Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Airbus - Test Flight (1970-73 uk, dazzling vocal harmonies, intelligent lyrics and hook-laden melodies, 2010 release)


Formed from the wreckage of harmony pop hopefuls West Coast Consortium, Airbus pursued their craft with such monomaniacal fervour during their 1970-73 lifespan that they effectively never emerged from the Venus studio in Whitechapel. You won’t have seen them live, because they never played any gigs, and you’re unlikely to have anything by them in your collection unless you own volume three of Psychedelic Schlemiels, or a contentious brace of singles released in Holland… All of which makes the 25 spit-shined demos compiled on Test Flight a rather exciting archaeological find, adding substance to Wooden Hill’s claim that this is “THE Great Lost Early 70s British Pop Album”.

A trio comprised of Geoff Simpson and brothers Martin and Ron Jay, Airbus have drawn comparisons to Badfinger, Ram-era McCartney and 10cc, but they’re definitely closer to the Badfinger end of the spectrum. There’s no trace of 10cc’s acidulous cynicism in their earnestly sunny worldview and, if anything, the bubblegum immediacy of Hurry On Home To London, Anytime At All and Send Susanna Home call to mind Vanity Fayre. But who’s complaining? Martin Jay’s clarion vocals on more credible compositions such as Smokey Chimney Tops and Walking The Silver Hay will buckle the knees of ├╝ber-pop cognoscenti.
by Marco Rossi
Tracks
1. Back On The Street Again - 3:23
2. This Time Tomorrow - 3:34
3. Without A Second Word - 3:16
4. Walking The Silver Hay - 3:34
5. Living On Borrowed Time - 2:34
6. Time On My Side - 3:27
7. Susanna In The Summer - 3:24
8. Alias Oliver Dream - 2:54
9. I'm About To Lose My Mind - 2:27
10.I Think I'll Stay - 2:41
11.Do You Need Someone In Your Life - 3:39
12.Every Day Is Like Saturday - 4:07
13.Send Susanna Home - 3:23
14.Smokey Chimney Tops - 2:25
15.Down On The Farm - 3:50
16.Raincloud - 4:00
17.The Sound Of Her Laughter - 2:40
18.Hurry On Home To London - 3:12
19.Rodeo - 3:08
20.Anytime At All - 2:47
21.It's Only Human - 2:55
22.Once Upon A Wednesday - 3:12
23.Kentucky Summer - 2:23
24.Windmill Hill - 2:05
25.Lonely River - 3:18  
All song by  Geoff Simpson, Ron Jay

Airbus
*Geoff Simpson - Guitar, Bass, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Martin Jay - Lead Vocals, Drums, Guitar, Bass
*Ron Jay - Piano, Organ, Vocals,