It’s 1981 and Malcom Fraser’s Razor Gang is cutting funding to public services at a crippling rate, the Medibank scheme aka scam is depriving the uninsured of free treatment, homosexuality has only just been decriminalised in Victoria – and in the midst of this political upheaval Australia’s first ska band is born.
Reviewers have likened Strange Tenants, also known as Australia’s Godfather’s of Ska, to acts such as The Specials, Jimmy Cliff and UB40 (they’ve supported the latter two on international tours) and elements of their sound and highly political lyricism can definitely be attributed to the influence of these legendary artists.
Strange Tenants first single ‘Hard Times’ was a response to the economic recession and inequality of the early 80s and ‘Soldier Boy’ was an anti-war anthem. Right from the outset, Strange Tenants stood out from other Australian bands – not just because of their ska/roots influences, but also due to their unflinching determination to be a band of substance.
They have defiantly taken a stand on issues of war, racism and inequality in ways perhaps only matched by Sydney’s Midnight Oil.
In 2018 with the powers that be in disrepute, the Trump Presidency in the US peddling fear and racism on the rise, there seems no better time for these pioneers of ska to take to the stage once again.
Promoting the recent release of Militant Style, the Strange Tenants will kick off their national tour in November. Also to come is the release of an autobiographical novel titled ‘The Godfathers of Ska’ and a documentary celebrating the legacy of powerful performances and independently released albums they lay claim to.
Strange Tenants are renowned for their full-on powerful and dynamic live shows and this tour, featuring an 8 piece line-up, promises to deliver their unique brand of power ska and reggae like never before. Their national tour includes just 2 shows in Sydney with their great mates The OzSkas also featured on each bill.
The Strange Tenants play at the Sly Fox, Saturday 16th November. Tickets $34.90 each
For more info and tickets click here. https://tickets.oztix.com.au/outlet/event/17962239-96f9-4884-b8da-81df761a4780