'These darkly comic tales place the author snugly between Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. Be sure: Chris Fielden is one funny feller.' Allen Ashley, British Fantasy Award winner.
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Quick links on this page:

bio - portishead - ghosts - videos - website - discography - gigs - reviews - line-up - photos

You can learn more about Airbus on:

Airbus Band

Airbus, pictured in LA in 2017 - photo by Sally Low

Airbus Biography

I started playing in this band when I was 15 because it offered a fun alternative to being educated. Over 15 years, the band wrote and recorded around 200 songs, many of which are now being released.

We played 1,000's gigs all over the planet and were fortunate enough to be signed to BMG Music Publishing and Spira Records. Living in LA for a couple of years, we were lucky enough to work with some great record producers which made recording more fun than I thought possible. This included Andy Stermer, who played in Jellyfish, Mike Howlett, who played in Gong, and Richard Dashut, who produced many of Fleetwood Mac's albums, including Rumours.

Airbus music rock band on Harbour Road Portishead, pre development in the early 90's

In 2016, we decided to start working on our back catalogue of songs. We've been finishing them off ready for release and plan to release over 10 albums. The first of these records, Primitive Carnival, was released in 2017. See the discography section of this page for more information and details of other releases.

Ghosts was re-released through Bristol Archive Records early in 2017. It contains brand new mixes of the songs, including some extended versions. Again, see the discography section below to listen to the songs.

Airbus Band Space Helmet

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Airbus Reconstruction of Portishead's Sourtimes

The most well known recording Airbus did was a B-side of Portishead’s 'Sourtimes', entitled the ‘Airbus Reconstruction’. We went to Gordano school with Geoff Barrow. He’d been signed to Go Beat and recorded Dummy. It hadn’t been released and, at that time, no one had heard of Portishead. He gave us a cassette (oh dear, showing my age) with a click-track and Beth’s vocal on it. We spent a day in State of Art recording studio in Easton, Bristol, recording the music (to the click-track as it had to marry up with Beth’s vocal - she overdubbed the howling on the end section after the music was recorded).

Airbus Reconstruction - Portishead Sourtimes - Nobody Loves Me

It wasn’t until the song was completed that Geoff played us the original. I remember us saying, "Sorry," or something similar, as it was so different from the original and much heavier. But that’s what makes it work. We performed it live twice with Beth, if my memory serves correctly - once at Moles Club in Bath and once at the Ashton Court Music Festival in Bristol. Below you can see a version I found on Youtube.

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Ghosts was recorded by the band in a basement recording studio in Bristol on ancient (and often unreliable) analogue equipment. No computers, no wav files - this was all done on a 1 inch Soundcraft tape machine and a 2 inch Studer which gave the recordings a warmth and depth of which I'm proud. You can find Ghosts on Amazon, Spotify and most online stores.

Airbus Ghosts LP Album Cover, Grosvenor Hotel in Bristol

The building on the CD cover is the Grosvenor Hotel which is located in the heart of Bristol, near Temple Meads train station.

You can learn how to listen to and purchase the 2017 remastered version of the album in the discography section of the page.

Below is a live recording of a song from the Ghosts album (released in 2000) called 'All My Wishes'. The video was shot at UCLA, CA, USA in 2001.

Here is a video of the song 'Gravity' from the Ghosts album. The footage was recorded at Glastonbury Music Festival in 1999.

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Save Your Breath

This is the second video from the Primitive Carnival album. It was shot in Portishead Youth Centre in the UK and Los Angeles USA. 'Save Your Breath' was released in July 2021 on the lead-up to the launch of the You album. You can learn more about both albums in the discography below.

Get Away

This is the second video from the You album. It was filmed at Ashton Court Festival in Bristol in the summer of 1993. You can learn more about You in the discography below.


This video was shot in the Stujo in LA, USA, early in 2017. It's the first single off the Primitive Carnival album. Learn more about that in the discography below.

Listen to the first single from Primitive Carnival 'Fade' on Spotify

Buy the first single from Primitive Carnival 'Fade' on iTunes

Save Yourself

This is the first video from the You album. It was filmed at Portishead Youth Centre, where the band used to rehearse every week, in May 1994. You can learn more about the You album in the discography below.

Airbus on HTV's First Cut

First Cut was a television programme filmed over two days during May 1993 at the Lloyds Amphitheatre in Bristol, UK. The programme was a 'battle of the bands' which I'm pleased to say we won. Below are videos of some of the songs we performed on the show. The daytime videos are of songs performed during one the of the heats, and the night-time videos were performed during the final.

