Admit it, you've never heard of the band Strange Tenants. They are Australian 'ska' legends, formed and led by duel vocalists and prolific songwriters, brothers Bruce (singer, trumpet player and 'RudeBoy' on Nicks) and Ian (singer and keyboards) Hearn. As one of the biggest Australian bands of the 80s, these boys toured with the likes of Style Council, UB40 and U2 between 1982 and 1986.
This reworking of Grey Skies (Strange Tenants's classic urban reggae song first recorded in 1983) appears on their new 6-track EP Coventry Via Kingston.
Written by Ian Hearn, Grey Skies is about the Tenants' hometown—the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood (the spiritual home of the Collingwood Football Club)—where several band members have resided at one time or another and four generations of the Hearn family grew up. The song is about a typical modern inner city urban environment (and could just as easily pertain to many such environments around the world), going through changes as generations come and go, and new migrants arrive to reside in the high rise public housing apartments.