It was in the late sixties a young girl was asked to be the lead singer in a band founded by Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Rob Martin, Francis Monkman (Sky) and Darryl Way.
The band was called Curved Air, named after a Terry Riley composition A Rainbow in Curved Air.
The band featured several distinct characteristics:
a) the lead singer was a girl, but the band didn't play folk music,
so Curved Air was one of the first bands fronted by a genuine 'rock-chick';
b) Monkman played both guitar and keyboards and was using the latest developments in keyboards;
c) the band had a violinist.
Curved Air was a progressive band in the real sense because the band mixed folk music, classical music, pop- and rock music and invented their own style, copied by none.
In spite of numerous changes in the line-up, Sonja Kristina fronted the band for over 7 years and played a role in all reunions that occurred at a later stage.
She lived with Stuart Copeland for about sixteen years and had three children but nonetheless she never parted ways with her music.
A few years ago the band reformed, featuring Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Darryl Way, Sonja Kristina, Chris Harris and Andy Christie.
Along the way Christie was replaced by Kit Morgan and Darryl Way by Paul Sax.
This line-up toured Europe and fortunately "De Boerderij" managed to book the band.
Chaos all over the Netherlands due to the winter and especially the snowfall in the Western part of the country made the band arrive very late and probably
a lot of people who would have come under normal circumstances had decided to stay at home.
Only around 150 people attended the show but nevertheless atmosphere, sound and lights -as always- were superb in "De Boerderij".
The band even started on time and it became a great trip down memory lane with all those tracks from the early seventies.
Sonja Kristina, probably a grandmother now, is of course not the handsome slim teenager she used to be but what was far more important: her voice was still very powerful.
Although she had some trouble with the higher notes, the sound of her voice is still very recognizable and had become a little bit more mellow & warm,
a quality that her singing lacked to a certain extent some 35 years ago.
The band played very well indeed, especially guitarist Morgan handled his six-strings extremely well.
Especially during the instrumental pieces Armin and large parts of Vivaldi and Metamorphosis it become obvious these guys were more than accomplished musicians.
During the folkloristic track Melinda Sonja played her acoustic guitar and although I'm not entirely sure about the running order the band didn't play Purple Speed Queen,
a beautiful song that was on the printed setlist.
Nostalgia all around and in contrast to other concerts like Roger Waters or Rush, there were almost exclusively people in their fifties attending.
I feel sorry for Kristina and the band because the quality of the songs and their performers should have justified a sold out venue.
I do hope this is not a sign Dutch music lovers are going to stay at home for the rest of the year.
The show lasted about 1 3/4 hours and people got the opportunity to buy stuff form the merchandise booth after the concert, if desired autographed by Sonja Kristina.
The other members of the band were present too and were open for a chat.
The only problem of this line-up might be they lack composers.... somehow I hope they will prove me wrong but so far I'm quite happy
these marvelous songs from some 40 years ago are presented the way the were.
Though it took me almost 3 1/2 hours to get to the venue instead of the usual one hour and fifty minutes I surely am glad I made the effort.
One of the first real progressive bands from the UK is still alive & kicking so be there next time and relive the early seventies!
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