MileHighMusic : Zen


After moving to the east coast of England, Christy, with his brother Arliss, started various garage style bands through-out the 90s, the main one being Zen which gigged extensively around East-Anglia and London. Quite a scene built up in the area at this time but Zen jump-ship, upped sticks and moved to London at Christy's prompting, not only to ease the endless A12 trips but to soak up London and play, play, play!

The move lead to residency at well-known Clapham/Battersea venue where the band were spotted and spirited off to play in the south of France, something that they did many times over the coming years, but the move didn't work for a couple of the band members who drifted out of the picture. The band then centred around singer/guitarist Christy and drummer Karl Smith, with for quite some time Rob Symes on guitar and either Arliss Fry or Andrew Brennan on bass. The original pre-London group included Bryan Shore on guitar who went on to form the successful Mutts band and Nigel Evans who is now better known as DJ Flevans.

The changing line-up cut various demos, pre-London there was in 1993 Loss of God, 1994 Nature Versus Nurture, 1995 the oddly titled I Never Even Tried It And If I Did I Wouldn't Like It. 1996 - the year of 'the move' brought the last East-Anglian sessions with the fine collection of songs which became titled When I Was Me (or Life Under Glass(?)). 1997 the band cut some great demos at their new London pad, the London Sessions, at this time attracting heavy interest from Warners label East-West and Polydor, Parlophone etc, but things were splintering and it wasn't until 2001 that the band properly recorded again, the extended EP Bank Holiday Life, to no major fanfare, push or attempt to 'put the songs out', more to chronicle the tracks that were in the live set at that time.

More touring ensued and kept the band busy/preoccupied and it wasn't until the new - and last - line-up formed in 2004 that more tracks were cut. This time the fine double A-side single Devil Take Me Down/Deptford Broadway with Christy, Ceri James - 2nd guitar & vox, Andre 'Drezone' St. Clair - drums & vox and Hamid Halbaoul on bass. The single received good reviews but the guys were all wanting to do their own thing and the band wound down after a last fling in France.

Over the coming months, an effort will be made by MHM to make available all the Zen back catalogue, there are some real gems in the archive, Career Girl, Free, Groover, Crusin Aliens, Crazy 'Bout You, I'll Be Strong etc. So watch this space, also do check out the podcasts as Zen tracks often feature.

2004 single Devil Take Me Down b/w Deptford Broadway and bonus demo She's So Demanding, is now available, click the link below or visit the store!

>> Zen Myspace site
>> Zen Website (currently offline)
>> Buy Zen 'Devil Take Me Down' single here