Guest blogSTONE's Alex Smith: My love for Liverpool FC aligns with my passion for music
In a new instalment of our series featuring Liverpool-supporting musicians, Alex Smith – drummer with local band STONE – shares with us how his musical career has mirrored a fierce love for the Reds…
I have been a Liverpool supporter since I was born, and had all the baby football kits, most with “Gerrard 8” on the back. It’s funny because as a musician you would think my early idols would be rock stars of old but my first idol that I actually looked up to was Gerrard.
The classic moment that stands out for everyone is obviously Istanbul 2005. The way the club were dragged from the brink to becoming champions of Europe is forever etched within the history books and the minds of every young Liverpool supporter. I remember the Maldini goal and being put to bed by my mum straight away. (I was five years old and a nightmare when we lost.)
Come half-time and three-nil down, I snuck my way back downstairs and sulked my way into staying up to see it unfold.
“GERRARD… Oh hello, here we go!”
The memory of the celebration, waving his arms in the air mouthing “come on” to the sea of red within the Ataturk Stadium sparks goosebumps still. The seed was planted then. It’s Liverpool against the world.
Now, I don’t need to rehash the whole event as it’s all history but fast forward to 2019 and the club is once again on the brink. Three goals down to Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final tie seemed a lost cause, yet once again Liverpool found a way. This time a full team effort and a sprinkle of genius from Trent Alexander-Arnold would bring 19-year-old me to my knees in celebration.
The team went on to make it number six that season and watching the final celebrations, I was a five-year-old child again. The same seed that was planted in 2005 had sprouted. We had done it again. Champions of Europe.
2020. The season after, we won the Premier League and it was the same feeling: 20-year-old me once again reverting back to five years old. It was an emotional win for the club with the ongoing pandemic, yet one that brought hope and joy to the city during a testing time.
At present, there’s a hint of the “never say die”' mentality of Liverpool of old coming back and I love it. I’m optimistic for this season and beyond. You get the feeling that Klopp has managed to build a second team where individual brilliance and team industrialism meets. The high press is back and yes, it means we are conceding some goals but our depth in attack seems to be allowing us to run away with games. Long may this good run continue! If we challenge at the top again then it will be a good season for us.
- Check out STONE’s latest single, If You Wanna, available on all digital streaming platforms now
STONE hasn’t always had the easiest ride, as a band formed in lockdown we had to rely on social media to push ourselves forward. A large chunk of this time was spent apart, with the four of us trading ideas via the internet and creating content for the cloud.
This testing time was rewarded with a slot at Reading & Leeds Festival 2021. I remember peeking out at the crowd that had gathered before our set at the BBC Introducing stage and thinking, “Woah, is everyone here for us?”
The half-an-hour set was a whirlwind, with the band and crowd united as one huge fist. I began to feel a familiar feeling, the hairs on my neck stood up and goosebumps set in. Fin had taken his moment and had leapt into the open arms of the audience, and there I was, 21-year-old me reverting back to a five-year-old self among the beautiful chaos that had erupted. This was STONE’s lift-off moment, and for me the ecstatic feeling was all too familiar.
The band have been chasing this feeling ever since, it’s a buzz that is created when performing shows, writing and recording music and connecting with our fans, which for me is second to none. Little did I know that my love of Liverpool Football Club would align with my passion for music, and that the feelings felt when performing would echo that of supporting the team.
STONE has released our second EP, Punkadonk 2, with ourselves touring a list of record stores as well as hitting the road with our friends DMA’s (football loyalties aside) this December. We hope that our fans love the EP and are as proud of it as we are. I hope that the songs on the EP lead to more ecstatic moments between the band and our fans.