‘Shaft of Light’, produced by Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger, Fiona etc) received rave reviews when released in October 1984, showing a combination of breezy melodies and snappy choruses which moved journalist Derek Oliver to pronounce in the pages of Kerrang! that anyone who didn’t like Airrace “ought to be shot”. And quite right he was too!
Although the band got to play support slots with Queen, AC/DC and Meat Loaf, Airrace crash-landed in the summer of 1985.
It took a 25th anniversary re-issue of ‘Shaft of Light’ to reunite the band in 2009. To celebrate the record’s expanded re-release, the original members Mansworth, Bonham with singer Keith Murrell and keyboardist Toby Sadler recruited two new members – second guitarist Dean Howard (formerly of T’Pau) and bassist Dave Boyce (ex-Samson, among others) – to hit the road, playing gigs with Thunder, Tesla, Winger and more, in addition to headlining their own shows. When Jason Bonham departed, the occupation of his drum stool by The Outfield’s Simon Dawson brought them vital stability.
With Toby Sadler, who resides in Germany, unable to commit to playing more regularly, Airrace hired a new keyboard player called Chris Williams, re-recruiting original bass player Jim Reid as a successor to Dave Boyce.