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Curved Air: North Star

Prog-folk veterans blend old, borrowed and new.

With everyone and their cryogenically defrosted bass player reforming now, it’s a crowded market for what the industry politely terms “heritage acts”. But since reforming in 2008, Curved Air have been welcomed back, with a handful of new songs to throw into their sets.

Now going out with a line-up including the ever-iconic Sonja Kristina, drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa and newly rejoined guitarist Kirby Gregory, they’ve come up with several more tidy compositions for this follow-up.

They know what their prog-loving public want, and the fluttering flutey folk and punchy riffing of opener Stay Human provides it, as does the staccato urgency of Time Games and Spider’s spirited jazz-rock instrumental. Puppets is the pick of a clutch of re-recorded old songs, while among the three covers, Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars gets a surprisingly effective double-bass-and-voice treatment.

Johnny Sharp
Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock