AIR Of The Gods is Pete Lashley's fifth album and, while I'm not familiar with the first three, I played his fourth album Slate endlessly in the car, on the stereo and the iPod!

Slate featured a mixture of both self-penned and well-performed cover versions. His latest collection of 12 original tracks written by himself, and two written jointly with Andrea Wetton, shows Lashley's ability as a writer, lyricist and a performer. He excels at all three but by his own admission Air Of The Gods is a grower and requires several listens before you get into it. I would suggest the track order may have something to do with that. The opening song To Give Again is upbeat rock'n'roll but the ambience changes dramatically with the acoustic ballad Can You Hear me?

Spanish and Australian influences are evident in Matador and Paperwork, the former demonstrating Lashley's superb guitar playing.

My favourite songs from the album are Rocky Road, Coastal City Night and the strangely named Another Rabbit - all hypnotising melodic ballads full of rich vocals and guitar.

Most artists don't like to be pigeonholed, but track seven Someone Else's Life begins almost like a Led Zeppelin number. By the time you reach Nailing For The Head I could hear more of a Turin Brakes style.

The final song 'The Village Rose is perhaps Pete Lashley at his best and deserves an earlier appearance in my opinion, especially with the beautiful flute played by Polly-Anna Ashford.

The album is more feel-good than melancholy and I can imagine listening to it on a warm sunny afternoon, flicking through a photo album with friends.

Pete Lashley is, of course, a local musician but don't be fooled into thinking he is anything less than a superb singer songwriter in the same league as Damien Rice, David Gray or James Blunt.

STEVE BARBER For more information about availability and gig dates, check out