They were a big concert draw in the 70s, and the years are now rolling back for Curved Air. Three members of the classic line-up reconvened to play some live shows, and they also have a new album, Reborn, on which original member Darryl Way has reworked Curved Air songs for the new millennium. Violinist Way and vocalist Sonja Kristina express their enjoyment of working together again.
Welcome Back: Curved Air
Sonja Kristina is 65 on April 14. She and Curved Air violinist Darryl Way talk about the band's past and future. This originally appeared in Classic Rock issue 128
How does it feel to have the band back together again?
Darryl Way: It’s been a very pleasant experience so far.
Sonja Kristina: It’s very curious to be up there on stage performing in much the same way as I did when I was 20.
People are bound to wonder where you’ve been.
DW: Well yes, it’s been 30-plus years since a proper version of Curved Air has been in existence. We did a couple of shows in 1990, which wasn’t a proper reunion. But nothing came of that. ‘Better late than never’ is my philosophy.
SK: I did pause my career when the children were babies. But even then Stewart’s [Copeland, The Police drummer, Sonja’s then husband] career was doing very well, so we had a big country house and I had people to help with the children, and I could record at home. I did some work with Roy Thomas Baker, I toured with Escape, did some fringe theatre, did musicals in the West End, some TV, working more or less all the time.
There has never really been another band like Curved Air, has there?
DW: I guess the nearest there has been has been Portishead and maybe Goldfrapp, but in terms of classical/rock crossover with a female singer and a violinist it hasn’t been done how we did it.
SK: I think most bands still just use guitars these days, no violins, apart from Mostly Autumn – we are compared with them sometimes.
Do you think there is a new audience out there for Curved Air?
DW: I think it will be our original fans recapturing their youth. And music is a very powerful aid to doing that. It reminds you of where you were and what you were doing, and I think people are very fond of things that remind them of their days as young people.
SK: I don’t think we need to write new stuff, we still have an excellent repertoire to work from.
Is the reunion just for fun?
DW: Gauging reaction is quite difficult; there hasn’t been a mass of publicity so far, just a bit on the internet, but that may improve when we play.
SK: It’s nice to remind everyone who was there at that time, and it will grow slowly by word of mouth. The gigs we have done have been very well received, it’s just a matter of getting out there, and reminding people of what the band meant to the world of music at that time.
When you look back, what are you most proud of?
DW: That is quite a hard question. Marie Antoinette I always liked, and Hide And Seek, and of course Back Street Luv [UK Top 5 in 1971] and Vivaldi.
SK: I am proud of the fact that we could enchant large halls full of people and build that magic over and over again through the lifespan of the band. I always enjoyed playing live, and we never dropped the standard of our live performances.