Sonja Kristina Linwood
|Birth name||Sonja Kristina Shaw|
14 April 1949 |
Brentwood, Essex, England
|Genres||Acid folk, progressive rock|
|Associated acts||Curved Air, Mask|
Sonja Kristina's first appeared on stage at the Swan Folk Club in Romford at the age of thirteen. Her first professional gig was at a Folk Festival in Southgate, London a year or so later. By 1968, while studying at the New College of Speech and Drama, Kristina was helping to run, and performing at, the Wednesday evening sessions at London's Troubadour Folk Club. She was generally known on the folk scene as "Sonja" having previously appeared several times on the British children's TV show "Song and Story" under that name.
In 1968, Sonja auditioned for and won the part of "Crissy" in the London stage production of the stage musical Hair. She features on the original cast album singing the song "Frank Mills", also released as a single. She also briefly sang with The Strawbs, following the departure of Sandy Denny. Dave Cousins remembered:
"Or Am I Dreaming" (on Strawbs LP) was very much inspired by the sessions I used to do at the Troubadour with Sonja Kristina .... When Sandy left the band Sonja was going to be her replacement, but she did one show with us at a folk club in Chelmsford, and that was it. The reprise was about the magic mountain music man, which was me... that was in the poem I wrote about her which was going to be in the book of my poems that was never released.
Cousins eventually published the book, called The Bruising of Hearts, The Losing Of Races, in 1993. It included a poem "Silver Smile", written for Sonja Kristina in the late 1960s.
According to AllMusic, it was Galt McDermott, producer of Hair and another musical Who the Murderer Was, who employed the four members of Curved Air as a house band, who suggested when the stage show closed that they add Sonja Kristina to the line-up. Another version has it that manager Mark Hanau had the idea Sonja's vocals could become a vital ingredient in a new band. On 1 January 1970 the singer received an official invitation to become a member of Curved Air. She remembered while sitting backstage on the theatre stairs listening to a cassette of the band's music Hanau had given her, and being much impressed.
Curved Air had a changing line-up over their nine albums (1970–1976 and 1990), with Kristina being the only constant element. Since 2008, she has taken part in a series of Curved Air reunion concerts.
After Curved Air, she returned to Hair. She has also performed solo, including as part of the acid folk movement in London in the early 1990s, culminating in her critically acclaimed Songs from the Acid Folk in 1991, and in a multi-media duo MASK, with Marvin Ayres.
Albums with Curved Air
- Air Conditioning (1970)
- Second Album (1971)
- Phantasmagoria (1972)
- Air Cut (1973)
- Live (1975)
- Midnight Wire (1975)
- Airborne (1976)
- Lovechild (recorded 1973, released 1990)
- Live At The BBC (1995)
- Alive, 1990 (2000)
- Masters From The Vaults
- Reborn (2008)
- Retrospective (2010) - compilation including three MASK tracks
Albums as Sonja Kristina
- Sonja Kristina (1980)
- Songs From The Acid Folk (1991) (with TY-LOR and friends)
- Harmonics Of Love (1995)
- Cri De Coeur (2003)
- Heavy Petal CD + DVD by MASK ft Sonja Kristina (2005)
- Hair soundtrack – Sonja sings lead on some tracks.
- Vampires Stole My Lunch Money Mick Farren (1978) - Sonja Kristina and The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde provided backing vocals on this album.
- Sheep In Wolves' Clothing Motorheadbangers fan club tribute CD (2008) - Sonja contributed an acoustic version of Motörhead's "I Don't Believe A Word."
Sonja married Malcolm Ross in 1971 and Stewart Copeland in 1982. She became acquainted with Copeland while he was first road manager and then drummer for Curved Air (1974–1976); they divorced in 1991.
- "SONJA KRISTINA – 'Sonja Kristina' (Market Square MSMCD140)". Market Square Records. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Sonja Kristina". www.curvedair.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Kristina rocks". The Malaysia Star. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- The Strawbs website
- "Sonja Kristina / Curved Air / MASK". www.strawbsweb.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- Dave Thompson. "Curved Air". Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Cherry Red TV interview". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "Marvin Ayres profile". NME. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Sonja Kristina > Credits at AllMusic
- "Alan Burridge". Alanburridge.freeuk.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.