The Yardest of Acts to follow

With their debut album just out, James Smith and Ryan Needham of British post-punk act Yard Act discuss winning over Elton John and becoming the band of the moment

Ryan Needham, James Smith, Sam Shipstone and Jay Russell of Yard Act: ‘We’ve never been interested in dwelling on old ideas. We’re already working on the second album. There’s only a finite amount of time left to get what’s in our heads into our music.’

Yard Act singer James Smith is still reeling from receiving a highly unexpected compliment. “Last week I had a headache, so I decided to have a nap and turn my phone off,” the singer says. “My wife shouted from downstairs: ‘James? James!!! Elton John is trying to get through to you.’”

After checking that it wasn’t April 1, Smith turned his phone back on. “Our manager, Olly, told me to expect a phone call from ...