Tuesday 8 April 2014

Grant McLennan tribute gig May 4 2014

Some words - wise words, bon mots, reflections, insights - from Grant McLennan:
I know that our dear friend Roddy Frame called his last LP Love, but I maintain that the Go-Betweens write about love better than anybody else in the world.

I don't think they [The Smiths] ever made a whole good album, but they made their fans think they could never happen again…they are not any better than the Go-Betweens or Belle and Sebastian.

We wanted to use Joe Boyd (Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, REM) for Before Hollywood in 1982 when we were on Rough Trade, but at that stage he wasn’t making rock records. We wanted to work with John Cale for Spring Hill Fair but he was too expensive.

As an album [Before Hollywood] that really got close to a definitive sound for a certain period. It’s great because there’s very few records that do that. I’m not comparing the album, but Marquee Moon by Television does that; a statement of a band, of intent, an unmistakable mood. Like Highway 61, early Creedence records, The Doors’ first album, Revolver. They’re albums which come close to defining [something].

Describe to me the typical Go-Betweens fan
Female, heavily into Sylvia Plath, could have played hockey with the Australian Olympic squad but gave it up. And called Mirabelle.

Looking back and seeing that none of it is charted, a lot of people would say that's unsuccessful. But 'Marquee Moon' sold nothing, and I know much I still enjoy listening to Television. It doesn't really matter. To me the things I like, and that a lot of my friends like, are the things that maybe have fallen under the floorboards a bit. Our music was never connected with any kind of movement. There's a guilelessness to our music which I'm happy with.

We all love Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard. It’s just such a happy song.

What's your favourite Robert Forster song?
There are so many! I'll just say at the moment — 'Rock & Roll Friend'. But then I could go back to 'People Say', the second single, which is a fantastic piece of pop music, or 'Karen' — a great individual slice of liberation of R&B. Then I could go through every album...I enjoy all his songs.

Some words from Robert on his favourite Grant song
I really like 'Love Goes On!'. There's nine chords in a row, which he doesn't repeat. It's so him. A lot of his best songs are on '16 Lovers Lane'. And 'Cattle & Cane' is a really good song. It was like 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' or something — a quantum leap, a break-through song.

Last year, David Westlake, Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin' and The Mexican Postcards all played Love Goes On! for that very reason. This year, we don't know what songs David Westlake, Heathers and the Very Special Guest will play. Come along and find out. Doors open at 2pm. Music starts at 3pm. Entrance is free.

You'll find out who the Very Special Guest is on the day. A reminder of last year's extraordinary special guest's turn:


  1. This pOST prompted me to play '16 Lovers Lane' for the first time in a while to hear 'Love Goes On!' & as a result it is in my playlist for my next 'The Sun Shines Here!' - I normally play 'It's All Right' from this album, so thank you Ben!

  2. Ah, there's nothing I don't love about 16 Lovers Lane apart from the lack of a double l in the title. Stay tuned as I'll be posting a special live version of Love Goes On! soon.