Back in the 1980s Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch teamed up to form The Eurogliders – the ultimate big band, pop, electro experience.
With an extraordinary number of hits, including Heaven, We Will Together and The City of Soul it was a huge loss to the industry when Lynch and Knight harmoniously relinquished their musical partnership to pursue their own creative pursuits. But now, thanks to a call from the Boomtown Rats, Lynch and Knight have re-formed the Eurogliders and are storming venues around the country with their sensational new Eurogliders show.
According to Grace Knight, a one-time Byron Shire local, ‘It was funny how it happened. I got a call from Glenn A Baker asking if Bernie and I would consider re-forming The Eurogliders to support Boomtown Rats on their tour, and then they pulled the tour. But we were rehearsed and ready to go!’
Coming back together has been both a creative triumph and, at times, a bit of a challenge for these two headstrong players.
‘I have been off doing my thing now for 20 years, so I have my way of doing things, as does Bernie. We are both very strong characters and it takes a bit for me to get used to taking directions and not being the boss! Although it’s actually good not having to be the one that makes all the decisions sometimes – it’s a bit of a relief!’ admits Grace.
A lot of high-profile bands look back on acrimonious periods that saw them destroyed by their success. This wasn’t the story for The Eurogliders – they disbanded because of very different career directions. In fact Grace Knight didn’t want to be a singer. She wanted to be an actress.
‘I never really felt like I walked away,’ says Grace. ‘I got offered a role in the TV miniseries [ITALIC]Come in Spinner.[/ITALIC] When I got this tiny cameo role I was so excited, and then I had to sing the backing track that went with the miniseries. I was petrified because I was a pop singer and they wanted this jazzy torch-singer. I tried to tell them they’d made a mistake, but I fell into it. I did it with Vince Jones and the album went ballistic; it was the biggest album the ABC had had at the time and it was in the charts for months and months; I would have been crazy not to follow it up with another album. At one point I had an album in the jazz charts at number one and another in the pop charts at number five! And that was it – I was a jazz singer. Bernie was married to Collette Dinnigan, so a lot of his time was spent art directing her parades in Paris and doing the design and music – he had really loved that and he got involved in theatre music, for which he’s received numerous awards…’
So now Knight is back singing Lynch’s songs in the band that sent them on this crazy career-building trajectory.
‘I have always interpreted Bernie’s songs because I love his melodies. He comes from a background of soul music, which is where I come from,’ says Grace, ‘and he has this choir background that I think shows in his use of harmonies and the way he loves building tracks using vocals as an instrument.’
So what should audience members be expecting for the show at the Ballina RSL?
‘We would be lynched if we didn’t sing Heaven Must be There and We Will Together – you know we had a lot of hits! I kind of forgot about it; you go into jazz and get focused in that field. It wasn’t until we went back preparing for this Boomtown Rats tour that I really had a look and we had a lot of hit singles. Then you go, oh shit, that will take up most of the set because there are so many of them – and god bless the people who come to the gigs because they want to hear that; but, being an artist, you want to do new music. So you do two hits and drop in a new song!’
So what’s changed since they got the band back together? ‘The plastic synth drums are gone!’ laughs Grace. The new 2015 release of Don’t Eat the Daisies features new Eurogliders songs and the reworkings of the classics.
This show promises to be ‘Heaven’! Ballina RSL on Saturday – show at 8.30pm with tickets just $39 available at the club.