Ethnicus (the drum song)

This is one of the most popular songs we performed live, and was often referred to as 'the drum song' by people who didn't know its real name ('Ethnicus'). This is the best version we have, as studio recordings never worked as well as when the song was played live. The video encompasses two performances, the first from the heat, the second from the final, which played out under the show's credits.

Later That Same Evening

Another popular live song, sometimes called 'the mandolin song' (you can see a pattern developing here...). Again, this is the best version we have recorded.


We released this track as a 7" single (pictured below in the discography) in 1993, just after First Cut was filmed. The single did very well, selling out in local record stores.

El Spira

This is an old song that we wrote in 1989 and recorded and released on Apple Trees in 1990. We played it live for many years as it was a favourite with our audience.

Airbus on Wire TV

In 1993 we appeared on Wire TV, a cable television programme filmed in The Galleries shopping centre in Bristol UK. Unfortunately the recording quality isn't brilliant, but the video has Ross in the background, a friend from school who very sadly died in the early nineties. I thought it would be nice to have a memory of him on my website.

Don't Be Afraid

...is a song we wrote in the late 80's. It was one of the first demos we recorded and helped us get our foot in the door with a lot of gig venues. At the beginning of the video, you'll notice the presenter having a professional 'moment' and swearing, thinking her microphone is turned off. Ross is sitting at the front on the right of the group of people directly behind me (I'm on drums).

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Airbus Website

Prior to releasing Ghosts, we used a lot of imagery from the album cover photoshoot on our website, which was built around 1995. Although the original website is long gone, the site is still used by Bluetree (the webdesign firm who built it) as an example of past works.

Airbus Band Bristol UK

As I mentioned before, in 2016, we started working on mixes of all the songs the band recorded between 1987 and 2002 in James's recording studio, LA, California. We plan to release them over the coming years.

James has also been developing a new website with a much more in depth band history.

You can see the new Airbus website here. It's constantly under development, so new content will be added over time.

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Airbus discography

You (2021)

Airbus You

Release date: 11 September 2021

Available from Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and more: find all the details and links on our You sales page.

“‘Simplicity is the mother of all pop’ is a universal Airbus proudly extol and display in frankly gorgeous tracks. ‘Save Yourself’ employs wiry guitar licks and spaced-out sounds but never forgets to be entertaining and thus memorable. Track two, ‘I’, is just gorgeous. Single to the charts please, driver.” CJ Warren

“If you can imagine what an aural cocktail of The Zombies, Elliott Smith and the Beatles would sound like, you’ll get an idea of the dreamy, colourful accordance that is weaved in the standout single ‘I’. Reminiscences aside, the band’s masterfully melodic presence on the airwaves once more is a breath of fresh kaleidoscopic air.” A&R Factory - read the full review here

Primitive Carnival (2017)

Airbus Primitive Carnival

Buy Primitive Carnival on Amazon

Listen to Primitive Carnival on Spotify

Buy Primitive Carnival on iTunes

Ghosts (remastered) (2017)

Airbus Ghosts LP 2000 cover artwork

Buy Ghosts on Amazon

Listen to Ghosts on Spotify

Buy Ghosts on iTunes

Learn more about Ghosts at Bristol Archive Records

No (2001)

Airbus No EP 2001 cover artwork

Ghosts (2000)

Airbus Ghosts LP 2000 cover artwork

Gravity (1997)

Airbus Gravity EP 1997 CD cover artwork

Inertia (1993)

Airbus Inertia 1993 single cover artwork

Bug and the Big Fish (1991)

Airbus Bug and the Big Fish

Apple Trees (1990)

Airbus Apple Trees

Spitfire (1988)

