light'). Some of the songs may feature on the fourth album (currently titled 'Sonics and Solice') if new material hasn't been written for it. In 2013, the Face EP was released. It received very little critical acclaim although demo versions which circulated around the time of the EP tracks received a more positive response from fans and reviewers. 2014 saw Simon York continue to write material - he released a solo instrumental EP called Other Voices (which was released through German label Cold Insanity Music) and then he self-released his debut album titled Nothing's Ever Quite What You Thought It Would Be. This album featured very commercial sounding songs mixed in with ambient instrumentals and near avant-garde songs.
Simon played a series of acoustic solo shows to help promote the album, including a support show with the March Violets, in Nottingham, as the album's launch show. In this show, Simon played tracks from the album mixed in with well-known Luxury Stranger songs, as well as songs from his earlier projects and songs he hoped would feature on the next Luxury Stranger album. In 2015, still writing material on a large scale, Simon decided enough was enough and that it was time to get the third album recorded. It was agreed that the band would go into the studio in November and it was booked. After much encouragement from Simon, the band finally managed to play the full album track listing at a live show in Nottingham.
In September, Luxury Stranger recruited a full-time manager. Stephen Kennedy (who has worked with Beauty of Gemina and Spiral 69) filled this spot and immediately started making plans for the band's album release and a return to Europe. Two weeks before the band were set to go into the studio, another change in line-up occurred. Due to internal/personal issues, Smith and Bond decided it was time for them to move on...
Simon, despite health problems, went straight into the studio at the agreed date and began work on the now confirmed album, Darkness Falls Upon The Light. The album was recorded at Random Recording Studios in Nottingham and engineered by Guy Elderfield. The album was produced by Guy and Simon. Simon felt that it was a very "collaborative way of working" as ideas were bounced around tried and tested.
The album's songs were deconstructed and rebuilt - keeping in-key with main LS influence Depeche Mode - the songs started simple with very synthetic textures soon being added, giving a much tighter feel and much more depth to the studio versions of the songs. Real drums were added on top of the almost complete tracks - these were performed by Kevin Bales (who has played for Spiritulized, Dave Gahn and the Soul Savers, Julian Cope and more). A new closing track was added to the track listing - a song written in 2014 by Simon and initially set to be part of his solo project - this song is called Darkness Falls Upon The Light and gives the album a nice bookend - and shows the diversity of Simon York's songwriting. Piano on this track was played by Robert Squirrell.
While listening back, both Simon and Robert independently thought Robert should add some trumpet (Robert had it with him for another appointment, later in the day). Robert added a simple phrase at the close. New bass player, Jake Hampson was recruited in February 2016 and within a couple of months, Luxury Stranger was back to playing live shows - without a live drummer, the band played using drum tracks featuring real drum samples. Simon felt this should be done to make sure live shows were played by the 'full' band rather than having Jake hang around until a live drummer was recruited. This was a successful format and enabled LS to begin live promo for the upcoming third album. In September, Luxury Stranger released the first single from Darkness Falls Upon The Light.
It was a more up beat version of When The Lady Takes The Blame - Simon felt it necessary to show the full depth of this song in particular (the live version is completely different too). A video was also made using license free stock footage of a 1970s pool party. In November, Simon and Jake hosted an album playback event for press and VIPs. This involved a once-through playback of the album through what has been reported as the best PA system in Nottingham. The event was well attended with a lot of positive comments and attitudes being shown towards the up-coming third album. In 2017, work leading to the album release began.
In February, the first of a series of mini promo teaser films was released, featuring random footage and edited clips of a particular album track. Also in February, drummer Harry Hallam was recruited as the new live drummer. In March, Jake unexpectedly left the band. A replacement has been quickly brought in for shows that have already been committed to... The band will released Darkness Falls Upon The Light in April 2017.
After recruiting Martin Valentine on bass, the band continued to play live shows to promote the album, including a fourth return to the annual Official UK David Bowie Convention. The band is continuing to audition for a second guitarist/keyboardist to help reflect the broad sound that has been developed during the making of the third album. Keep checking the official LS website http://www.luxurystranger.net for up-to-date news and gigs as well as merch. You can also find out information by clicking the 'like' button on the band's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LuxuryStranger All recorded songs to date copyright 2007-2016 SDBsongs, SDBsongs/M'aidez Music and SDBsongs/M'aidez music/Sisterray.
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