Eurogliders will together again, but not like you might expect

Mar 1, 2015

They will together (again) ... Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch of Eurogliders.

They will together (again) ... Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch of Eurogliders. Source: Supplied

THIS week’s album reviews from The Courier-Mail (ratings out of five stars).



Don’t Eat the Daisies (MGM)


EIGHTIES Aussie sensations Eurogliders knew their way around a synth machine and a tub of hair gel.

With the full force of Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch at the helm, the group had hits with songs such as Heaven (Must Be There), We Will Together, The City of Soul and Can’t Wait to See You.

Australia’s answer to the new-wave sound, they captivated with their colourful, upbeat tunes and Knight’s powerful voice and engaging dance moves.

Those songs turn up on their new album, Don’t Eat the Daisies, though in unrecognisable form. Opening track Another Day in the Big World immediately lets you know you’re in new territory. The synths have been abandoned, the guitars unplugged and the volume turned up on folkie instruments, such as banjo, mandolin, lap steel and harmonium.

This is their first album in 10 years and it includes a mix of old favourites and new surprises. It’s great to hear familiar tracks reinvented and it shows the strengths of those songs. Heaven and Can’t Wait to See You instantly stand out.

Eurogliders - Maybe Only I Dream

The new tracks are refreshing too. Judy’s World is a sensitive and moving song about emotional trauma, a tale in the lineage of Eleanor Rigby. Little Star and Maybe Only I Dream are fun, singalong country songs.

This is an album that sounds as though it has left its wild days of dance parties behind it and is sitting on the porch with old friends.

Eurogliders formed in Perth in the early 1980s. After four albums, including top 10 records This Island and Absolutely, they called it quits in 1989. Knight famously followed a jazz career. They reformed in 2005 and have played live since.

Knight and Lynch used to be a couple but, while romance may be in the distance past, their friendship and musical chemistry remains.

It’s that which they share with their fans on Don’t Eat the Daisies, which feels like an intimate step into their world.

Personnel joining them include multi-instrumentalists Ben Edgar and Sam Lemann and percussionist Tony Floyd.

With maturity and a change of direction, Eurogliders 2015 may be an entirely different band, but still a good one. The final track on the record includes the refrain “will you wait for me?” and the answer is yes, we will.

Sally Browne



Music For the Journey Home (ABC Classics)


THE downside of a compilation such as this is that often just one movement of a composition is played, when the whole thing would be welcome. Such is Maria Schneider’s Perfectly Still this Solstice Morning, sung by Dawn Upshaw (soprano), accompanied by various instrumentalists and Richard Tognetti directing the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The diverse program, designed for homeward drivetime radio listening, includes little appetisers such as Boom and Bust, by David Watts, and Chloe Charody’s Variations on an Epitaph for violin and piano. Michael McHale’s sensitive pianism honours the mystery of the song She Moved through the Fair and Elly Ameling sings Under the Paris Sky. Six pianists grouped as Piano Circus playing Chris Fitkin’s minimalist Sextet is perfect for when the car is stuck in traffic. More Snippets by composers Jean Barriére, Luigi Boccherini, François Couperin, Erik Griswold and Thomas Tallis offer easy-listening choices before a lively dance set from Scottish fiddler Chris Duncan brings it to a close.

Patricia Kelly



The Third (Sunday Best/Shock)


LONDON siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis Durham are the ideal festival act. With their smattering of blues, country swing, R & B, Hawaiian and rock’n’roll, they can be inserted into any program for a little light variety. On album number three, cunningly titled The Third, they have added ska to an already eclectic mix with Turkish Delight, incidentally the best track of a dozen. However, there is little else that stands out here. Kitty and Daisy’s voices inhabit similar keys and are almost indistinguishable, while Lewis sticks to predictable fare via his middling R & B vocal style. All three are multi-instrumentalists, covering piano, harmonica, fretboard variations (guitar, lapsteel, ukulele, banjo and double bass), even drums, accordion, xylophone and trombone. On The Third, they’re joined by a three-man horn section and a harpist, while Lake Street Dive drummer Mike Calabrese sits in on one track. Not surprisingly, the soundscape gets a little cluttered, even with minimalist Mick Jones (ex-Clash) on the production desk.

