The finest tune we ever wrote and recorded ‘Avalanche’ seems a good way to start, completed in late 2003 and recorded by Laurie Bennett.
I was approached by Alan Kissane in 1999 to drum for a fleshed out full band version of the covers duo he performed with. The last time I saw these guys perform was in 1996 when my previous band Virulent supported thier previous outfit ‘Hostage’ at a now demolished pub in Lincoln called the Falstaff (their bassist was not allowed into the venue until their allocated stage time due to being 13) . At the time I was fully immersed in all things Grunge and not in any way impressed due to their liking of Bon Jovi and Skid Row style rock.
Towards the end of said year a fellow ex Morrisons Supermarket slave called Kev asked me to join the some duo as he was now playing Bass for them.
We became known as ‘Wired’ playing a mixture of covers(including One of Us by Joan Osborne) and original tunes around the pubs of Lincolnshire in order to finance our first E.P ‘Favorite Dream’ (Recorded by Daniel Bowater @Db Studios). Around this time a strange Man called Bernie appeared during a gig in Mansfield. He become a guru of sorts for nearly several weeks then,during one strange phone call said ‘thanks for the music’ and was gone.
The band clocked up around 100 gigs in the first 18 months (most of them seemingly at and Irish bar in Spalding) noteworthy considering we also held down full time jobs. 2002 saw us in the home studio of a certain infamous Lincoln producer who casually mentioned on the day we arrived that he had a raging ear infection.He took a shine to our bassist but an instant dislike to the guitarist.Creative tensions have never been so fraught.
The resultant recordings sound somewhat thin (I’m told this was possibly due to the gates not being shut) anyway budding mix engineers, decide for yourself.
2003/4 saw Liszt at our most productive thanks to our sessions in the village of Legsby at the beloved Cowshed cum Studio of one Mr Laurie Bennett who had fronted late 90’s Lincoln Indie band ‘The Models’ and recorded early E.P’s for another of my old bands Owsley Sunshine. The studio featured an uneven brick floor in the downstairs recording area (if you wanted a clicktrack you had to snyc up an antiquated 80’s drum machine) with an upstairs loft area for mixing(all done to analogue Tape)and due to the proximity of the Cows(who’s moo’s adorn many a record made there)was forced to shut temporarily in 2001 due to the foot and mouth outbreak. Here are a couple of my personal Favorite tunes from those sessions
We recorded a BBC Humberside session around this time and took part in a Battle of the bands in Hull, losing out in our heat to a young attractive(ish)blond singing over godawful Europop backing tracks whilst we lied claiming to be residents of North Lincolnshire to avoid disqualification.
There was a bottom of the bill support slot opening for a certain Biffy Clyro at the Bivouac night in Lincoln in 2002 (they were very tight musically and very Scottish) and we attempted a tour of sorts in 2004, playing well received shows in Newcastle, Carlisle and London before a dispiriting end in Leicester made us abandon our flyering duties and head home to watch Liverpool defeat Juventus on T.V.
Hindsight is a wonderful but useless tool. Liszt spent 5 years writing and producing Demo’s but we never really knew what we wanted, confusing our identity by gigging as a covers act whilst using the same banner, name checking generic rock bands in our bio, mentioning vocals ‘a bit like Kelly from the Stereophonics’ and wondering why ‘Hollys Demo Hell’ tore it to bits in the NME.
Scattershot demo recordings( including spending a grand at Chapel Studios recording two songs) did not aid us, half of the band never really wanted to give it a go as a serious concern either, happy to file it under the ‘I was in a band’ anecdote for the kids.
It was an era where the arsenal of internet tools we now take for granted to aid unsigned acts looking for a DIY digital platform were not yet established and Myspace was in its infancy.
But we ended it at the right time and on good terms. Maybe it will turn out to be my own personal singular full tilt attempt at 20-30 something rock stardom,hampered by the usual pitfalls and distractions of the parochial band attempting to create something. The distractions and influences of others can dampen the blind belief and naivety to think you will succeed on some grand scale, the tornado of possibility that tears through your devil may care young mind loses in some ways and gains in others as you age. The 2015,not so slightly autistic version of myself can offer is:If you are going to get in the van and book your own tour playing your music that 18-26 window is your best bet to go out and make memories and take part in the journey. Before the complications of even the simplest adult existence bite.
Let the music you make during this time be the cats eyes of your memory.