Seen on the Green - "Bloc Party' Lead Guitarist Russell Lissack

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an area centric biography on Russell Lissack, one of many famous people to come from Chingford, North-East London. This article was originally published in The Chingford Directory in April 2012.

Submitted: October 23, 2015

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Submitted: October 23, 2015




Seen on the Green

Famous Faces From Chingford

by Thom Goddard


This Month: Russell Lissack


People like to think they have control over their lives. By having a hold over your day to day life you can determine what will occur in the future. However, some believe everything that happens is down to luck. Chance, for Chingford born Russell Lissack, has continually changed his life and made him a world famous musician. 


Russell Dean Lissack was born in Chingford on 11th March 1981. He enjoyed an uneventful childhood and attended Bancroft’s School, Woodford, where one of his friends was Kele Okereke. When 15 years old Russell had a life-changing experience at a concert by the artist ‘Prince’. The next day he bought a guitar and practiced for hours to master the instrument, teaching himself to play the guitar by playing his favourite songs over and over again.


Russell moved on to study Sociology at London South Bank University but a chance encounter at the Reading Festival in 1999 changed his life. Russell literally bumped into his old friend Kele Okereke and they started the band ‘Bloc Party’. After three years rehearsing, the band recorded their first single. And chance would again smile on Russell Lissack. While at a ‘Franz Ferdinand’ gig, the band met DJ Steve Lamacq who not only liked their first song but played it on BBC Radio One the next day. Within a year Bloc Party had signed a record deal and a year after that they released the album ‘Silent Alarm’. This album sold over a million copies and was named NME and PLUG Awards ‘Album of the Year’ for 2005.  


By 2009 Bloc Party had released 3 albums. All of these have been hits around the world along with many of their singles. They have sold over 3 million records globally. All this success, and 6 years of constant touring around the world, meant the band are now on hiatus. However, for Old Chingfordian Lissack, luck would again play its part. Kele Okerele mentioned in an interview that Russell used to play in a tribute band for Irish rockers ‘Ash’. When the guitarist for ‘Ash’ retired, the band called on Russell and, during ‘Bloc Party’s’ respite, he joined. ‘Ash’ have sold over 8 million records and are now working on a greatest hits album.  


Russell Lissack is now considered one of the best guitarists in the world with over 10 million records sold and fans in countries across the globe. But let us know if you get lucky with some highly successful people you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!


© Copyright 2018 Thom Goddard. All rights reserved.

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