My father first discovered Curved Air’s unique blend of electronic, folk-influenced rock through a school friend as a teenager – a chance discovery that lead to his disbelief and excitement at us witnessing their live show together more than 40 years later.
Singer Sonja Kristina has been the only constant member since the band’s formation in 1969. Their debut album Air Conditioning was released in 1970, resulting in BBC Radio One sessions with John Peel and supporting slots with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Jethro Tull. However, in 1976 – the same year they played at UEA – musical differences between band members caused their break up. Reforming in 2008, the band currently features guitarist George Hudson, bassist Chris Harris, drummer Andy Tween, keyboardist Robert Norton and violinist Paul Sax.
Tonight, the venue may not be filled to capacity, but it is full of people who have come here to see only one band, who humbly take the stage before showcasing exactly why their fans are still thrilled by their music. Early singles It Happened Today and Backstreet Luv are received just as well as new songs from the band’s most recent album, North Star, such as Images and Signs. Each band member appreciates the skill of the other, whether it’s during Sax’s violin at the start of Vivaldi, Hudson’s guitar solo or the emotion of Norton’s keyboard playing.
Afterwards the band take photos, sign merchandise and chat with their fans, acknowledging the decades of commitment their music has inspired. Whilst signing a CD, Kristina tells one fan: ‘I never would have thought in 1974 that I would be here with you!’