Leeds post-punkers Yard Act shared a rendition of the Elton John classic ‘Tiny Dancer.’ According to frontman James Smith, the group decided to cover the 1971 Madman Across Water single as a thank you to the pop icon. “We did ‘Tiny Dancer’ ‘cause our new best pal Elton has been so kind about us in the press recently,” Smith said.
He went on to explain that the cover was also motivated by a desire to break away from the assumption that Yard Act have some sort of innate distaste for pop music. “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’.”
Elton John was so taken by the idea of Yard Act performing his song that he gave a “personal telephone call to frontman James” to give his blessing to the group. John has been a fan of Yard Act for some time and has frequently sung their praises; saying of their style: “I can’t do it but I love it and I wonder how they do it.” On learning that John is an avid listener of his band, James told The Guardian: “Elton John, eating his breakfast, listening to Yard Act … It blows my mind, I can’t lie.”
Yard Act decided to cover ‘Tiny Dancer in response to the legendary pop star’s praise. “We’re doing a live cover of ‘Tiny Dancer’ to get his attention to pique his interest, they said back in 2021. “It could go completely wrong, but you’re better off giving something a go. People are so fucking precious and judgemental: do something rather than nothing; we’re all gonna be dead soon.”
Smith also seemed very keen to do a collaboration with Elton John, despite the fact that some of Yard Act’s fanbase is famously prickly when it comes to ’70s mainstays. “Can you imagine a band meeting where someone flagged they didn’t want to work with Elton John?” he began. “They’d be booted instantly. I’d fucking love to work with him! We’d do a drive-in rock’n’roll song. I’d write some words for him to sing and then I’d join in on the chorus. It would be well good, like ‘Crocodile Rock Part Two’.”
The Leeds band recently shared the latest single from their much-anticipated album Overload, which is set for release this Friday, January 21st. Describing the single, Smith said: “‘Pour Another’ zooms in on the post-party conversations many hedonists will be all too familiar with. It leaves the impending doom of daily life in a world on fire at the door, at that point in the night when you don’t want to let go of the moment you’re in, when everything is perfect and everyone is your new best friend. Those moments fade, because nothing stays as it was. You’re woken with a bang and you have to face the truth.”
Fans of Yard Act will have the chance to hear the new record live in concert during the band’s 2022 UK headline tour. You can find your tickets here.