Airrace Plus the Ginger Lizards. Hanger 18, Swansea 21 April 2019

As summer made an appearance in Wales, Swansea prepared for a musical onslaught in Hanger 18. In the centre of the city, Hanger 18 is great venue and has seen some excellent acts recently.


The original support for this gig had to pull out due to illness, but Big Day Productions were able to bring in The Ginger Lizards - a three piece blues rock band from West wales to open up the night. this who had arrived at the venue early enough were entertained by three guys clearly doing what they enjoy. With hints of ZZ Top, we had a great, if not short, set of their own compositions ending with Martin playing his Cigar Box guitar on the last couple of tracks. They deserved their acclaim from the early arrivals who had enjoyed their set.


The Ginger Lizards are:

Martin Thomas  - Guitar/Vocals

Martin Daniels  - Bass/Vocals

Paul Daniels  - Drums


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If you were around in the 1980’s, the chances are you would have seen Airrace. They were big back then - supporting bigger bands like AC/DC and Queen. After going their separate ways for several years, they reformed, brought in Adam Payne on vocals, got a deal with Frontiers records, and they are set to do it all over again.


Clearly still buzzing from what was fantastic gig in London the night before, the soundcheck was audible in the street below. We could tell at that point, as we arrived, how good the sound was and great sound always means a great gig.


Although the band are Cambridge based, Adam is a Swansea boy. With the venue filled with friends and family, as well as general gig-goers, they struck up with ‘I Don’t Care’, from the 1984 album Shaft of Light. It is a song that has survived the tests of time, and is a great start to the set.


Their AOR, hard, melodic rock shook the rafters in Hanger 18 as they worked through their 14 track set. Laurie Mansworth picking out guitar solos with a talent that has been cultivated over many years. As the venue got hotter and hotter, so did the music - the crowd singing back every word.


Watching them, a resurgence in their popularity must surely be on the cards. they gel, they work brilliantly together - the rhythm section of Dhani Mansworth (Drums) and Rocky Newton (Bass) hold the line as Linda (keyboards) brings in her melodic overtones. Laurie has a wealth of talent and with the music underpinning Adam’s top class vocals they create a sound which holds the audience in their hands.

As curfew drew closer, Adam handed over to Linda Kelsey Foster for her keyboard solo start to ‘Brief Encounter’ and the other band members stood to the side of the stage as she played. As the rest of the band rejoined her, a small technical hitch saw Adam looking for a mic that would let us hear his fabulous vocals.


Sadly, the gig came to an end, with their final song, ‘Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya’ - finishing the night the way they had started - with a track from ‘Shaft of Light’. The general buzz from the crowd as they wandered out into the cool Swansea air was that it had been brilliant.


Airrace are:

Adam Payne - Vocals

Laurie Mansworth - Guitar

Rocky Newton - Bass

Dhani Mansworth- Drums 

Linda Kelsey Foster- Keys


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