Airrace

Friday 19th April

The Borderline, London

Personally, I was unaware of this outfit until recently, so the homework finds that this 80’s style AOR band were originally formed back in 1982 by guitarist Laurie Mansworth and drummer Jason Bonham. They recorded a debut album ‘Shaft Of Light’ in 1984,but went their separate ways in ‘85 following tours with the likes of Queen, AC/DC and Meat Loaf. Frontiers Srl Records sought out Laurie to re-release the original album in a 25-year anniversary, reform with a new line-up and a new album in the form of ‘Back to the Start’ (2011). A fresh new album ‘Untold Stories’ was released in August of 2018 on which these latest tour dates are continuing to promote.

Down below in the Borderline tonight the band is playing a well-crafted set from both the first and last albums. Kicking off with ‘I Don’t Care’ and ‘Eyes Like Ice’ setting the pace for the songs to come. The feel-good factor is in abundance here backed up by the continuous smile on keyboard player Linda Kelsey-Foster’s face. ’New Skin’ is track of the night for me excellently executed with vocalist Adam Payne in fine form.

‘Men from the Boys’ is the riff stomper where stalwart bassist Rocky Newton (Lionheart) is rocking back and forth in front of drummer Dhani Mansworth (The Treatment and son of Laurie).

‘Summer Rain’, the most easy-listening song and most radio friendly within the latter half of the set, flows steady with ‘Different But The Same’ and ‘Brief Encounter’ closing the show. They return to encore with the king of funky ‘Didn’t Want To Lose Ya’ off the ‘Shaft Of Light’ album where it all began.

If melodic AOR is your bag, then go track these guys!

Geoff C.

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