I was very sad to have learnt a few days ago of the passing of Jeff Denny, drummer for Melbourne ska legends Strange Tenants.
From Strange Tenants’ Facebook page, posted 24 July 2017:
I was a bit of a fan, discovering the band via the Australian music TV program Countdown when the music video for their single ‘Hard Times’ was featured in 1983.
During the summer holidays of that same year, I was at my mum’s place in Lismore, northern New South Wales. I had the radio on, Lismore’s community radio station 2NCR-FM, and the presenter announced that there was a double pass to see Strange Tenants at Bangalow Bowls Club to be won. I phoned in and, to my excitement, won the double pass.
A few days later mum and I went to Bangalow to see Strange Tenants, and despite being only 15 years old I was let in to what was an 18+ gig.
Anyway, the band were off to a flying start, and the punters were really into it, when maybe half an hour in a summer storm struck causing a blackout. It was really disappointing for everybody, until Jeff Denny decided to just jam on drums for a while. For the next half hour or so he played tribal rhythms on his kit like a man possessed, while the lads on brass jammed over his drumming. The gig ended up looking like an ancient ritual with a very typical north coast crowd dancing maniacally, limbs flailing, dreadlocks whipping around, whooping and chanting. Unfortunately the power didn’t come back on and the gig had to be wound down, but there were huge grins on faces as we left the venue. I’ll never forget that night.
Thanks so much for the music Jeff, and may you Rest In Peace.