Knightshade Profile

Glen Moffatt
Published: 27 Sep 2018
Updated: 4 Dec 2019

If ever there was a New Zealand band with the potential to crack the Australian market in the late 1980s it was Hamilton hard rockers Knightshade. Their road-tested, riff-heavy anthems were a perfect fit for the Oz rock then fashionable on the charts and in venues across the Tasman.

Knightshade had blazed through their home country releasing two EPs and a live album of relentless, balls-to-the-wall material to rival the likes of Jimmy Barnes, The Angels and the Jon Stevens-fronted Noiseworks. But when they got their break and were signed to Mushroom Records Australia, the label insisted on big ballads.

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Knightshade - Last Night In The City (1989)
Knightshade - You Don't Need Me 12" single (Mushroom, 1988)
The classic Knightshade line-up, 1987. From left: Rik Bernards, Jon Bell, Gavin Lind, Wayne Elliott, Alan Grady.
Knightshade - You Don't Need Me 12" (Mushroom, 1988). From left: Alan Grady, Gavin Lind, Wayne Elliott, Rik Bernards and Jon Bell
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Alan Grady, Knightshade.
Knightshade - Out For The Count (1987)
Knightshade supporting ZZ Top at Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, March 1987.
Knightshade’s Rik Bernards (left) and Kingsley Smith at the final Knightshade show, Hamilton, August 2016.
Knightshade in the early 1990s. From left: Jon Bell, Alan Grady, Rik Bernards, Wayne Elliott, Craig Pollock.
Craig Pollock of Knightshade, Totara Street, Mt Maunganui, 2015
Photo credit: Steph Smith
Knightshade guitarists Rik Bernards and Gavin Lind, 1980s
Photo credit: Paula Brown
Knightshade - Out For The Night side 1 (Reaction Records, 1987)
Knightshade guitarist Rik Bernards fronting a campaign against drinking and driving, 1986.
Knightshade - The Physical You (live at Altitude, Hamilton, June 2014)
Knightshade - You Don't Need Me (directed by Kerry Brown, 1988)
Rik Bernards, Knightshade.
Photo credit: Paula Brown
Knightshade - Living A Life (live at Altitude, Hamilton, August 2016)
Knightshade - Million Dollar Love
Knightshade - The Physical You (Reaction Records)
Jon Bell, bassist in Knightshade.
Knightshade singer Wayne Elliott is joined by Gael Ludlow at the final Knightshade show, Hamilton, August 2016.
Photo credit: Graham Hooper
Knightshade - Rough At The Top (2011)
Knightshade pose with the audience at their final show, Hamilton, August 2016. From left: Neil McDonald, Craig Pollock, Scott Williams, Wayne Elliott, Rik Bernards, Kingsley Smith
Photo credit: Graham Hooper
Knightshade - Out For The Count (Reaction, 1986)
Knightshade - The Physical You 7" single (Reaction Records)
Knightshade - U Say (2017)
Reverse side of Knightshade - Out For The Night Live! Recorded at the Galaxy, Auckland, 13 May 1987 for a Radio With Pictures special (Reaction Records, 1987)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Wayne Elliott, Knightshade.
Reverse cover of the Knightshade - You Don't Need Me 12" (Mushroom, 1988)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Reverse cover, Knightshade - The Physical You 12" EP (Reaction Records)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Knightshade in 1995. From left: Jon Bell, Rik Bernards, Wayne Elliott, Simon Garlick, Alan Grady.
Photo credit: Andrew Johnstone
Gavin Lind, Knightshade.
1995 Knightshade album released by Hark Records.
Reverse side of Knightshade's Out For The Count 12" EP (Reaction Records, 1986)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Knightshade at the DB Mt Maunganui, 1985. From left: Paul Martin, Gavin Lind, Wayne Elliott, Alan Grady, Kevin Taylor.
Knightshade guitarists Rik Bernards and Craig Pollock at Totara Street, Mt Maunganui, 2015.
Photo credit: Steph Smith
Knightshade with Paul Martin 
Photo credit: Paul Martin collection
Knightshade - B-side of You Don't Need Me 12" single (Mushroom, 1988)
Knightshade singer Wayne Elliott at the final Knightshade show, Hamilton, August 2016.
Photo credit: Graham Hooper
Kevin Taylor, Knightshade.
The passion of Wayne Elliott, captured by photographer Karen Ford. For more of her work with the band, visit the AudioCulture page Knightshade - a photo album
Photo credit: Karen Ford
Laurie Goossens, Knightshade
Knightshade - The Physical You 12" EP (Reaction Records)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Paul Martin in the air with Knightshade
Photo credit: Paul Martin collection
Knightshade - Out For The Count 7" single (Reaction Records, 1986)
Knightshade perform at Shake the Lake, at the Hamilton Lake Domain, 1984. From left: Laurie Goossens, Wayne Elliott, Alan Grady, Kevin Taylor, Gavin Lind
Photo credit: Darren Marshall
Wayne Elliott, Knightshade, 1980s
Photo credit: Paula Brown
Knightshade -Television Eyes (1996, directed by Greg Page)
Knightshade - The Physical You (1987)
Alan Grady, Knightshade.
Knightshade's Out For The Count 12" EP (Reaction Records, 1986)
Photo credit: RNZ Collection
Knightshade in 2011, at the time of the release of the 'Rough At The Top' single. From left: Craig Pollock, Wayne Elliott, Alan Grady, Rik Bernards.
Knightshade - full concert, Hillcrest Tavern Hamilton, 1986.
Knightshade perform at Shake The Lake, a lakeside concert in Hamilton, 1984. From left: Wayne Elliott, Alan Grady, Kevin Taylor
Photo credit: Darren Marshall
Knightshade - Out For The Night Live! Recorded at the Galaxy, Auckland, 13 May 1987 for a Radio With Pictures special (Reaction Records, 1987)
Photo credit: RNZ collection
Labels:

Jayrem


Reaction


Mushroom Records


Hark Music

Members:

Ian Taft - vocals

Wayne Elliott - vocals, keyboards

Laurie Goossens - guitar

Kevin Taylor - bass

Bobby Addison - guitar

Alan Grady - drums

Gavin Lind - guitar

Paul Martin - guitar

Rik Bernards - guitar, vocals

Jon Bell - bass

Grant Pukeroa - drums

Craig Pollock - guitar

Glenn Aitken - guitar

Simon Garlick - guitar

Scott Williams - drums

Neil McDonald - bass

Kingsley Smith - keyboards

Trivia:

As well as providing backing vocals on Knightshade’s debut EP, television presenter Gael Ludlow sang on the band’s The Physical You EP and Out For The Night LP. She also appeared as a special guest at their farewell show in Hamilton in 2016.

In the tradition of band fan clubs adopting a nickname à la the Kiss Army and Grateful Dead’s Deadheads, Knightshade followers in the 1980s were known as the Knightshade Brigade.