GRACING THE STAGE SINCE THE 80s
Singer Grace Knight loves what she does and has been doing for 40 years, putting her longevity as an artist down to the loyalty of her fans.
“It’s been all their doing,” said Grace, who is regarded as one of the finest interpreters of popular music in Australia today.
“The audiences kept buying my albums and kept paying to come to my gigs.They, I think, are the ones that kept my career going, thankfully.”
“Thankfully”, not only for Grace but the rest of us, considering Grace was at the heart of the groundbreaking 80s band the Eurogliders which brought songs like Heaven, We Will Together, Can’t Wait To See You, Absolutely and The City of Soul to a young Australian generation after forming in 1981.
Also “thankfully”, for Queensland’s Western Downs people and Queenslanders in general because the Eurogliders will be taking their special brand of music to the new Big Skies Festival near Dalby next month, along with a whole string of Australian 80s music greats.
They will all star in the Big Skies Festival’s Day on the Plain concert on Saturday, May 5 at the stately Jimbour House outside Dalby. Tickets cost $79 per person.
In addition to the Eurogliders there will be Wendy Matthews, Glenn Shorrock, Richard Clapton, Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, Frankie J Holden and Wilbur Wilde.
“Wendy and I perform together quite often, same with Glenn and we often catch up with Richard and Joe. It’s lovely, its great catch up time,” she said.
Grace, who forged a successful career as a jazz singer after the Eurogliders disbanded in 1989, released her 8th solo album, Fragile in 2016, 11 years after the band reformed in 2005,
In a departure from jazz, it features 12 new songs penned by her old partner, Eurogliders band mate Bernie Lynch.
The songs on Fragile take inspiration from blues, soul and folk, and demonstrate her ability to effortlessly move across genres whilst maintaining her signature vocal style.
In 1984, Eurogliders released an Australian top ten album, This Island, which spawned their No. 2 hit single, Heaven.
Heaven also peaked at No. 21 on the United States Billboard Mainstream Rock charts and appeared on the Hot 100.
Another Australian top ten album, Absolutely, followed in 1985, which provided two further local top ten singles, We Will Together, and Can’t Wait to See You.
Australian rock music historian Ian McFarlane described Eurogliders as “the accessible face of post-punknew wave music.
The band’s sophisticated brand of pop was traditional in its structure, but displayed the decidedly “modern veneer” (hip clothes, heavy use of synthesiser)”.
When not performing, Grace spends much of her time on charity work.
“I get involved with a few charities because I can,” she said.
“I have one charity the Chepkinoiyo Building Fund, which I am working with and we are building a school in Kenya.
“We have built three classes and put power on and plumbing and we have just finished building a staff room. The next thing we are hoping to do is build a dormitory so that young girls for whom it’s too far to walk everyday can actually still get an education.
“It is something really close to my heart, my partner’s daughter set up the whole charity. Every single cent we raise goes towards building supplies or glass or having wood delivered.
“There is nothing skimmed off the top and we have really come a long way”.