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Knightshade - Single Review: U Say

25 Sep 2017 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Knightshade the iconic rock / hard rock kiwi band that formed in Te Puke back in the early 1980’s, is making a comeback with their new single U Say which is due for release 29/09/17. This is the first of four delicious new songs. Knightshade may have played their last concert back in August 2016, but that does not mean they have stopped recording new material, I get the feeling this may have surprised and delighted a lot of fans.

And that’s not all folks; a full length live DVD featuring footage for the bands final performance at the Altitude Venue in Hamilton in 2016 is due for release hopefully at the end of this year. I can practically feel the excitement building.

Knightshade's fan base is an extremely loyal bunch, there are people that have been going to their gigs and listening to their music since 1982. I know because I am one of them. As soon as Wayne starts singing, memories from the 80's start flooding in. The people the parties the moments.

These guys have been around the block and back again with line-up changes, several top 20 singles, support for some major names in the music industry, going their separate ways, reuniting and also ill health, but they are as tight as ever and still have that magic sound which is pure Knightshade as you can hear when U Say starts to play.  

I did a spot of Social Media snooping to see what the fans think of U Say, all we are getting at the moment is a teaser until it is released and airplay from various broadcasters up and down the country. The enthusiasm and anticipation for the band’s latest release is impressive, there are loads of very positive comments using descriptive expletives which I can’t repeat.  

What is my opinion? I hear you ask, well I am about to tell you.

Travelling through the archives of articles and clips was like a trip down memory lane. I have fond memories of “The Hilly”, or fuzzy recollections either/or due to the amount of Waikato consumed. Listening to U Say was like listening to snippets of You Don’t Need Me (1988), it is verging on the precipice of a rock ballad with those meaningful lyrics and dramatic instrumentals, you instantly know it's Knightshade when you hear it, Kiwi rock through and through.  

The current accomplished line-up of the band which is Wayne Elliott (vocals), Rik Bernards (guitar), Scott Williams (drums), Craig Pollock (guitar), Neil McDonald (bass) and Kingsley Smith on keyboard, have been solid for a while know, the release of the up and coming four singles and DVD is like a gift to their fans.

As my fellow assessor of Kiwi musical arts said “call me a Bogan if you will”, but I am off to slip into my black jeans, crank the stereo and head down memory lane for a while, Waikato Willy may not be joining me, but these days I don’t need it to appreciate the band called Knightshade.

And as a final word, I will leave this here for you all to speculate on. “We won’t be performing any time soon, but you never know…” 


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About Knightshade

Knightshade is a New Zealand rock/hardrock group. They formed in Te Puke in 1982. The band based themselves in Hamilton in the mid-1980s when the line-up changed. The line-up then consisted of Wayne Elliott (vocals), Alan Grady (drums), Rik Bernards (guitar), Jon Bell (bass), Paul Martin (guitar). Paul left the band and Gavin Lind rejoined. This was the lineup that performed and recorded the majority of their work. Craig Pollock replaced Gavin Lind on guitar in 1991. They have had several top 20 singles and have supported major touring acts including Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Barnes, The Angels, Iggy Pop and Guns 'N' Roses. They have also released several EPs, a live album and a ‘best of’ studio album in 1995. Knightshade are still based in Hamilton.

The band went their separate ways in 1997, but after a 14-year hiatus they reunited in 2010 and released a new single, Rough at the Top, a year later. On June 6, 2014, the band finally returned to the public stage and gave a long-anticipated gig in Hamilton at the Altitude, with several further gigs the same year. 2015 saw the band grow and plant their feet more firmly on the ground, with the help from their latest line-up, including; Scott Williams on drums, Neil McDonald on bass, and Kingsley Smith on Keyboards. Wayne, Rik, and Craig remained the core original members of the band as the KS machine gathered momentum from its Hamilton home base. Knightshade were invited to perform as part of the bill for the infamous Gemini party, hosted by Paul Martin, May 31, 2015. The headlining act was Devilskin with Medusa Glare also appearing on the same bill. The rest of 2015 saw the band working on new material and honing the new line-up. On November 6, 2015, they performed at the Mount, at the newly opened Totara Street venue. This was their first gig in the Bay area in almost 20 years. It was a kind of 'coming home' gig for Wayne and Rik, who originally came from the Bay of Plenty area. (Wayne from Te Puke and Rik from Whakatane). The gig was a great success and marked a new era for Knightshade with a tight new line-up.

Recording sessions started for the new material towards the end of 2015 and into 2016, but were stalled after Wayne returned for more chemo treatment. After 3 or 4 months of this, Wayne’s health temporarily returned and the band decided to announce one final gig, scheduled for 6th of August 2016. The band rehearsed for nearly 3 months, with Gael Ludlow joining them to add her legendary vocals for the song Out for the Count. By the time of the gig, the Altitude venue in Hamilton had sold out, with people coming from all over New Zealand for their last chance to experience the band live. Some fans even flew across the Tasman Sea to see the gig. It was a very special night with the band performing for over 2 hours. A camera crew filmed the concert and have been slowly editing the footage for a full length Live DVD. (hopefully due out at the end of 2017). At the same time, the band have been polishing their new single, U Say, due out 29th of October 2017. This is the first of 4 new songs to be released by Knightshade over the next few months.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Knightshade

Releases

Knightshade
Year: 1995
Type: Album
You Don't Need Me
Year: 1988
Type: EP
Out For The Night (live)
Year: 1987
Type: Album
The Physical You
Year: 1987
Type: EP
Out For The Count
Year: 1986
Type: EP

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