Airbus were called Carrion at the time of release

Airbus (Carrion) Spitfire

Disograph Promo Poster 2017

Airbus Discography

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Gigs - See Airbus Live

More gigs coming after the release of the next record, Imperial Gunpowder

You Tour 2022 - full list of dates below poster

Airbus You Tour 2022

The Thunderbolt, Bristol, UK - Saturday 25th June 2022

Airbus at the Thunderbolt in Bristol

Cafe De Stam, Paal, Belgium - Friday 24th June 2022

Airbus at Cafe De Stam in Paal, Belgium

Stadsherberg Helsdeur, Den Helder, Holland - Thursday 23rd June 2022

Airbus at Helsdeur in Den Helder

Rock Cafe, Leuven, Belgium - Wednesday 22nd June 2022

Airbus at Rock Cafe Leuven

Radio Benelux, Paal, Belgium - Tuesday 21st June 2022

Airbus at Radio Benelux Paal Belgium

The Old Ham Tree, Holt, UK - Sunday 19th June 2022

Airbus at Old Ham Tree Holt

Primitive Carnival Tour 2017 - full list of dates below poster

Airbus Primitive Carnival Tour Poster

Bristol Bierkeller, Bristol, UK - Saturday 18th November 2017

Airbus at the Bierkeller, Bristol, UK gig poster

Radio Bristol Breakfast Show, Bristol UK - Saturday 18th November 2017

The Old Ham Tree, Holt, UK - Friday 17th November 2017 (PM)

Airbus at The Old Ham Tree, Holt, UK gig poster

Tile House Studios recording session, Uxbridge - Friday 17th November 2017 (AM)

Crobar, London, UK - Thursday 16th November 2017

Cafe De Stam, Paal, Belgium - Wednesday 15th November 2017

Airbus at Cafe De Stam, Paal, Belgium gig poster

Radio Benelux, Paal, Belgium - Tuesday 14th November 2017

The Crazy Circle, Brussels, Belgium - Monday 13th November 2017

Airbus at Rock Cafe De Engel, Holland gig poster

Rock Cafe De Engel, Den Helder, Holland - Sunday 12th November 2017

Rare Guitar, Muenster, Germany - Saturday 11th November 2017

Airbus at Rare Guitar, Munster, Germany gig poster

Between 1987 and 2002, Airbus played thousands of gigs. These included Glastonbury Festival in 1999, regular residencies (Beatles style) at Wayne's Bar in Nice, France and gigs across the UK, Europe and USA.

Unfortunately I don't have a record of all the dates, so they don't appear here. However, I would like to thank everyone who followed us around the country and the rest of the world over that 15 year period. Without your support, we wouldn't have had so much fun making music.

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Below are some reviews that appeared in local and national press when the Ghosts album Gravity EP were released.

Airbus Ashton Court Festival Write Up

Ashton Court Festival programme write-up, Bristol

Airbus Ghosts Album Review

Ghosts EP album teaser review

Airbus Gravity EP Review

Gravity EP review

Gig Flyers

Below are a few of the eclectic designs used on our gig flyers. These are mainly from gigs we did in the USA.

Airbus Band Flyer Viper Room Los Angeles CA

Viper Room Flyer, Los Angeles

Airbus Band The 56 Flyer Los Angeles

The 56 Flyer, Los Angeles

Airbus Band Space Flyer

Space Flyer, Los Angeles

Airbus Band Mint gig Flyer

The Mint Flyer, Los Angeles

Airbus Band Fleece & Firkin Flyer Bristol

Fleece & Firkin Flyer, Bristol

Airbus Band The Cube Flyer

The Cube Flyer Artwork, Bristol


Nick Davidge - guitar and vocals

James Childs - guitar and vocals

Chris Fielden - drums

Simon Hedges - bass

Airbus rock band, Portishead Swimming Pool, Battery Point

From left to right: Simon Hedges, Nick Davidge, James Childs, Chris Fielden

Oliver Morris - bass (2000)

Airbus with bassist Oliver Morris, Los Angeles

From left to right: Nick Davidge, James Childs, Chris Fielden, Oliver Morris

Sargon Dooman - bass (2000 - 2002)

Airbus with Sargon Dooman, Los Angeles, CA in 2001

From left to right: Sargon Dooman, Nick Davidge, Olive, James Childs, Chris Fielden

Airbus Band Pictures & Photos

And here are some old, older and very old pictures of the band, dating right back to 1987 when we had our first rehearsal in the music block at Gordano School in Portishead. I remember smuggling beer in. How naughty.

Airbus Los Angleles 2002

Airbus, Los Angeles, 2002

Airbus in Bristol

Airbus in Bristol, around 1995 / 1996

Airbus Band Mixing Gravity EP at Grange Studio

Airbus Mixing at the Grange Studio

Airbus Band Bristol

Airbus in Bristol

Airbus Band Rehearsal

Airbus band rehearsal at Portishead Youth Club

Airbus Band Portishead Carnival 1994

Airbus at Portishead Carnival 1994

Airbus Gig Bogiez Cardiff

Airbus after a gig at Bogiez in Cardiff

Airbus Band in Portishead

Very old pic from late 80's when we used to take things seriously, Valley Road, Portishead

Airbus Band Gordano School

Airbus's 1st rehearsal in Gordano School, Portishead, 1987

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Your comments:

Jonathan P
Gonna sound a bit weird this, but my wife acquired a horse few months back. Horse's stable name was Airbus The Rock Phenomenon. So I Googled "Airbus rock band" and found your website. Liked your version of Sour Times, BTW :)

Chris Fielden
No way!! Where was that?

