Genre: Alternative Rock
Air Traffic are a British alternative rock band from Bournemouth. The band consists of pianist/lead vocalist Chris Wall, guitarist Tom Pritchard and bassist Jim Maddock. The band’s name originates from when they used to rehearse in an industrial unit next to Hurn Airport, where air traffic control signals could be picked up on their amplifiers. Their music features heavy use of piano, and they have been described by NME to be like “Supergrass covering Little Richard“. The band have received mainstream success due to the release of their single “Shooting Star“, and the release of their widely acclaimed debut album, Fractured Life. The band are currently working on their second album.
Their first single, a double-a side of “Just Abuse Me” and “Charlotte“, was released on 17 July 2006 through Label Fandango, the independent record label of live music promotion company Club Fandango. 500 copies of the single were produced, all of which sold out within a few days of the release date. Following this, the band were signed to record producer David Kosten‘s branch of EMI, Tiny Consumer. They were noticed by BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and began to receive some mainstream airplay, with their song “Never Even Told Me Her Name” receiving airplay on Radio 1 and Kerrang! Radio. Both tracks were featured in season five of television drama One Tree Hill.
They spent much of August and September 2006 in Rockfield Studio in Monmouth, Wales, recording material for their debut album. Four of the tracks from these sessions were released as an EP on 30 October 2006, which included the single “Never Even Told Me Her Name“, “Get In Line”, an acoustic version of “Time Goes By”, and a demo of “Shooting Star“, a song which would later also be released.
On 24 November 2006, the band were given their first real television exposure when they appeared on Later With Jools Holland alongside such acts as The Killers and Lucinda Williams. They performed both songs from their first release, “Charlotte” and “Just Abuse Me”. In December they were invited by Snow Patrol to support them on their UK arena tour.
The band re-released “Charlotte” on 26 March 2007. This marked the band’s first move into the charts, with the song reaching number 33 in the UK Singles Chart. The band released their new single, “Shooting Star”, on 18 June 2007. The song, prior to its release, met with acclaim; it was Marsha Shandur’s (Xfm) and Steve Lamacq‘s (6 Music) “Single Of The Week” for 4-10 June 2007, as well as Vernon Kay‘s “Weekend Anthem” for 9-10 June 2007, on BBC Radio 1.
Their debut album, Fractured Life, was released on 2 July 2007. It reached number 42 on the UK Albums Chart. It was named “Album Of The Week” on radio station Original 106 throughout 25 June – July 11 2007, with several album tracks played all week. A further single, “No More Running Away“, was released on 24 September 2007, charting at #45.
Air Traffic were one of ten nominees for the 2007 Xfm New Music Award. They attended and played at a ceremony at London‘s KOKO on 16 January 2008, with The Enemy being the eventual winners. They released non-album single “Come On” on 21 January 2008, as part of an exclusive download with Xfm. Whilst the song was included in the American release of the album, it was available to download for free in the United Kingdom. In April the band embarked on their biggest UK tour to date headlining a sold out Shepherds Bush Empire in London. To support the album’s US release, they embarked on a tour with the critically acclaimed Elbow as well their own headline dates.
In July 2008, they played twice at the Rock Werchter festival in Belgium. After opening on the first day, they played on the big stage on the Friday to replace Babyshambles.
 Untitled Second Album (2009)
The band invited fans to download new track “Ambulate” through email in April 2009, in which they stated that drummer David Ryan Jordan had left the band to “pursue other interests”. In June, the band announced a seven date tour of the United Kingdom, including a sold-out show at London‘s Borderline.. On the 1st November 2009 another demo track was sent to subscriped fans of the website, entitled “Maniac”.