Phil Stafford



I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop)


JOSH Tillman (aka Father John Misty) should have been a pop idol. The former Fleet Foxes drummer is handsome and brooding, croons like Chris Isaak and writes panoramic retro-pop in the tradition of Elton John. With strings, horns and ethereal harmonies, I Love You, Honeybear is more ambitious than Fear Fun (2012). But, underneath the pop sheen, Tillman/Misty remains a churning mess of contradictions and that is what makes him compelling. He cherishes wife Emma (Chateau Lobby #4 in C for Two Virgins is a touching account of their first sexual encounter) but at heart he’s a gloomy and caustic outsider who doubts himself and hates most people and his country (in Bored in the USA he rails against a “useless” education and subprime loans). On the hilarious The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment, the singer’s vicious put-down of a vapid female guest is so unrelenting it becomes uncomfortable. Awash in pop grandeur and Dylan-esque scorn, I Love You, Honeybear shapes as a minor masterpiece.

David Costello



A Deeper South (Independent)


IN THIS brave new world of devalued content, it is not only emerging artists who use crowd-funding to get their records made. It’s established artists too, including Aussie veterans from Paul Kelly to Mark Callaghan. The latest example is Goanna frontman Shane Howard, who’s turned out 13 solo albums but has called on the power of the people to realise his latest project. Deeper South comes in a lavish CD-sized hardcover book with thick-stock pages of lyrics and liner notes, truly a labour of love. His music has alternated between indigenous and Irish influences over the years and this latest effort is firmly in the Irish folk category. Everything is Rusted rails against the state of the planet and climate change deniers: “All the spin doctors are working overtime/Trying to convince us everything will be fine.” Gecko-Joseph Patrick’s-Merri Jig is an honest-to-goodness Irish jig in three parts, while the traditional O’Neill’s March closes out Depth of My Ego. It’s not all folksy, however: You’re the Love could be a Goanna ballad in the vein of Razor’s Edge.

John O’Brien



I’m in Your Mind Fuzz (Remote Control)


CHUCK on this album and, within minutes, you will forgive this excellent Melbourne septet for the regrettable moniker. Without ceremony, these cats let rip a driving live psychedelic jam, an ever-rising mix of deceptively intricate, yet primordial rollicking, surf rhythms, eastern riffs and blues harp whip cracking. They never linger long to give you a fix on anything. It’s not until five songs in (with no gaps between songs) that they ease up to wipe their collective brow and take a slug, before setting off on the mellowed second chapter of this joyously tripped-out highway to bliss. The latter half is for the Stevie Nicks dancers stepping out of the ’60s-psych-garage and skipping on to ’60s West Coast verdant fields. KG is the latest in a host of great, witty, inventive, unselfconscious Australian music taking the world by storm (a la Pond, Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala). Who said flute doesn’t belong in rock’n’roll? Thrilling. Deeply groovy. A welcome ear worm of the mescaline variety.

Pat Whyte



Black Messiah (RCA)


ALONGSIDE stars like Maxwell, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo (aka Michael Archer) is credited with the rise of the Neo soul movement in the 1990s. The son of a Pentecostal preacher D’Angelo rose to fame with tracks like Brown Sugar and U Will Know. Like his talented forebears Marvin Gaye and Sly Stone, Archer’s career was also at risk of sliding into the shadows. He became disillusioned with the music scene and withdrew from the spotlight, only making guest appearances over the years on tracks for friends like Q-Tip, Questlove and even Snoop Dogg. Back from his self-imposed hiatus and with plenty to say, Black Messiah is his first album in 14 years. As you would expect it has a strong stick-up-for-your-rights feel, think Funkadelic, Public Enemy, Curtis Mayfield and Martin Luther King. There’s the obligatory samples of preacher’s exhortations in 1000 Deaths with its crazy chorus at the end, the simple beat, doo-wop vibe and D’Angelo’s smooth vocals in Sugah Daddy and the delicate acoustic chords in Really Love. It’s been a long time coming but is well worth the wait.

Khan Tihema

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