Jonathan P
It was from a riding school in Shipham - I think the connection is that the mother of one of your ex-bandmates runs it.

Chris Fielden
Ah yes, it's his father I think - that makes sense now :-)

Bob E
Chris, I added Airbus to this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bands_from_Bristol. I hope that's OK.

Chris Fielden
Great, thanks very much Bob!

Marc L
Hi, met you in Nice around 99, really like the gigs at Wayne's place, and also some fun  in Vieux Nice Good memory.

Chris Fielden
Marc, Wayne's was (and is so far a I know) a great venue!

Alan C
Hi, reading this has brought back some amazing memories of being 17 and rocking out at the Bristol Bridge Inn to you guys. If you have anything digital I'd love to hear some of the tracks off of Bug and the Big Fish again.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Chris Fielden
Alan. Ah, the Bristol Bridge memories... I used to love playing there. I'll email you an MP3 or two :-)

Joe H
Hey Chris, I didn't know you were recording with Airbus in LA, that's really rad. It's so nice to see bands that have been around for awhile still playing and creating. Tell you the truth its inspiring since so many older rockers friends have seemed to stop or move on to retirement in their forties. Creating music is one of the best feelings I've ever felt and right now I’m searching for people that want to play. Unfortunately where I live there aren't many cats that play and those that do have either stopped or slowed down. It is refreshing to see you rocking out and even more exciting to see you recording in one of the music capitals of the world. I hope to be playing again soon hopefully away from New Jersey. I'm writing again too after months of being stuck in a holding pattern. I just wanted to say hi and let you know that seeing y'all over here rocking out was a inspiring sight.

Keep Rockin.

Chris Fielden
Hi Joe. Great stuff, I'm glad to hear that Airbus is inspiring you :-)

I'll never stop playing. Well, when the reaper comes for me I guess I'll have to, unless whatever lies beyond death allows for me to continue. I find it therapeutic. And fun. Much like writing.

We have a small label in our home town that wants to put our back catalogue out, so we're working on it. 2 of the band members live in LA, so we record there when we can. And we're shooting a couple of videos, so hopefully they'll come out later this year.

Anyways. Glad to hear you're writing again and able to travel soon. NY has a good music scene. Maybe that's the way forward?

So many memories. Bogiez... The Carnival using a truck as a stage... SPITFIRE !! I had so much fun being a hanger on.

My first date with Emma (Mrs Joanstone) was probably at a pub in Bristol to watch you. It was near Temple Meads, the name escapes me. There were Blue Aeroplanes all over the place.... 24 year or so later, we\'re still together so she must have liked it.

Driving various vans with the gear, band and a few hangers on in the back. You\'d never get away with it these days.

London, driving the van with reverse where 1st should be. Every time I crunched a gear I had a five second flurry as punishment. Playing in Camden. Spooky Man, Spooky.... still have the t-shirt somewhere.

Thank you for the good times and awesome memories...and the nickname..... Love you all.....even Charlie!!


Chris Fielden
You are a legend, Joan. Big thanks for all your help back in the day.

See you next week for birthday gig messiness :-)

Love always, Topher Icecry

Sally C
Hello Chris. Thank you for sending your newsletter  - it is the first one for me and it is a very interesting and informative read.

However, I am just having difficulty linking your hobby of eating cake to the video for 'Save Your Breath' but then thought there might be something in cake related horror although haven't come up with anything yet.

On a serious note, I went to an alternative rock weekend before Covid (at ye olde Butlins) and think Airbus would be perfect for the gig in case you were looking for live gigs. All the best.

Chris Fielden
Thanks for your message, Sally.

Hmm... maybe we should work some cake related songs into our repertoire. I'll suggest it to the rest of the band.

Thank you for the gig tip. We're hoping to play again either late this year or in 2022, so will check it out :)

Sally C
Genoacide. Muffin snuffing. Linzer Torte-ure. Slain by a madeleine.

I'll let myself out

Chris Fielden
I think you should form a band of bakers called Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker.

Or approach Cake with your ideas.

Don't lock up, I need to let myself out too.