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Airrace: Back to the Start | FESTIVALPHOTO

Airrace: Back to the Start




1982, young guitarist Laurie Mansworth exits MORE. To get into the more melodic vein he hooks up with vocalist Keith Murrell, bass player Jim Reid, keyboardist Toby Sadler and drummer Jason Bonham, the son of LED ZEPPELIN drummer John. To keep things ZEPPELIN style they sign with manager Peter Grant, who subsequently signs them to Atco/Atlantic Records. Not bad for a young band. Beau Hill worked with the band on “Shaft of Light”, a lighter than they wished for affair, but still highly regarded by the press. In spite of gigs with bands like AC/DC, QUUEN and TED NUGENT the band crashed to a halt in the summer of ´85. 25 five years later the debut albums gets an anniversary re-release overhaul, in effect reuniting the band. Gigs with the likes of THUNDER and TESLA followed. A fab performance at Firefest in 2009 sealed the deal. Album number two, “Back to the Start”, was recorded with all the originals minus John Bonham and Jim Reid, who were replaced by Simon Dawson and ex SAMSON bassist Dave Boyce. But to get things going on the road etc. various member changes followed. Today AIRRACE consists of the originals: Keith, Laurie and Jim, while the line-up is completed by drummer Simon Dawson, guitarist Dean Howard, and keyboard player. Nuff said, over to the actual music.

Opener “Keep On Going” is a no excuses return to the eighties. Reminiscent of a movie score it has a ring of MAGNUM and a fine refrain saying what the bands is doing now. The gritty guitars and snappy chorus vs. lead vocalist refrain of “Two of a Kind” improves things further. The feeling is slowly enforced although the album, with highlights in the shape of the MAGNUM and TOTO reminiscent “So Long” and the forceful and extremely well-sung “Enough of Your Loving”. The band shows no sign of old age or jumping to an album to cash in on their old glory. The only thing that might cause some comments is Laurie´s very eighties production, which you may love or hate. Keith´s voice has also preserved well, if not developed well. There is not much more to ask for from a band getting back together after 25 years. I believe that album number three will not be 25 years in the making, and I hope Frontiers sees the potential in this UK outfit.

Track List
Keep On Going
Two of a Kind
When Baby
Call Me Anytime
So Long
Back to the Start
Just One Kiss
Wrong Way Out
One Step Ahead
Enough of Your Loving
Better Believe It
What More Do You Want From Me

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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