Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two Of The West's Best

The Dugites and Eurogliders had a lot of things in common. Both enjoyed success on the Australian charts during the 80s, both featured a female lead vocalist, both weren't afraid to incorporate a funky brass section on some of their hits, and both hailed from Perth, Western Australia.

The Dugites formed in 1978 featuring Lynda Nutter on vocals, Peter Crosbie keyboards, Gunther Berghoffer guitar, Phillip Bailey bass and Clarence Bailey drums in their lineup. They cut their touring teeth in support of Dave Warner during 1979 before signing a recording deal with Sydney's Deluxe label. Their self titled 1980 debut album realised the hit single 'In Your Car' (OZ #34) and the album itself ascended to #22 nationally. Over the next couple of years they followed this up with another hit single 'Waiting' (#40) and recruited ex-Sports guitarist Andrew Pendlebury to replace Berghoffer. It seems a travesty to me that the Dugites (whose name is shared with that of a snake) didn't breakthrough to higher chart honours with their next two singles 'Cut The Talking' and my personal favourite 'Juno And Me'. The latter in particular was such an upbeat catchy number that it's astounding it stalled on the charts at #60 in 1984. Within 12 months the Dugites were no more.

If you'd like to witness the Dugites at their peak checkout the clip to 'In Your Car' here (Caution: may feature inappropriate use of a dodgem car):

Eurogliders enjoyed a longer run of success throughout the 80s. Formed in 1980, the band founded by Bernie Lynch (guitar/vocals) originally as Living Single, also featured Lynch's then partner Grace Knight on vocals. They released their debut album 'Pink Suit New Day' in early 1982 which featured the bands breakthrough hit 'Without You' (#32) an atmospheric synth driven song.

This attracted the interest of the CBS label and the first half of '84 saw the release of the album 'This Island'. Eurogliders lineup had settled to feature, in addition to Lynch and Knight, Amanda Vincent on keyboards, Ron Francois on bass, Crisin Ackerman guitar and John Bennetts drums. The first single 'Heaven (Must Be There)' ascended to #1 on the Australian charts mid year and even snuck a peak inside the Billboard Hot 100 (#65).

The bands next album 'Absolutely' was to my mind, there most accomplished effort. Their sound was more rounded and mature, incorporating a smoother more soul based influence seamlessly into their established synth-guitar template. The title track was simply sublime but was only one of a number of stand out songs including 'We Will Together' and 'Can't Wait To See You'. In all the album yielded four Australian top 20 hits, and sold over 130,000 copies nationally - and it counts as one of the first CD albums I ever purchased. Early '87 saw a radically revamped lineup emerge from the wake of 'Absolutely', but still Lynch and Knight remained firm at the heart of things. After one more album (1988's 'Groove'), the band glided to a halt, singer Grace Knight remaining active as an artist albeit in the jazz genre.

Check out the band having a blast in the clip to 'Can't Wait To See You':


Frank K said...

Cool post! I am a big fan of the Dugites and wrote about them on my blog "Vinyl Goldmine," a while back.

I have all their stuff save for a couple of tracks on their "No Money" EP, which I'm always looking for.

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

Hi, thanks for the positive feedback. Great to see a fan of the Dugites and other Aussie music, especially from the States. Had a look at your blog - excellent stuff indeed. Do you mind if I put a link to your 'Vinyl Goldmine' bloog from my site?
If I happen across a copy of that EP somewhere I'll let you know.
Kind regards.

Frank K said...

For sure, it would be great if you linked to my site! Thank you. I will link yours, too.

Anonymous said...

That Eurogliders video looks very very familiar to me ;)
- though if YT gets any worse than it currently is, it may not last much longer !

A. FlockOfSeagulls AKA Rhys Jones said...

G'day Mickster,
I recall that clip being a favourite of mine at the time. It just seemed like a band having some fun with the promo vid format. Wish I'd written more on both Eurogliders and Dugites to be honest, but my posts were a bit more economical in length at that stage. When I'm through posting new stuff I might revisit some of the older posts and expand on them a bit.
Oh, and I fully agree with you about YT.