Penknife Glides

aka Hula Palaver

In 1980 there was a vibrant local music scene nationwide. Penknife Glides were one of the new Auckland bands to quickly rise to prominence, from the practice room in June to the main stage of the Sweetwaters Festival in January 1981 and opening for The Police in February 1981.

Many music journalists loved their mod style and they recorded a single and two EPs before heading for London July 1982, leaving the local scene as quickly as they arrived.

Penknife Glides visit The Primmers' You're Gonna get Done (live at Kings Arms, May 2013)
Penknife Glides: Stefan Morris, Cliff Gravelle, Jules Moloney and Steven Gravelle
Photo credit: Photo by Neroli Lemon. Simon Grigg collection.
An advert for the Nervous EP's launch party at Auckland's Mainstreet, August 1981
Jules Moloney 
Rip It Up, November 1981, with label mates Danse Macabre and Penknife Glides on the cover. The two bands were about to head off on the Positive Reaction tour.
Penknife Glides 1981: Jules Moloney, Cliff "Skeats" Gravelle, Steven Gravelle and Stefan Morris
Penknife Glides' first gigs at XS Café, September 1980
Young mods around town, 1980: Steven Gravelle, Stefan Morris, Cliff Gravelle and Jules Moloney
Penknife Glides at The Reverb Room in Auckland's Symonds Street, November 1980 with the newly formed Blam Blam Blam
Penknife Glides - Sound of Drums (1982)
Penknife Glides 1980 – Steven Gravelle, Cliff Gravelle, Stefan Morris and Jules Moloney
Cliff "Skeats" Gravelle
Reaction Records acts Penknife Glides and Danse Macabre on the upper North Island Positive Reaction tour, November/December 1981
Stefan Morris
Penknife Glides 1980: Cliff Gravelle, Stefan Morris, Jules Moloney and Steven Gravelle
Penknife Glides - Taking The Weight Off (2009 version)
The 2010 Penknife Glides album A Stab In The Dark contained reworkings of three of their released songs and seven tracks that had not been previously released
Penknife Glides, 1980
Steven Gravelle
Penknife Glides at XS Café, November 1980
$1 for Penknife Glides and friends at Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre, June 7, 1981
Penknife Glides open The Reverb Room, Labour Weekend 1980
Penknife Glides at the Mt. Eden War Memorial Hall, August 1981
Steven Gravelle
Penknife Glides - Nervous (1981)
Penknife Glides - My Life (2009)
Penknife Glides at Westhaven, Auckland: Steven Gravelle, Stefan Morris, Cliff "Skeats" Gravelle and Jules Moloney
An advert for the second Penknife Glides EP, Nervous, released by Reaction in August 1981

Song idea one: Penknife Glides shared their Nikau Street practice room with The Newmatics and a plague of rats. ‘City Rats’ is also about the police attending too many gigs – a reality at time.

Song idea two: When a fellow Nikau Street resident was asked how he killed time while in Mt Eden Prison, he replied, “Oh, I just took the weight off man.”

Song idea three: There was nothing new about the Anzac Avenue’s ‘New Station Hotel’ but the Harbour Lights Lounge was a great gig for Penknife Glides and elusive regular dancers inspired this song.

Song idea four: ‘It’s Too Late Now’ is the sibling song to ‘Taking The Weight Off’ and is inspired by Elvis Costello’s ‘Watching The Detectives’ and the dub reggae desires of drummer Stefan Morris.


Cliff Gravelle - guitar, vocals

Steven Gravelle - vocals

Jules Moloney - bass

Stefan Morris - drums




Funded by

Partners with