Yard Act Featured On Elton John’s ‘Rocket Hour’ On Apple Music

The iconic singer-songwriter has described the rising Leeds quartet as “such a breath of fresh air.”

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Yard Act - Photo: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Elton John was joined by rising Leeds-based band Yard Act on Saturday, January 29, on ‘Rocket Hour’ on Apple Music 1. The band discussed their journey to date, plus Elton shared his admiration for their unique sound, telling the band they’re “a breath of fresh air”.

Yard Act recently covered Elton John’s classic song, “Tiny Dancer”. Speaking about their version of the song with NME, frontman James Smith said: “We did “Tiny Dancer” ‘cause our new best pal Elton has been so kind about us in the press recently.

“A song like “Tiny Dancer” seems so far removed from what people assume Yard Act is, we thought it would be a really interesting way of showing not only our own versatility, but also the versatility of a song as good as ‘Tiny Dancer’.”

John personally gave his blessing to the group for their cover in a “personal telephone call to frontman James Smith,” according to a press release.

Elton John has previously spoken of his admiration of Yard Act. Speaking to NME last year, he said of the band’s style: “I can’t do it but I love it and I wonder how they do it.”

Scroll down to check out some of the dialogue from Saturday’s ‘Rocket Hour’ below.

Elton John On The First Time He Heard Yard Act…

“As you probably know, I’m a big fan and have been since I first heard your first record. ‘Fixer Up’ was the first thing I heard, and then I saw the video, and then I fell in love with your lyrics, and I fell in love with how you delivered the song. And I just thought, “God, this is such a breath of fresh air.”

Elton John Shares His Admiration For Yard Act’s Lyrics….

“And I like the fact that young acts are actually writing about what we’ve become, what the world is like now, how unjust it is, how awful it is. As you know, I can’t write a lyric to save my life, so I’m very envious of your ability to do that with a sense of humour, but also hitting it home. And I think that’s why you become so successful so quickly, because I think there’s a great need out there for people to hear stuff and also to have the energy behind it. You have incredible energy in Yard Act. It’s not boring, it’s right in your face, and I think that’s brilliant and I think we need more of it.”

Yard Act’s James Smith Explains How They Formed The Band…

“Everyone had been in separate bands in Leeds, all playing gigs around Leeds and we all knew each other, and Ryan, who plays bass, who co-writes most of the songs with me, he was in a band called Menace Beach and we’d done a split single together for a local record shop called Jumbo Records. And off the back of that, we ended up spending a bit of time together and kept saying we were going to start a side project together as a way to have a bit of fun. And then he ended up temporarily homeless, so I let him move into this room here. And it was there that we started Yard Act and we just started writing demos together, and that was in September 2019, and we were just demoing and talking about it and didn’t really know what it was or what it was going to become at that point.”

Elton John’s ‘Rocket Hour’ went out live at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT on January 29, but fans can listen back on demand with an Apple Music subscription.

Buy or stream Yard Act’s The Overload.

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