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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Post 583 - Gulliver Smith - Don't Keep Doin' It Duke - Black Hole

Born Kevin Smith, Gulliver Smith appeared as a child performer in Melbourne in the early 60s, covering golden oldies from the 50s. Eventually he left this scene to concentrate on his growing love of R&B and soul, with his band the Children in 1966. Dr Kandy’s Third Eye followed in 1967/8; in the vanguard of Sydney’s ‘flower-power’ psychedelic music period, their strange performances attracted Australian press attention. A series of short-lived, but interesting bands followed, but it was with Company Caine that his lyric writing became noticed and the band, despite poor media attention and no radio airplay, remains one of the great Australian cult bands of the 70s. Both their albums are now regarded as collector’s items. His solo album was well received, but it did not bring him a new audience. He moved back to Melbourne and led several more bands of variable quality which did not gather a following outside their small bohemian scene. Gulliver moved to England in 1977 and lived and worked there for many years. He returned to Australia in the late 80's and reformed Gulliver's Travels in 1989. He continues to write and perform under the slightly changed moniker of "Gullifer Smith". In 1996 he and his partner and collaborator Stephanie Hopkins released the excellent Deux Poetes album; he also co-wrote “A Touch Of Paradise” with Ross Wilson and was a hit for John Farnham.  In 1980 Smith released a single on Mighty Records “Don’t Keep Doin’ It Duke” b/w ‘Black Hole” (J.V.C.05). It was recorded in London and soon after it was withdrawn for what reason I don’t know. Even though it was never released I did picked up a copy and I have seen one on EBay going for $169.00 AUD so there’s a few out there it seems. I also heard that the song was about Ross Wilson or so they say. The thing that confuses me that on the back cover of the single it appears the B side is called “Dancing” and the song is about dancing but the label states that it’s called “Black Hole”.   Sadly we lost Gulliver on November 10th, 2014 from kidney failure, in Sydney. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks OZ

As usual another interesting post with great and insightful comment.



Anonymous said...


Just thought you should know that you have the incorrect death date should be the 10th of November not the 12th.