Rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Steve Creedy

Don’t You Be­lieve What You’ve Seen or You’ve Heard Sky­hooks Fes­ti­val/Warner De­spite their sub­se­quent pop­u­lar­ity, there was no short­age of scep­tics when a band of strangely clad rock­ers emerged in the 1970s fronted by a bloke called Shirley. It wasn’t heavy enough for the Zep­pelin/Heep/Pur­ple/Sab­bath crowd or se­ri­ous enough for the Ge­n­e­sis/ELP/ Yes mob. If you were one of the peo­ple who un­der­es­ti­mated the tal­ent of Sky­hooks, here’s a good chance to rec­tify that over­sight. Don’t You Be­lieve What You’ve Seen or You’ve Heard is a three-disc box set with re­mas­tered ver­sions of 1974’s Liv­ing in the 70’s and its 1975 fol­low-up Ego is Not a Dirty Word. The band’s cheeky com­men­tary on Aus­tralian so­cial life and imag­i­na­tive cos­tumes made them pop­u­lar with the univer­sity/artsy set and the fact six out of the 10 tracks on Liv­ing in the 70’s were banned from com­mer­cial ra­dio didn’t hurt in terms of street cred. How­ever, the glam rock and pop la­bels meant it was easy to gloss over the mu­si­cian­ship un­der­scor­ing their albums. Their tal­ent comes out in sparkling de­tail on the new record­ings, par­tic­u­larly the twin gui­tars of Red Sy­mons and Bob Starkie. Fur­ther proof of this, and of Graeme Stra­chan’s prow­ess as a vo­cal­ist, is pre­sented in a se­ries of live record­ings on the third disc. In Con­cert 1974-75 draws on per­for­mances in Sydney and Ade­laide to show­case the band in full flight on tracks such as What Hap­pened to the Revo­lu­tion, Carl­ton and You Just Like Me ’Cos I’m Good in Bed.

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