“He’s an incredibly talented young British musician,” says Burberry designer and creative director Christopher Bailey, who not only proclaims himself a fan of the burgeoning British indie band One Night Only but was so impressed by 18-year-old front man George Craig that he cast him in this season’s Burberry campaign. “I love George’s energy and his effortless style,” saysBailey. “He’s also a joy to work with, and it just so happens that he comes from my native Yorkshire in England.” Talented and young are the key words here. Craig and his four cohorts in One Night Only first assembled at the tender age of 12. “We just wanted something productive to do over the weekend,” Craig explains by phone from North Yorkshire, where he still lives today. “It’s so rural here, and there’s not much to do. So we started playing covers.” Sometime after they grew tired of rocking out to Beatles hits and rehashing Blink-182 and other American pop-punk acts, the guys got around to writing their own songs, which they played at nearby gigs, acting for the most part like rock-loving teenagers who never expected to end up on the right side of a record deal. Except One Night Only did, recording their debut album Started a Fire (Vertigo/Universal), which was mined from four years of songwriting. “When it was released in February 2008, the record debuted at No. 10 on the [U.K. Top 40 Albums Chart],” Craig says, still with a trace of astonishment in his voice. “Then we went on tour around Europe and sold out venues. We went to Japan. We did Glastonbury and all the big festivals. We sold over 100,000 records. We had a really good year and it’s been a lot of fun.” The good times are hardly over. Craig and his crew are already at work on the nextalbum, which they hope to release sometime in 2009, and then, in Craig’s words, they’ll “try to hit America like a bang.” But unlike most small-town U.K. acts who make it big, they’re writing their songs not in London, but in the quiet—sometimes too quiet—countryside of North Yorkshire. “We’re really proud of where we come from,” Craig says. “We stick to our roots.”
ABOVE: GEORGE CRAIG IN LONDON, JANUARY 2009. TRENCH COAT: BURBERRY PRORSUM. SUNGLASSES: RAY-BAN. SKIN CARE:AVEDA. HAIR PRODUCTS: GARNIER SURF HAIR. FRAGRANCE: BURBERRY THE BEAT FOR MEN. STYLING: KAREN CLARKSON. GROOMING: CHRISTIAN WOOD.