Leeds buzz band and Macca birthday list participants Yard Act released their debut album The Overload earlier this year to overwhelming critical acclaim, particularly back home in England. Even Sir Elton John is a fan, and now he’s jumped on a new version of “100% Endurance,” which closes out The Overload. Produced and mixed by Ali Chant at Metropolis Studios (and recorded at Parlour Studios), that new studio version is out now.
Singer James Smith recently opened up about collaborating with Elton John on his Apple Music 1 show, Rocket Hour:
Within our camp we have a saying: “Mad shit happens when you do art” – it means what it means. You make stuff because you want to make it, and you throw stuff you’ve made into the world because you’d rather share it than not and then you leave it alone and let it do its thing. That thing you did can take you to places you didn’t intend to go with it, but it’s out of your control really. You have no control over the mad shit. It just happens (when you do art). Elton John saw our stuff and he started telling the press he thought we were good and then we chatted on the phone and after a few calls I said, “Elton, do you want to come to the studio and play piano on a tune?” because, fuck it, it doesn’t matter if he says no. Anyway, he said “yes,” so it doesn’t matter that he didn’t say no. I don’t know what else to say. He’s brilliant. Switched on, hilarious and an amazing musician.
He [ Elton] started out as a session player and after he’d laid down the piano and laid down the vocals, taking direction from us and trying everything we asked. He said something very poignant to me – “I love playing on other people’s songs, especially these guys, because I started off as a session musician. The fascinating thing is you hear things so differently from other people, and when you hear what they hear, then it all makes sense.” That insight, that curiosity and that approach to music is the reason he’s still standing (after all this time). Elton is a diamond. It was an honor to collaborate with him. My mum is showing off to all her mates and mad shit happens when you do art.
Listen to John’s guest role on “100% Endurance” below.