Growing up in Queensland, and claiming to be a serious music fan, it’s pretty much a prerequisite that I love the Go-Betweens. They were the Brisbane boys who defied the town’s 80s backwards, redneck reputation by making clever, sensitive music that could be played on mainstream radio, and at parties by pretentious students studying Arts at UQ. They were a little before my time, and I even missed out on their brief reunion at the turn of the millennium before the death of co-founder Grant McLennan. But in the years since, I’ve developed a real appreciation for the band, and for the continuing work of surviving co-founder, Robert Forster. Which is why I was more than just little stoked to hear his latest, Songs to Play.
The guitar jangles and driving bass line don’t sound like the work of a song writer well into middle age, making Learn to Burn a great way for Forster to open an album and let us know straight away that being well into middle age doesn’t mean this is gonna be a record of quiet introspection and melancholic reflection. (more…)