Every one hopes to get noticed by their heroes, and this dream came true for York musician Andy Knights.
English rock band Muse shared Andy’s cover of their song MK Ultra on their Facebook and Twitter, praising it as ‘such a unique cover’.
Andy is the owner of bar Dusk in York, and has been there for the past 17 years. During lockdown Dusk has been closed.
Andy said when the first lockdown hit “it was like panic. Suddenly having to look after 18 people who had no idea what was going on when I had no idea what’s going on either.
“Then that quickly turned into boredom. In the first lockdown, we did quite a lot of work on the building but the second two lockdowns have just been a waiting game.”
To combat the boredom, Andy took up posting music covers on his YouTube channel ‘Sad little attic boy‘ to “stop myself going crazy”.
He takes guitar-led songs from a range of genres and transforms them into a piano and vocal cover.
Music has always been a big part of Andy’s life, he writes his own music and has played in various bands like Halo Blind – the band toured and released an album. Last year he recorded in Abbey Road studios, just before the pandemic hit.
For musicians who post their work online, it can be difficult to reach people and get likes and followers. This was for the case for Andy – until this week. “It’s been insane,” he said.
Thousands of views
Andy actually knew the cover was going to be shared several hours before the post went live.
Muse had scheduled their Facebook post, which notified Andy that he had been tagged. “I actually found out the night before, and I literally didn’t go to sleep. I was like a four year old at Christmas,” Andy said.
“Then at six o’clock in the morning, I just got up and went for a nine mile walk because I didn’t know what to do.”
In a funny twist of fate the cover may not have happened at all, but a commenter challenged Andy in a different video to cover ‘MK Ultra’.
The video had 400 views before Muse shared it, and jumped to 13,000-plus in three days.
The cover has also gone down a storm in the comments section of the social media posts, and fans have been flocking to the comments on the original YouTube video. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” Andy said.
“This is such an awesome version of the song – love it” – Twitter user @andyhighnumber
“Wow. That was moving. Just beautiful” – Twitter user @mistmeadowglen
“Thanks a lot Muse for making me discover this artist!” –YouTube commenter Geoff Skorgs
‘York will be crazy’
With the roadmap out of lockdown and the recently announced Budget 2021 there is now hope for the reopening of Dusk.
Andy said: “I thought the budget was much more positive than I was expecting it to be. We will survive.
“I imagine that York will be crazy for the rest of the year. I know personally, I can’t wait to see some friends and go out.
“I still think my biggest concern is that they seem to be taking us 100% out of restrictions before probably any of my staff have the vaccine.”
So what’s next? “I don’t know now what the future holds,” Andy said. “I didn’t know whether this would carry on after the pandemic, but I feel like now it’s given me such an impetus and maybe
“I will carry this on and try to get somewhere with it. I do still write my own stuff as well, so at some point I want to try and start getting that out.”
Andy also has ambitions for performing some live YouTube gigs and getting his music onto Spotify.
From his song being shared to a wider audience he hopes there will be opportunities like co-writing music or being approached to play in a band.
“Maybe it gets picked up somewhere to be in a cool indie film or something would be amazing. The thing that would be best for me now is to try and get it synched into films or adverts. The John Lewis Christmas advert maybe?”
It would definitely have my vote.