Robert Forster – The Button Factory – Live Review – 19/05/19 by Killian Laher
Robert Forster occupies a funny position in the music world. He’s never quite had real success, either as a Go-Between or solo, so can’t be accused of trading on former glories. He’s never really gone away so can’t ride ‘the comeback train’. Nor has he quite migrated to elder statesman status, so hasn’t really recruited a new generation of fans. Those who came out for the show were very much his original fans.
With no support band, the show kicked off early, Forster and band easing into the show with a moody pair of songs from the recent Inferno album, The Morning and ‘Yeats-cowrite’ Crazy Jane On The Day of Judgement. I Love Myself (And I Always Have) was played for laughs but the lyrical content belies a well-constructed song, a Lou Reed-style rocker. Forster was ably backed up by a Swedish rhythm section, Forster’s wife Karin Bauemler on violin and the excellent Scott Bromley on lead guitar. Life Has Turned A Page featured the drummer on glockenspiel and an acoustic guitar solo from Forster. Dive For Your Memory and Demon Days provided reflective, lump-in-the-throat moments, but they were diversions on what felt like a more celebratory night. Forster unleashed several Go-Betweens’ classics, old and more recent such as Spring Rain, Here Comes A City and a smoky version of Twin Layers of Lightning.
A rousing encore featured Grant McLennan’s Finding You, The Clarke Sisters which leant heavily on Baeumler’s violin before rounding off with a mass sing-along on Surfing Magazines. Robert Forster promised to sign any record afterwards, even ones that he’s not on! The jubilant crowd went home happy, many already planning to catch him when he returns later in the year.
Set List –
Crazy Jane on the Day of Judgement
Born to a Family (The Go‐Betweens song)
I Love Myself (and I Always Have)
In the Core of a Flame (The Go‐Betweens song)
A Poet Walks
Dive for Your Memory (The Go‐Betweens song)
Life Has Turned a Page
Inferno (Brisbane In Summer)
Man O’Sand to Girl O’Sea (The Go‐Betweens song)
One Bird In The Sky
Twin Layers of Lightning (The Go‐Betweens song)
Spring Rain (The Go‐Betweens song)
Here Comes a City (The Go‐Betweens song)
Love Is a Sign (The Go‐Betweens song)
Finding You (The Go‐Betweens song)
Learn to Burn
The Clarke Sisters (The Go‐Betweens song)
Don’t Let Him Come Back (The Go‐Betweens song)
Surfing Magazines (The Go‐Betweens song)