L-R James Roden (vocals / guitar), Harry Roden (bass), Graeme Trewin (drums).

The City Lights ended as a three piece rock band (they started as as four piece and then went to six and then to four before ending as a trio) from Sydney, AUSTRALIA who love rock, mod, punk, soul, garage, power pop and good trousers.

They are proud as punch to have written, recorded and released one CD single, one CD EP, three CD albums and one  7” single. They called it a day in 2014 after over ten years of rocking.


Escape From Tomorrow Today & El Sol

Two brothers (James and Harry Roden) grew up playing guitar together in Canberra – Australia’s capital city- listening to anything with melody and punch: The Clash, The Who, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, The Specials, The Sunnyboys, The Kinks, The Hoodoo Gurus, The Stems, The Huxton Creepers, The Byrds, soul, punk, pop, mod, rock.

After moving to and playing in different bands in Sydney (James in The John Reed Club and Harry in Hoolahan) they finally started a band together, asked Danny Allen (then Youth Group and now The Drums) to play guitar & keyboards and Shane Melder (Sidewinder) to play the drums.

The City Lights released their debut double A-sided CD single “You Stand Accused Young Man / Curse on Everyone” in 2003 and followed it up with the “What You Gonna Do” CD EP in 2004. They finished an album with Michael Carpenter and called it “Escape From Tomorrow Today” and released it on Ivy League Records in Australia and on Bitterweet Records in Spain. It was radio station Triple J’s, 4ZZZ’s and 3PBS’s ‘Album of the Week’. They toured like crazy. Shane quit and so Kit Warhurst (Rocket Science) stepped in on drums for a 2007 tour of Spain. The band also asked Bruno Brayovic (Peabody) to tour Spain because Danny couldn’t do all the gigs as he was on tour with Youth Group at the same time

The second album featured the Roden brothers this time joined by Graeme Trewin (ex-Peabody) on drums, Bruno Brayovic  again on guitar, Danny Allen again on guitar and keyboards and Kit Warhurst again on drums as well as guests on trumpets, keys and vocals.  “El Sol” was recorded at Big Jesus Burger Studios,  Surry Hills, Sydney by David ‘Trumpy’ Trumpmanis in 2006 and was released in 2007. It was a musical tribute to their time in (and love for) Spain.

The City Lights  then toured again like crazy and finished a January 2009 tour of Spain with US cult legends The Smithereens as a four piece featuring James, Harry, Bruno and Graeme.

I Just Got To Believe

James, Harry, Graeme and Bruno spent 4 days recording in July 2010 with Tim Kevin (Hoolahan, La Huva, Knievel) recording in Waverton, Sydney as the beginnings of album no.3. The band felt there was something missing, and so Harry, James and Graeme (Bruno was then living in France) started the whole album again in 2011 keeping just one song from the first sessions (track 3 – Without People You’re Nothing).

Finally, the album was recorded at Jim Moginie’s (Midnight Oil) Oceanic Studio on the Northern Beaches, Sydney and this time it all made sense. The album was mixed by Tim Kevin at his studio in Marrickville, Sydney.  In the blink of an eye, 5 years had passed since the last album when it finally came out in 2012.

The third album was called “I Just Got To Believe” for the obvious reason – to finish this third album has taken all their energy and belief that doing something the band loves so much – playing rock together –  can be tough but it is more than worth it.

In 2014 The City Lights released a split 7″ with their Sydney friends The Exile Co. The new song was called “(She’s Got) My Name and My Number”. Their launch was their last gig.