AIRBUS Test Flight (WHCD030)

1. Back On The Street Again

2. This Time

3. Without A Second Word

4. Walking The Silver Hay

5. Living On Borrowed Time

6. Time On My Side

7. Susanna In The Summer

8. Alias Oliver Dream

9. I’m About To Lose My Mind

10. I Think I’ll Stay

11. Do You Need A Someone In Your Life

12. Every Day Is Like Saturday

13. Send Susanna Home

14. Smokey Chimney Tops

15. Down On The Farm

16. Raincloud

17. The Sound Of Her Laughter

18. Hurry On Home To London

19. Rodeo

20. Anytime At All

21. It’s Only Human

22. Once Upon A Wednesday

23. Kentucky Summer

24. Windmill Hill

25. Lonely River


West Coast Consortium spinoff Airbusnever played live or even released a record during their 1970-1972 lifespan, instead spending their entire subterranean existence holed up in their self-owned Whitechapel studio, writing and performing innumerable high quality demos and then attempting to place those songs with major label acts. But, more by accident than design, they came to leave behind THE Great Lost Early ’70s British Pop Album - a jaw-dropping collision of superb songs, dazzling vocal harmonies, intelligent lyrics and hook-laden melodies that occupy the same studio überpop territory as the first two 10cc albums and even Paul McCartney’s Ram. Here, then, is the strange, previously untold story of a band that didn’t leave so much as a footprint in the musical sands, but recorded a greater number of three-minute pop nuggets than almost all of their contemporaries…

“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 über-pop cognoscenti.” (Record Collector)


© Tenth Planet/Wooden Hill 2008-2014