Along with Renaissance, Curved Air were one of the few '70s prog bands to rise to a level of success & popularity with a female lead vocalist. Here we are in 2012, and the band are still plugging along after various reunions and line-up changes, with original singer Sonja Kristina still fronting the band, along with founding drummer Florian Pilkington Miksa, guitarist Kit Morgan, Robert Norton on keyboards, violinist Paul Sax, and bassist Chris Harris. Recorded during their Atmosphere tour of 2010/2011, this live set shows just how much Curved Air have left in the proverbial tank, which seems to be quite a lot.
The bands mix of ethereal art rock, prog, and jazz is on full display throughout Live Atmosphere, as they run through many fan favorites including "Maria Antoinette", "Phantasmagoria", "Back Street Luv", "Melinda", and "It Happened Today", among others. Sonja's vocals are still in great form (to me she always sounded like a female version of legendary Supertramp vocalist Roger Hodgson), as she soars on "Propositions" over a wealth of gorgeous keys from Norton and Morgan's sizzling guitar work. The furious "Easy" shows the bands more complex, progressive side, while "Hide and Seek" is a bit more in the jazz vein, complete with luxurious violin courtesy of Sax.
Live Atmosphere is just flat out fun to listen to, as Curved Air still have this playful, joyous way about them that has not changed over the decades. Overall this is a great live set, packed with color photos throughout the digipack and a bonus DVD with some live & behind the scenes footage.
1) Atmospheric Overture (intro)
2) Maria Antoinette
5) Hide and Seek
10) Back Street Luv
12) It Happened Today
13) Atmospheric Overture (outro)
Bonus DVD containing some behind the scenes & live foorage