aka Tarbet, Kamsha

In a brief but action-packed 18 months at the beginning of the 1980s, Invercargill band Airstrike hit the New Zealand touring circuit hard, gaining a reputation as a high-energy live act with a strong following.

Although they were still taking their first steps in a career that would continue in Australia with line-up and name changes, Airstrike never lacked self-belief and found themselves rubbing shoulders with many of the headline Kiwi bands of the era. They would often cross paths with the likes of Mi-Sex, DD Smash, Hello Sailor, Citizen Band, The Swingers, The Crocodiles, Golden Harvest, Rick Bryant, Barry Saunders’ early band The Tigers, Flight X7, Pop Mechanix, Coup D’Etat, Lip Service and The Knobz.

Airstrike, from left: Neil Burns, Neil Sutherland, Paul Maaka, Neil Chilton, and Peter Chilton
Airstrike in Sydney.
Paul Maaka, Airstrike.
Airstrike in 1979, just before the band headed to Auckland. From left: Neil Sutherland, Neil Chilton, Graham Moses, Peter Chilton, and Neil Burns. 
Kamsha - Work Until You Drop (1985)
Paul Maaka, Airstrike.
Airstrike in a Hillcrest Tavern advert.
Paul Maaka, Airstrike.
Neil Chilton, Cabana 1980.
Airstrike's 2017 reunion at the Civic Theatre, Invercargill, with former Exponents bassist Dave Gent at right. From left: Paul Maaka, Neil Sutherland, Neil Chilton, Peter Chilton, and Dave Gent. 
What's the Name of Your Band? - the story of Airstrike, by Peter J Chilton (2022) 
Airstrike reunion, Invercargill 2017, with Dave Gent of the Exponents.
Airstrike in Sydney.
Kamsha - 1000 Years (1985)
Peter Chilton, Airstrike.
Neil Chilton, Airstrike reunion 2017.
Airstrike reunion at the Civic, Invercargill 2017.
Neil "Burnsy" Burns at the Cabana, Napier.
Neil "Sutho" Sutherland, Airstrike.
Airstrike in Hamilton. From left: Peter Chilton, Neil Sutherland, Neil Chilton, Paul Maaka, Neil Burns.
Neil "Burnsy" Burns and Neil Chilton at the Cabana, Napier 1980.
Airstrike - Peter Chilton on the truck, Timaru 1980.
Neil Chilton and Neil "Sutho" Sutherland, Airstrike reunion, 2017.
Neil "Burnsy" Burns and Neil Chilton, Airstrike.
Airstrike visiting the grave of Neil Burns, 2017.
Airstrike in the Shoreline carpark, Dunedin, 1980.
Airstrike live on stage, Invercargill.
Kamsha - 1000 Years (PolyGram, 1985)
Kamsha - He Will Sleep
Neil Chilton, Airstrike.
Airstrike, 1979. From left: Neil Sutherland, Graham Moses, Peter Chilton, Neil Chilton, Neil Burns.
Neil "Sutho" Sutherland, Airstrike.
Neil "Burnsy" Burns, Airstrike.
Early Airstrike photo, 1979. Left to right: Neil Sutherland, Graham Moses, Neil Chilton, Peter Chilton, Neil Burns.

Update, 2022: Peter Chilton has written What’s the Name of Your Band?, a warts-and-all memoir of his years with the bands Air Strike, Strika and Kam Sha.


Neil Chilton - vocals, guitar

Peter Chilton - drums

Neil Burns - bass

Neil Sutherland - keyboards

Graham Moses - guitar

Paul Maaka - guitar

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