Air Traffic & Astro Firs

June 29, 2009

Astro Firs

Astro Firs

 

Between the 16th and the 22nd of June, Air Traffic and Supervision Management buddies Astro Firs embarked on a 7 gigs in 7 days tour, and I was lucky enough to catch the final leg at the Deaf Institute in Manchester. Astros opened up to a near capacity crowd who welcomed the Indie Rock band wholeheartedly, despite the atmosphere suffering slightly from the fact that it was broad daylight. Heavy rock riffs, epic chant-along choruses, typically cheeky-chappy geordie banter from front man Scott and an energetic live presence ensured an entertaining set from these lads. I guess you could describe Astros as Indie for the Emo fan.. as they boast Indie-Disco beats and jagged guitar work, but their tone and production is heavier and darker than the uber-fay Indie tosh in the charts. All in all these guys are an awesome Rock band, and definitely an act to look out for in a town near you.

 

Air Traffic

Air Traffic

 

Air Traffic hit the stage at dusk, with light still filtering in from the skylight, which contributed to an eerie half-lit feel about the Institute. As such it took the crowd a little longer than usual to warm to this Ambient Rock 4-piece, who, let’s be honest, are used to bigger stages. Still, old favourites like Charlotte, Shooting Star and Come On, as well as brand new as yet unrecorded tracks, eventually had a sold out Deaf Institue chanting back lyrics and swaying appropriately. This was my first Air Traffic show and they won me over with the key-infused introduction to the very first track. Chris Wall‘s key lines, and fairly standard soft-rock 4/4 tempos will draw comparisons to such stadium-bands as Coldplay, Embrace and Keane, but Wall‘s cracked and haunting voice, always pitch perfect; and the upbeat, jagged and distorted guitar work of tracks such as Charlotte set these boys apart as an edgier, anthemic rock alternative to the mainstream. Ethereal yet punchy, anthemic yet intimate, catchy yet sincere, and lightyears better than Indie Pop chart-wank like.. ye you guessed it.. Scouting For Girls, Air Traffic are incredible on record, and even better live. Buy their back catalogue and go and see them immediately!

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